INTRODUCTIONI am pleased to present to you; ‘The Youth Community Innovation Programme (YOCIP), an initiative aimed at tackling the major limitations faced by the state and nation at large; unemployment, poverty and underdevelopment. Several scholars and analysts have named unemployment as the most disturbing trend in youth transformation, especially in Nigeria. Plateau state inclusive, has recorded a fair share of incessant social and ethno-religious crisis, armed robbery, political thuggery, and other acts of terrorism, with the youths constituting a large percentage of its triggers. It is also worthy to note that youth unemployment has substantially contributed to the high rate of poverty and interdependency especially in rural communities. There is a constant struggle for job creation and skills acquisition in Nigeria in an effort to curtail this menace, it is therefore the reason why there is a need to initiate developmental programmes that would up-lift youths in flashpoint areas of state.’The Youth Community Innovation Programme (YOCIP), is a “Youth to Community Initiative”, a concept that allows youths to innovate and engage in productive community development projects within the three Local Government Areas of Plateau State; Qua’an-Pan, Mikang and Shendam. This initiative strives to offer support and empower youths in their local communities in an effort to foster youth participation in building a peaceful and sustainable society. Introducing Community responsibility amongst youths will provide structures especially for those with unstable, trapped and chaotic lives. This concept will work on three major fonts:EMPOWERMENT: It is desired that this program will enable the poor and unemployed indigenous graduates of the target LGA’s to be meaningfully engaged in productive ventures in their communities.CAPACITY BUILDING: This program aims at equipping youths with skills for community development, to become trained volunteers and to become community advocates for a peaceful global society.COMMUNITY/HUMAN DEVELOPMENT: Through several activity plans initiated and implemented by youths, this program strives to solve the most critical issues faced by communities of the three LGA’s in the state. This encompasses but is not limited to; education, Peace building, Human rights, Gender Based Violence, cultural and religious barriers, health and environment, economic empowerment and infrastructure.PURPOSE OF THE PROGRAMYoung people bring a different level of energy and enthusiasm and possess a broad range of untapped skills and interests, youths can provide significant ideas based on factual and experiential needs when working with communities and are willing to develop their skills and contribute in the most meaningful ways with the opportunities given to them.This platform intends to provide them the opportunity and create an avenue for an uprising system of community development as well.VISIONThe vision is to support local innovations and enhance youth engagement in community development MISSIONThe mission is to empower youths and communities for an independent and sustainable livelihood OBJECTIVESThis program intends to achieve the following objectives;To create an economic empowerment platform for youths of communities in plateau State thereby reducing unemployment and idleness.To build communities where inherent, are youths well trained and equipped with proposal writing skills and  community development skillsTo improve Youth access to valuable information relevant for improving their and their community’s standards of livingTo build up empowered and self sustaining communities within the state  To create a network of youths with the responsibility of peace, justice and development towards their local communitiesPROGRAM DETAILThe program takes the line of community volunteerism and it intends to garner community youths who are passionate about making positive change in their communities, who can come up with innovative projects either as individuals or in a group, that seek to address challenges within their communities and proffer realisable solutions. Projects that pass the selection criteria will be linked with the appropriate small scale funding (grants) needed for its execution.PROGRAM STRATEGYTo achieve the vision and mission of the program and the objectives stated above, the strategy takes three major stepsSTEP ONE: CAPACITY BUILDINGThe first activity will be a capacity building program for unemployed youths; male and female who are indigenes of Qua’an-Pan, Mikang and Shendam LGA’s and are graduates of recognized tertiary institutions, these category of individuals will undergo a preparation for possible project engagement. The intension is to have them go through a two day capacity building training where experts in the humanitarian field will be brought to train them thoroughly on;Proposal writing techniques and principles: This training is aimed at equipping participants with the acceptable global standards of writing grants proposals and reports, training will include steps to writing and winning grants proposal and project design. After this training, it is expected that that participants will have indebt knowledge of proposal writing skills and will be able to keep up with best practices in the global society.   Community development skills: There are principles to community development and this program will ensure that participants are well equipped with the knowledge needed to execute community development projects. This will mean a partnership with Civil Society Organizations within the state who will contribute their experience by serving as facilitators and mentors to the participants of the programme. At the end of this training, participants will acquire the rudiments needed for implementing community projects in a non harmful and productive manner.STEP TWO: SELECTION AND FUNDINGAfter the capacity building training, participants will be encouraged to send in their proposals using the skills acquired in their training. These proposals will have a central collection point and will undergo screening. The most eligible applications will be selected for funding based on the availability of funds. STEP THREE: SUPERVISION AND FEEDBACKSSelected projects will have its time frame for implementation and each project will be closely monitored to ensure adherence to the project terms and conditions and for proper execution. Beneficiaries will be required to give frequent reports as required and proper monitoring and evaluation team will be set up by the program to measure results.SUSTAINABILITY PLANAll projects selected and executed under this program will have a continuity and a community ownership concept, this means that project designs are ensured to be self sustaining such that continuity will be assured even after the grants allocated to the project is exhausted. VISIBILITYThis program is also designed to have a proper publicity and visibility package for its sponsorsABOUT BUILDING COMMUNITY RELATIONS (BCR)PROJECTThe BCR project, is a community development program I initiated, aimed at improving the socio-economic wellbeing of communities in Plateau State especially communities in the rural areas. This project is designed to shift the focus of communities from lack which causes strive, to harnessing underlying potentials within the communities which have the ability to provide for such a lack. When infrastructure and empowerment comes into a community, community members are taught to be socially and economically beneficial to each other in order to improve on their standard of living and when communities begin to see the benefits of working together to bring development to their members as opposed to struggling and fighting over resources, communities will begin to ensure peaceful coexistence without external interventions.The BCR project is currently running in Qua’an-pan Local Government Area with support from the Nexus Fund, a non-profit organization aimed at preventing mass atrocities in communities. With more interventions, I believe that we can build a better and peaceful society.

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