By Ernest Senanu Dovlo, IYNIGO - Accra, Ghana
The Arrupe Jesuit Institute's (AJI) youth empowerment and leadership development scheme, IYNIGO, is marking one year of its existence this month. IYNIGO, an acronym for Ignatian Youth Networks Initiating Generational Outcomes, recruits young people between the ages of 18 to 35 desirous of becoming agents of social transformation through initiating processes of enduring significance for the good of society. Since its inception, IYNIGO has grown in many ways. Significantly, it has become an integral part of the character and vision of the AJI, ensuring that young people are empowered to engage in the critical conversations and processes that impact positively on society.
IYNIGO’s first anniversary celebration, which is aptly titled: Time is greater than Space: Youth beyond Covid-19, began with a social media challenge on Tuesday, 23rd June, 2020. The social media challenge invites young people to post a one-minute video sharing their experiences of how COVID-19 has affected them. In line with one of the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus, on accompanying youth, this challenge seeks to ensure that the voices and experiences of young people are not left out in public policy thinking and planning now and after Covid-19. Young people constitute the lifeblood of our communities, societies, the church, and our world. Yet, they frequently exist on its margins, especially at a time like this.
On Sunday, June 28th, members of IYNIGO celebrated a Holy Mass of thanksgiving at the property of the Jesuits intended as the future premises of the AJI at Atomic Hills in Accra. Fr Temple Anuforo, SJ, a Jesuit of the North-West Africa Province who is temporarily assisting at the AJI, presided over the celebration. He urged the young people to be generous in their self-giving since God can never be outdone in generosity. As in previous celebrations, all the Covid-19 protocols stipulated by the Ghana government were observed. Later in the week, specifically on Wednesday, 1st of July 2020, the celebratory events will climax in a Zoom roundtable discussion. The aim is to gather together young people from across Africa, youth leaders, youth organizations and influencers, civil and religious leaders etc., to engage in a dialogue on how the pandemic is affecting young people and envisage the way forward.
IYNIGO is seeking huge participation in both the social media challenge and the zoom conversation. How to participate? Simply take a one-minute video of yourself in which you share your experience of how Covid-19 has affected you and also where you see openings for hopeful action in the future. Share this on IYNIGO’s social media handles: Facebook – IYNIGO; Twitter - @IYNIGO1. Beyond sharing a video, IYNIGO also invites you to join the conversation by sharing, liking, commenting, tweeting and retweeting the contents on her social media page. Information including registration details for the webinar will soon be made available via IYNIGO’s social media handles. Join us to celebrate #IYNIGOat1.