Background of the study
Because of the presence of communities and the social activities undertaken by individuals for the improvement of their community, which is better known as Community Development, people have enjoyed and shared the good tidings of nature from the dawn of human history (CD). The concept of community development was first officially expressed in 1948 at the Cambridge Conference on African Administration, where it was defined as a movement aimed at improving the standard of living for the entire community. According to Hill (2011), it refers to a coordinated plan in which community members engage in activities and initiatives to improve the living conditions of those who live in that community. The period in a community’s life when people get together to take collective actions in order to generate answers to their identified problems is referred to as community development. Community development, according to certain researchers such as Afuye (2015), is an organized intervention that offers communities more influence over the factors that affect their life. This, however, does not cure all of a community’s problems, but it does give people the confidence to deal with them as effectively as any local action can. Community development, on the other hand, works with local groups and organizations rather than individuals or families. implying that community development must look in both directions; not only at how the community is operating at the grass roots, but also at how the community is working at the top. People make collective use of available local resources (human and material) to better their level of living in this regard. They might create community-based development unions, allowing them to take part in community development projects. The people’s zeal was directed by the spirit of self-help, and highways, for example, were built through virgin forest to connect villages and other neighboring settlements in no time. Self-help community development projects included the construction of markets, community centers, road expansion and maintenance, erosion control tree planting, and communal palm fruit harvesting, among others (Nzeneri, 2008). Self-help community development initiatives are practical endeavors undertaken by residents of a community to improve the community’s living conditions. One of the underlying assumptions of community development is that it is all-inclusive since it gives opportunities for everyone to learn and grow, ensuring that no part of the population, including youths, is left out. According to them (Rowland, 2011). Being young is undoubtedly a period of change in one’s life, one that is marked by increasing vulnerabilities and delinquencies. It becomes a concern if the youths are not properly controlled. Instead of displaying their unruly behaviors as militants, terrorists, and other restiveness in the community and society today, youths could be effectively mobilized and involved as assets, beneficiaries, partners, and youth leaders in community development activities that abound in various communities.
Statement of the problem
Youths in general are daring, full of life and vigor, curious, adventurous, enthusiastic, self-sacrificing, full of ambitions, fantastic projects, and hopes. All of these characteristics can be used to aid the success of community development efforts. There is a strong belief, according to Banda (2005), that community leaders’ effective participation in self-help community development projects is desirable in our quest for the qualitative development of our rural communities, particularly in these days of continued government cuts to development funding at all levels. Most communities in developing countries, such as Nigeria, are known for launching self-help development projects, but the sad reality is that most of these projects never get finished. As a result, it looks that their efforts are insufficient in comparison to what they have expended. As a result, it appears that their efforts are not proportional with the amount of money they have invested, as seen by the number of self-help programs that have been abandoned. It appears that determining the areas and levels of involvement of all stakeholders in communities, particularly the adolescents who are meant to accelerate development operations in their communities, is impossible. Although, according to the literature, community development officers and experts, particularly in underdeveloped countries such as Nigeria, have frowned upon youth involvement in community development. Many reasons have been offered for this oddity, including the fact that youngsters are not seen as adult individuals and are thus excluded from the decision-making process, as well as the planning, implementation, supervision, and evaluation of community development programs by community members. All parents, as well as community leaders, are among the stakeholders in question. When youths voluntarily participate in community development activities, they do not appear to be allowed the freedom to participate in critical topics such as decision-making, project implementation, supervision, and evaluation. Could it be that community leaders and other stakeholders are not convinced that if youths are effectively involved in their own community development projects, they will reduce abandonment of self-help projects, have a significant impact on people’s lives now and in the future, and help to curb various social ills that have eaten deeply into the fabrics of societies all over the world like cankerworms? As a result, the essence of this
Objective of the study
The overall goal of this research is to look into young people’s involvement in self-help community development projects in Asaba. The study’s objectives are as follows:
1. Determine the extent to which youth in the Nsukka Local Government Area are involved in the planning of self-help community development projects.
2. Determine how youths in the Nsukka Local Government Area are involved in the implementation of self-help community development projects.
3. Determine how youths in the Nsukka Local Government Area are involved in the monitoring and evaluation of self-help community development programs.
4. Determine the barriers to youth participation in self-help community development initiatives in the Nsukka Local Government Area.
In the Asaba Local Government Area, how involved are the youth in the planning of self-help community development projects?
2. What are the ways in which youths in the Asaba Local Government Area are involved in the implementation of self-help community development projects?
3. How do youths in the Nsukka Local Government Area participate in self-help community development projects?
4. What are the barriers to youth participation in Asaba Local Government Area’s self-help community development projects?
Significance of the study
The findings of this study will be valuable to community leaders, traditional rulers, and community members such as youngsters, as well as the government, donor agencies, future researchers, and Local Government Chairmen in the study area and beyond. The study’s findings will give community leaders with important information on how to best motivate local kids to participate actively in self-help community development projects. The outcomes of this study will be very valuable to community members, notably youngsters, because they will recognize that it is also their obligation to engage in the development of their communities. The study will provide helpful information to the government on the current state of most rural areas and the necessity for them to work together to improve living conditions.
Scope of the Study
The goal of this study is to assess youth participation in self-help community development projects in Delta State’s Asaba Local Government Area. It will also look at the extent to which youths were involved in the planning of self-help community development projects in the area, as well as the ways in which youths were involved in the implementation of self-help community development projects in the area and the barriers to youth involvement in self-help community development projects in the Asaba Local Government Area of Delta State.
Limitation of the study
The researchers ran into some minor roadblocks while conducting the study, as with any human endeavor. The researcher faced a significant constraint in the form of a lack of literature on the subject due to the nature of the discourse, which resulted in higher financial costs and more time spent sourcing relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as in the data collection process, which is why the researcher chose a small sample size. In addition, the researcher will do this research while also working on other academic projects. Furthermore, the sample size was limited because only a few respondents were chosen to complete the research instrument, therefore it cannot be applied to other secondary schools outside of the state. Regardless of the limitations observed during the research,
Definition of terms
Community Development: Community development is a process in which agencies assist community people in identifying and acting collectively on issues that are important to them. Community development strengthens and connects communities by empowering community members.
Youth Involvement: Youth participation is defined as young people’s active engagement in their own communities. It is frequently used as a shorthand for youth involvement in a variety of activities, including decision-making, athletics, schools, and any activity in which young people have not before participated.
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K. Johnson (2012). In Guinea, the dimensions of community development projects. Africana Fep Publishers is a publishing house based in Africa.
I.S. Nzeneri (2008). Adult Education: Principles and Practices is a handbook on the principles and practices of adult education. Abigab Associates Limited, Uyo.
P.N. Shaw, P.N. Shaw, P.N. Shaw, P (2007). In community development projects, mobilization is an effective strategy. 3, 50-61 in Indian Journal of Community Development.