Summary Report on Autism Awareness and SDG 8

  • Itsekiri NextGen Project: 2022 Session 12 Report
  • Topic: Autism Awareness/Sustainable Development Goal 8
  • Date: Saturday 19/03/2022 
  • Volunteers Present: 7
  • Total Number of Attendees: 80
  • Timings: 9:00am – 12:00pm
  • Venue: Former Caravan 4, Aji Pessu, Warri
  • Main Topic/Activity: Autism Awareness/ SDG 8  (Decent Work and Economic Growth)
  • Resource Person: Uwala Tedeye


The 12th session of the Itsekiri NextGen project in 2022 is divided into two sub-sessions. The first sub-session is focused on World Autism Awareness Day; an internationally recognized day on 2nd of April of every year. The day is set aside to encourage the Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness about people with Autism Spectrum Disorder throughout the world. This is to encourage more people to learn to create a world where all persons with autism can reach their potential. They can do this through acts of kindness at school, work or in the community, and encourage inclusion by acceptance and understanding of their disorder. 

The second sub-session focuses on SDG8; this is to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all. Sustained and inclusive economic growth can drive progress, create decent jobs for all and improve living standards. We currently live in a society that has fewer opportunities for graduates and the teeming youths across all relevant age groups; including persons with a form of visible and non-visible disabilities. This has the potential to exacerbate the level of poverty and already perennial security challenges faced by the country.     

Session Delivery

We began the session on World Autism Awareness Day by asking participants if there is anyone in their schools, churches and neighbourhood that behaves differently from others. A participant said someone in her class laughs even when nobody is saying anything funny. Another participant said someone in her school who is from a rich home begs despite being given food, snacks and all she needs to be okay.

The volunteers took the opportunity of the response of the participants to explain Autism Spectrum disorder. People that behave differently from others tend to have a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact known as Autism Spectrum Disorder. April 2nd of every year has been set aside for the International Autism Awareness day. It's a day set aside to encourage member states of the United Nations to create awareness about people that fall under the autism spectrum disorder throughout the world.

The facilitator informed the participants that depending on the spectrum, some can be highly intelligent and can solve complex problems but are unable to perform simple tasks, while others find it difficult to comprehend. Autism is not a disease but a condition. The key thing is to understand the way autistic people see the world and their performance without trying to make them change. We should as well show them empathy.

Though the term autism was new to the participants, they were able to comprehend it as volunteers took their time to explain the topic with some video clips on autism. An inspiring scene on the immediate impact of the session occurred during the session. While playing the video on autism, one of our participants who display signs of autism was hitting the table as the session was on. Instead of the usual shout of 'stop'  from the rest of the participants, a girl patted him on the back and gently beckoned him to stop. This calmed him down and he then focused on the session.

We proceeded to discuss Sustainable Development Goal number 8 which is about decent work and economic growth for all, including those living with disabilities. As it helps to promote youth employment, training, education and end modern-day slavery, child/drug trafficking, child labour and all sorts of indecent jobs. It was an interactive session as participants confidently mentioned different examples of decent jobs like engineering, law, medicine, tailor, etc, and indecent/illegal jobs like yahoo yahoo (internet fraud), ritualism, hard drugs sellers etc.

Other key activities during the session

Participants borrowed books from the Itsekiri NextGen Library in preparation for our next session, focusing on Book Review.

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