SOS Children’s Villages Advocates More Training, Employment Opportunities For Youths

By Nana Musa-Umar

An NGO, SOS Children’s Villages, has called for more training and employment opportunities for Nigeria’s youthful population.

Mr Mark Nwakaudu, Programme Development Manager of the organisation made the call during its ‘National Close-out event in Abuja’.

The event was organised by The Next Economy (TNE), and implemented by SOS Children’s Villages, supported by Fate Foundation, BIA, Wennovation, Poise Nigeria, Elevation Craft and KRP Foundations.

“TNE programme is basically an employment and entrepreneurship training for young people. It is basically a project that is supported by Ministry of foreign affairs.

“SOS children’s villages sustainability measures are to mainstream the TNE cure into the training programmes of the government and other youth based institutions.

“The programme needs collaboration with government agencies and higher institutions,” Nwakaudu said.

He said that TNE was a business incubation and crowdfunding for start-ups.

“There is a need to shift emphasis from digital skills to other vocational skills like artisanship with focus on professionalising these vocational skills, mainstreaming TNE curriculum into universities and vocational skill centres,” he said.

Nwakaudu said that the need for mind-shift and orientation of the youths from white-collar jobs to vocational skills and agricultural value chain was also important.

The Senior Programme Manager, Head Startup and Youth Enterprise of the Fate Foundation, Mr Aghogbo Akporido, said they had trained over 667 persons in Lagos State since 2020.

“The major challenge faced is Covid-19 and its attendant to social economic and physical limitations, lack of start-up funds for the young entrepreneurs, inflationary trends and economic downturn in the country.

“Proximity was also a challenge we faced while running this programme.

”The orientation of the youths towards low paying internships and jobs. Inconsistent attendance for the virtual session during the core life skills.

“During the Covid-19 period we introduced zoom meetings so that the programme can still be held, now Covid-19 is gone but the zoom meeting programme is still being held.

“It is no longer a challenge but an easy access for holding meetings across the world,” Akporido said.

Mrs Kaneng Rwang-Pam, founder of KRP Foundation for Education and Migrant Awareness (KRP FEMA), said they had worked with over 1000 youths, training over 500 in Plateau and organising jobs.

“We have trained young people in employability who from the training programme itself transform to job creators immediately.

“Some have been able to secure jobs while others have gotten internships in various organisations from state to no state institutions that private sectors.

“We have learnt and we are hoping that government and other stakeholders within the country will be able to work with us and other partners so that we will deliver to more Nigerian youths.

“We will give the youths a sense of hope, prevent illegal migration, human trafficking, add value to our economy and increase our gross domestic product,” she said.

A participant at the event, Miss Belinda Ibiere, said that she learnt a lot from the programme.

She said, “When I started this programme I was an entrepreneur with only business idea.

“This programme has helped me with how to go about business knowledge, networking, among other things.

“My advice to entrepreneurs is not to give up on your dreams no matter how small it is, it can be developed. Try and look for opportunities like this and enroll.”

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