As a crime editor with The New Telegraph Juliana Francis is not unaware of the alarming increase in the number of youths going into crime. Worried that many youths go into crime without knowing the full implication on their future, she committed herself to educate the youth on the effects on their lives and the society.
For two months, she coordinated some fora to speak directly with the youth. During the period, she met with undergraduate and postgraduate students interning in the media house where she works every Tuesday morning. She also went to a secondary school in Mile 12, Lagos, on Fridays to speak with the students. Juliana brought in other resource persons, who have come face-to-face with crime— an ex-convict turned pastor, an EFCC official, as well as three staff of her organisation to join her. They spoke about the difficult life in prison, as well as EFCC’s war against cybercrime.
However, Juliana was not the conventional type, she made use of a combination of methods to achieve the end. In her words:
“I created a blog, youthslens.com, where issues on youth crimes are x-rayed. The blog comes with a newsletter, so that whenever I shared a particular article on youths, it goes to different subscribers. I also created a Facebook page, where I share some of articles on youths. I also printed hard copies of the Youthslens Newsletter, for distribution to youths without access to the social media.”
Revealing that her efforts are yielding results, Juliana disclosed that one of the interns, Joan Yakubu, has become a facilitator, as she spoke against youth crimes before a class of over 70 secondary school students. Also, some of the secondary school student-participants are making and sharing videos to address the dangers of youth crimes. She further revealed that other schools are beginning to invite her.
In love with the project, JuIiana said, “The project has come to stay. I have resolved to continue with my interactive sessions with the interns in my office. I shall also seek other schools to visit. I shall continue to feed youthslen.com with stories on youth crimes, while I continue to share the electronic newsletters.”