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ICEA Lion empowering teens with social skills for a bright future

ICEA LION has embarked on a tree-planting initiative at Kitante Hill School as part of the “Go Green” campaign involving youth

SPECIAL FEATURE  | THE INDEPENDENT | All around us, teenagers are glued to their smartphones, all day long! Social media has changed how teens connect, offering both opportunities and challenges. While it helps them stay in touch with friends and family and allows for self-expression, it also brings risks such as cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate content, and potential addiction, all of which can impact their mental health and well-being.

Teenagers have not developed the mental stability to handle what they may encounter on social media.

“That’s why ICEA LION Uganda believes it’s vital to teach teenagers essential skills, especially during Women’s Month,” an official said recently.

Led by Kakande Komugisha Deborah, the head of human resources, and  Daniel Kairu, the head of Business Development and Marketing, ICEA LION Uganda shared tips with both boys and girls in a workshop held March 11 at Kitante Hill School, Kololo, on navigating social media responsibly. They stressed the importance of avoiding sharing sensitive content online, which could harm their future.

One of the central themes of the workshop was the notion of peer pressure and its impact on adolescent decision-making. Adolescence is a period marked by heightened susceptibility to peer influence, making it imperative for teenagers to develop strategies for resisting negative peer pressure. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center based in Washington, D.C., United States, it was found that around 55% of teenagers experience pressure to conform to their peers’ behavior on social media

Deborah highlighted the dangers of social media on teens’ self-esteem and identity. Filtered photos on social platforms set unrealistic standards, exacerbating insecurities during this developmental phase.

In addition to self-respect, positive thinking, confidence, and personal value, the sessions also delved into crucial life skills essential for navigating the challenges of adolescence and beyond. Among these were effective communication skills, including active listening and assertiveness, which empower teens to express themselves confidently and advocate for their needs in various social contexts.

In addition to these sessions, ICEA LION embarked on a tree-planting initiative at the school as part of the “Go Green” campaign. The initiative was launched last year, partnering with more than 10 schools where we aim to plant hundreds of thousands of trees over a period of two years in a number of schools across Uganda. At Kitante Hill School, over 200 trees were planted, serving as a tangible commitment to environmental sustainability. This endeavor reflects ICEA LION’s dedication to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices, aligning with their overarching mission to protect and create wealth while fostering a healthier planet for future generations.

The ICEA LION team that enganged the youth early this month

Elizabeth Onen, the Kitante Hill School Headteacher, expressed gratitude to ICEA LION for choosing to keep their environment green. She emphasized the importance of student involvement in caring for the environment, suggesting that the learners will take due diligence and oversee the trees’ growth during their remaining years at the school. Ms. Elizabeth praised ICEA LION for its commitment to community and environmental well-being, stating that such initiatives are essential for creating a sustainable future.

She reiterated that ICEA LION’s initiatives to empower teenagers with essential social skills and promote environmental sustainability represent a concerted effort to foster holistic development among today’s youth by laying the groundwork for lifelong success and meaningful contribution to society.

“Through collaborative efforts between corporations, educational institutions, and community stakeholders, we can work together to empower the next generation and create a brighter, more sustainable future for all,” Deborah stated.

“At ICEA LION Uganda we believe in investing in the future of our youth and safeguarding the environment for generations to come, striving for a world where prosperity is shared, and sustainability is prioritized.”

 

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