The youth, JDPC and Its partners
By Bridget Ikyado
The Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) of the Archdiocese of Abuja, has begun a skills training programme for 300 youths to make them self reliant and contribute to societal development.
Mr Josephat Abaagu, the Vice Chairman of the commission inaugurated the Youth Entrepreneurship Development and Empowerment Scheme (YEDAS) on Tuesday in Abuja, on behalf of the Chairman, Damian Dodo, SAN.
The empowerment scheme was in partnership with the Catholic Relief Services.
He said that Nigeria must invest in the youths in order to ensure a better and prosperous future.
A nation which leaves a vast majority of its youth uneducated and unskilled, risks a certain future of poverty, insecurity and high possibility of an ultimately failed state, he said.
Abaagu said that the skills training was initiated based on the realization that nation building is not the exclusive business of government, but a collective effort.
He appreciated His Grace, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Abuja Archdiocese, Rev. lgnatius Kaigama for revamping the JDPC, which is the social arm of the church.
Abaagu said the JDPC in the last two years, has provided potable drinking water in several communities through partnership with different organizations.
We have ongoing revolving loans and micro credits to youths and women in all the parishes, chaplaincies and pastoral areas in the Archdiocese.
In collaboration with INEC, we have sponsored the registration of many hitherto unregistered voters and also trained several for election monitoring duties.
We have provided assistance to IDP camps, relief materials to victims of demolition exercises and fire disaster victims.
We have also provided wheelchair to physically challenged persons and motorcycles to remote pastoral areas for evangelism, the vice chairman said.
He added that the commission has been working to fight human trafficking with support from the United States Agency for International Developments Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement.
He commended the Archbishop for ensuring that the commission realised its vision of a mega multipurpose youth center, to provide skills acquisition in different areas.
The vice chairman said the centre would impart leadership skills, mentorship and to also serve as venue for youth recreation, sports and other programmes.
This will no doubt be a game changer for the youth of the FCT, he added.
Abaagu said that at the end of the training, successful participants would be empowered by the commission
The vice chairman appreciated the Catholic Relief Services for partnering with JDPC to provide relief to just a few of the very large army of the unemployed, unskilled, uneducated, marginalized and often exploited youth of the FCT.
He said that this would make them self employed, employabie and even employers of labour in no distant future.
More than anything else, after training, they wiIl regain their self respect and the dignity God bestowed on all humans at creation.
He enjoined the youth to take the training seriously in order to win the empowerment packages earmarked for successful trainees.
In a project overview, Mr Timothy Ejeh, Programmes Director, JDPC, said the commission had since its creation in 1994, remained committed to delivering on its mandate.
He said the scheme is a two year pilot project to strengthen the skills set and financial security of vulnerable youth in the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, for enhanced livelihood.
Ejeh added that apart from providing them with access to newer and innovative alternative sources of livelihood, it would build and expand youth skills set.
Thereby making them employable, improve market access, consumption demand and supply chain linkages for vulnerable youth in the FCT.
To provide mentorship and proper career direction for over 80% of youth who pass through the scheme called YEDES.
To minimize crime among and by youths by 55% through profitable engagement, and provide access to finance through savings, grants, credit, venture capital and equity.
Some of the skills to be taught include Digital Photography and Video Editing, Website/App development, Catering and Event Planning.
Others include, Fashion Design, Poultry and Fish Farming, Graphic Design, Interior decoration, Shoe/bag Making, among others.
In his good will message, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, represented by Gabriel Ojelade, Deputy Director, Employment, in the ministry, said the Federal Government had established 27 Skills Upgrading and Vocational Training Centres nationwide.
These centres are fully equipped to train youth in over 60 specific skills and trades.
He commended the church for the initiative to empower youth with life long skills to contribute to national development.
In his remarks, the Archbishop who commissioned the scheme commended the JDCP and their partners and urged government and the private sector not to relent in assisting the youth.
He enjoined the participants to be focused and take the training seriously, so as to prosper.
Light the candle, rather than cause the darkness. All we expect right for the nation will happen by the Grace of God, if not now, then later, Kaigama prayed.
Dane Fredenburg, Deputy Country Representative, Catholic Relief Services said, for any nation to prosper, the youth, security, health and education must be taken seriously, which Nigeria is doing.
Also, Emrah Ilgen, President UFUK Dialogue Foundation said the youths were the greatest potentials of any nations and should be focused on.
He commended Nigeria for its effort to curb insecurity by empowering the youths. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Maharazu Ahmed
Source: NAN News