NGO Partners Oxfam, Others On Youths Employment

EDULEAD Development Initiative, a human capacity based Non-Governmental Organisation(NGO), has commenced training of youths, to enable them turn dirt to wealth.

Mr Chinedu Opara, Executive Director, EDULEAD Initiative, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the training programme on Saturday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the title of the training programme is: “Skills and Idea Clinic in the Green Economy.

He said that the world had greatly moved from the era of white-collar jobs to skilled jobs like recycling, production of irrigation gadgets, and solar panels among others.

He said that as part of efforts to contribute its quota to enable youths acquire self-sufficient skills, EDULEAD used the celebration of International World Youth Skills Day, celebrated on July 16, to launch the programme.

He said the organisation was working in collaboration with Oxfam, ActionAid, Bank of Industry (BOI), Department of Mass Education (DME) and other stakeholders to implement the project.

“We are marking the International World Youth Skills Day, as declared by the United Nations that young people should be celebrated, and more advocacies should be championed to get more people to learn skills.

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“This is because it is the sure path to getting young people to acquire skills in order to be resilient to unemployment and gain meaningful employment.

“Our organisation is committed to promoting education, agriculture and environmental sustainability.

“As such we felt young people should build resilience in these sectors and by way of doing that we have launched our skills clinic, to help young people harvest skills that are within the green economy and see how they can help themselves,” he said.

Opara noted that the training would be in different phases, adding that they were already training the first batch of young people, who were selected to participate in the programme.

“We are hoping that after the training, they will be linked to places where they can access fund to practice what they have learnt and earn livelihood through those skills.

“We are happy that we have a lot of partners joining us, to show interest in what we are doing, and we are hopeful that at the end of the first phase of this project, the outcome will encourage more people to be part of what we are doing.

“For each phase we will train 20 people from within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) per quarter for a period of one year.

“After that we will hopefully replicate the project to other parts of the country, particularly places where youths can take advantage of environmental issues, “he said.

He stressed that young people could take advantage of opportunities in the various sectors to make a livelihood.

He said further that they could produce irrigation gadgets, environmentally friendly gadgets like solar panels, and recycling, among others.

In a separate interview, Chinonso Onwunali, a representative of Oxfam, said building skills and capacity of young people was particularly important to national development.

While expressing Oxfam’s readiness to work with EDULEAD, she said Oxfam was currently working on a project called “Work in Progress”, a youth employment and entrepreneurial project.

According to her, the project sought to empower young people with the right skills, capacity, and support to build themselves economically.

Mr Adewale Adeduntan, Manager, Social Mobilisation, ActionAid Nigeria, lauded EDULEAD’s effort at coming up with the initiative.

He said that such an initiative was timely in view of the problem of unemployment, underemployment, insecurity, food insecurity and other challenges in the country.

“We should have what is called green economy, where we reduce harm to the ecosystem by getting young people to put money in their pocket, by engaging in activities that are beneficial to all.

“We can make them turn waste to wealth. It is unfortunate that we do not realise the number of untapped resources around us because we believe it is dirt.

“The orientation with the young people is acquiring white collar jobs, forgetting that, that era has gone, and the jobs are no longer there.

“We have a lot of people now collecting plastic bottles, recycling them and making them into blocks that they can use for interlocking, while others are into marketing of solar panels.

NAN reports that EDULEAD Development Initiative is an NGO that promotes quality education, sustainable agriculture, good governance, and a healthy environment.(NAN)

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