A local Non-Governmental Organization in Bauchi State, Community Initiative for the Promotion of Health and Education Sectors, (CIPRHES), has empowered about 540 Adolescent Girls and Youths across 12 communities in Gamawa Local Government Area of Bauchi state. The NGO in a statement made available to journalists in the state says the youths were engaged in different hands-on training on different skills acquisitions, aimed at reducing unemployment, over dependence on their parents and encourage school enrolments.
The organization with the support of Northern Education Initiative Plus through USAID has also established 40 Non-formal Centres in the Local Government to provide Access to Education for Out of School and vulnerable Children.
CIPRHES has also enrolled 1,800 Out of School and vulnerable Children Across the 40 Centres; engaged 40 Facilitators to train the learners on basic literacy, numeracy and life skills, as well as 22 Master craftsmen and women to enable the youths and girls acquire hands-on-training on different marketable skills in their communities.
The Executive Director of the Organization, Ibrahim Ladan Wunti said the essence of the livelihood training was to cushion the effect of poverty, which according to him was the major reason why parents are reluctant in sending their kids to acquire western education. “If you look at the composition of Northern Nigeria, the biggest culprit that has torpedoed knowledge for many years remains poverty; so we are determined to teach and engage youths on different livelihood skills to enable them fend for themselves” said Ladan Wunti.
The Director added that “our major concern are adolescent girls; they are the most vulnerable and neglected in all spheres of development. So, through robust and active community engagement, our Organization will reinvigorate communities where we work to fashion out sustainable ways to educating the girl child”.
Some of the skills offered include tailoring, knitting, carpentry, wielding, detergents and pomade production among others.
The Organization also established Community Based Management Committees CBMCs, comprising of 10 members in each of the centres, Women Groups and Community Coalition to support the learning facilitators in mobilising the communities to enrol their children at the centres.
Ibrahim Ladan Wunti says each of the community structures is supported with monthly stipends to enable them carry out their assignments.
In addition, the NGO has encouraged the host communities to mobilize resources and support girls whose parents cannot afford to send their children to school.
Some of the girls were quoted as saying “We really appreciate the effort of CIPRHES in ensuring that we have some skills to fall back to. We look forward to seeing many of such interventions; for it will help us move forward with our education”, says Aisha Ibrahim from Udubo community.
Some of the parents who thanked the NGO also called on their elected representatives to contribute their quota in addressing some of the daunting challenges affecting the communities.