Historical Background

Health Advocacy, Promotion and Partnership by Youths in Nigeria (HAPPYNigeria) is a national youth-led not-for-profit non-governmental organization. It started as HIV/AIDS Prevention Promotion Youth Club (HAPPY Club) founded in January 2006 by a group of University of Ibadan students. The objective was to mobilize students to lead the advocacy and play more active roles in HIV/AIDS prevention and other health-related activities on campus.  With a strong recommendation from Professor Wuraola Shokunbi who was the Principal Investigator of the Center for HIV/AIDS Initiative, Nigeria (CEHAIN), HIV/AIDS Prevention Promotion Youth (HAPPY) Club was formally registered in September 2006 as an on-campus student organization to actualize the objectives.  

Under the leadership of the founder, Dr Laz Ude Eze, HAPPY Club was able to convince other students to buy into the initiative when it organized the Student Leaders’ Summit on HIV/AIDS in November 2006. Consequently, student organizations across campus started including health programs as part of her activities while HAPPY Club provides resource persons and technical support. With the support and cooperation of other student groups, HAPPY Club organized Public Lecture in October 2007 under the Chairmanship of her patron, Professor Oladapo Ladipo. The Guest Speaker was the Managing Director of Society for Family Health, Mr Bright Ekweremadu.

Impressed by the achievements of the club, the President was made a permanent member of the University of Ibadan Steering Committee on HIV/AIDS prevention. The membership base of the club grew from 15 in 2006 to 74 by January 2008. In 2009, HAPPY Club was established in Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki. The clubs have continued to carry out various health promotion activities in partnership with other organizations in their respective locations.

In order to replicate the HAPPY Club success story on a national level, HAPPYNigeria applied for registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission. The non-approval of the original name led to the choice of The Godwin-Udeze-Ibrahim Health Development Initiative (also referred to as The GUIHDE Initiative or TGI) which was eventually registered in 2010. However, the trustees and management feel it’s better to continue activities with ‘HAPPYNigeria’ name since it has become a popular brand for youth-led health advocacy in Nigeria.

Our vision has been embraced by hundreds of proactive and innovative young Nigerians. Although HAPPYNigeria is youth-led, our programmes and activities are for the benefit all Nigerians across all age groups.