To curb youths unemployment which has served as fuel in fomenting trouble in Plateau State, Italian-based non-governmental organisation, NGO, Apurimac Onlus has engaged over 10,000 youths and women in various skills to make them self-employed as well as employers of labour.
In its training centres which cut across five local government areas of Mikang, Jos North, Jos South, Riyom and Barkin Ladi in Plateau State, the organisation offers training in knitting, hairdressing, catering, shoe making and Information and Communication Technology, ICT.
To ensure that funds are available for Apurimac Onlus to implement its projects, the European Union through its Instrument for Stability, IFS in July, 2013 intervened to strengthen and consolidate on all peaceful structures in the State, using peaceful dialogue processes, training on peace education and enhancement of journalists’ capacity on peaceful reporting.
Giving an overview of IFS projects, Project Manager, Leonello Fani explained that IFS project has four components which include education, reconciliation, economic and social integration as well as media capacity development.
Fani stated that besides training the over 10,000 women and youths by Apurimac Onlus since 2008, IFS in its “education project has trained 190 school principals, 190 teachers, 130 parents, 240 students, 40 SUG officials in institutions in the State, among others”.
He stressed that the trainings were on “peace education, conflict management and inter-faith dialogue and the trainings have helped in the formation of peace clubs in the various schools and the production of peace club manuals and peace curriculum to be used in schools in the State”.
The Project Manager added that “the reconciliation component has achieved the establishment of a Trauma Healing Center at Katako, the Victim Support Scheme, Community Resilience where communities are trained on resilience skills to enable them manage and overcome conflict and trauma.
”The Economic and Social Integration project has renovated and equipped Apurimac vocational centres, built a new one in Mikang local government area and trained 30 women in financial literacy, entrepreneurial and vocational skills where 20 of them with approved business plans shall be given financial grant to start business”.
In the media component, Fani said: “We have trained 38 media practitioners operating in Plateau State on conflict sensitivity reporting, organised media forum on constructive reportage and organised football tournament where over 600 youths benefited”.
He stated that from “June to August, 2014, other activities yet to be implemented will be done to strengthen and consolidate on the achievements so far achieved”.
Earlier, the Country Representative of Apurimac Onlus, Godwin Okoko stated that his organisation is working to ensure that peace education is taught as a subject in schools so that children at tender ages are exposed to the need for peaceful coexistence in the community.
Okoko said: “The success we have recorded since the commencement of these projects are enormous and commendable. So far, Apurimac Onlus has trained 10,833 women and youths in these empowerment skills and there are indicators that there have been positive impacts.