Working to Ensure the Rights of Youth in Nigeria

Youth for Human Rights Nigeria President Pascal Nwoga shares his passion for the welfare of the young people of his country and why he is committed to human rights education. 

“We live in an imperfect world with a huge imbalance of wealth and power,” says Pascal Nwoga, President of Impact Africa Network Youth Nigeria and Youth for Human Rights Enugu. And it is Nwoga’s intention to create a more equitable and humane world.

“God is a God of justice and wants his people to make a difference in the world,” says Nwoga, who is carrying out this mandate by training youth on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights so they understand their rights and the rights of others.

Drafted by representatives of all regions of the world and encompassing all legal traditions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights delineates the 30 rights that form the basis for a democratic society. Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) took on the task of making the articles of this document easy to understand in the form of the What Are Human Rights? booklet and 30 public service announcements that convey the essence of each of its 30 articles.

Nwoga first learned about Youth for Human Rights International in 2012 while visiting Ghana. He was watching a local television program when one of the YHRI videos began to air. Visiting the group’s website, he was impressed with the quality of the materials and requested a set.

“No child should be treated unfairly on any basis.”

When they arrived, he sprang into action to educate youth on their rights. He wrote a handbook covering the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the rights of the child. And he began educating youth, first through presentations at local churches and then at the Godfrey Okoye Secondary School where he teaches.

Nwoga organized a human rights football match between two parishes and established his first Youth for Human Rights group, composed of his personal friends and youth from his parish. He then began reaching out to government and church bodies to establish partnerships and gain their endorsement to bring human rights education to the schools of his region, Enugu State, in southeastern Nigeria. Nwoga is now teaching human rights in classrooms throughout the state.

While pursuing his education program, Nwoga continues his own humanitarian work to ensure some of the most marginalized children in Enugu are receiving the help they need. He visits with homeless and deformed children to lift their spirits and brings them food, water, clothing and other relief and educational materials.

“All children have these rights,” says Nwoga, “no matter who they are, where they live, what their parents do, what language they speak, what their religion is, whether they are a boy or girl, what their culture is, whether they have a disability, whether they are rich or poor. No child should be treated unfairly on any basis.”

Youth for Human Rights is a nonprofit organization founded in 2001. Its purpose is to inspire youth to become advocates for tolerance and peace by educating them on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Church of Scientology supports Youth for Human Rights and makes its educational materials available free of charge to educators, community and civic leaders.

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

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