Embrace skill Acquisition, Ebonyi First Lady tells indigent youths

Judith Eze

The First Lady of Ebonyi State, Mrs. Mary-Maudline Uzoamaka Ogbonna Nwifuru has reiterated the call for youths in the state to embrace skill acquisition programmes in order to be self-reliant.

According to her, youths should learn a skill and not depend on handouts as this will add value to them and others around.

The governor’s wife who was represented by the commissioner for women affairs, Mrs Felicia Nwakpuma, made the call during the graduation ceremony and empowerment of 50 catholic youths who have acquired various skills through the Empowering Youths For Economic Self-Reliance (EYES) Project.

At the ceremony which was held at Pastoral Center, Mile 50, Abakaliki, Chief Mrs Nwifuru encouraged the benefitiaries to practice what they have learned and equally advised them to transmit the same skills to others for the good of the society.

She lauded the efforts of the Funders, Missio Stiftung foundation based in Austria and the project team who worked tirelessly to ensure that the project was successful in the state.

“If you do not utilize the opportunity given to you, you will turn yourself to a begger.” she maintained

While presenting the start-up empowerment equipments worth millions of naira to the graduands, the Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese, Most Rev. Peter Nworie Chukwu, charged them to keep practicing the skill what they have acquired in other to avoid redundancy

The Bishop who was represented by the Chaplin of St. Luke’s Chaplaincy, Presco, Rev. father Joseph Orji, Chukwu commended the graduates for completing their training programmes in their various chosen careers.

He said the project was aimed at training 50 indigent youths drawn from the 21 deaneries of the diocese in different skills acquisition and is funded by the Missio Foundation, Austria.

He urged the beneficiaries to complement the efforts of the Church by putting into good use, the equipment given to them to start their new trades and add economic value to their lives.

He further commended Dr Nkechi Emma-Echiegu, the EYES Project director in Ebonyi for her steadfastness and commitment to ensuring the success of the programme in the state.

In her remark, the Project Director, Dr (Mrs) Nkechi Emma Echiegu noted that the EYES project being funded by Missio Foundation was aimed at empowering youths in market-informed demand-driven entrepreneurship.

She said that the selection of trainees followed a seamless process adding that the beneficiaries were trained by qualified and certified vendors.

“The beneficiaries were trained on photography, make-up artistry, alumaco fittings and bead making tailoring; GSM repairs, computer repairs and installation, computer designs and graphics, shoe making and leather works.

“We were mandated to train 50 young catholics and today, we are graduating 40. 10 persons graduated in June making it a total of 50 indigents youths drawn from the 21 deaneries of the diocese.

” The items being distributed are given out as loans which must be paid back by the beneficiaries in line with an agreement with our partnering bank,” she said

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