By Josephine Agbonkhese
IN cognisance of their indispensable role in nation building, a group of women under the auspices of International Inner Wheel District 911 Nigeria, have risen up against Nigeria’s worsening unemployment crisis. The group, which embarked on a five-week vocational training exercise in Lagos, recently graduated 44 youths at a colourful ceremony characterised by an ostentatious display of income generating skills ranging from catering and events management, decoration and events management, makeup and makeover, bead making, Ankara craft and website designing.
“Permit me to say that today’s graduates took their respective programmes seriously, displaying high level of discipline and interests which, no doubt, have equipped them to face the future squarely and push towards financial independence,” Chairman, Inner Wheel District 911 Nigeria, Mrs Olayinka Ayanwale, said while giving reasons for the proud display.
The highpoint of the ceremony was the distribution of start-up materials such gas cookers, professional makeup boxes, laptops, shoe-making tools, bead-making materials and tools for Ankara craft.
Speaking to Lipstick, a beneficiary simply identified as Jamiu, who acquired skills in website designing, said he always had his eyes on acquiring the skill but did not get the opportunity until Inner Wheel made it happen.
The 300 level Crawford University undergraduate said: “My goal is to set up a job search website devoid of fraudulent advertisers, where young people can reliably go to, in search of jobs.”
Though originally intended for women and girls’ empowerment, the training had been meant to accommodate a few ambitious males like Jamiu.
Another beneficiary, Risikat Solomon, an Accountant with a Masters degree holder in Management from the University of Salford, Manchester, who said she understood the importance of skill acquisition, irrespective of academic qualification, spoke cheerfully of her newly acquired skill, makeup/makeover.
“I feel very happy with myself for acquiring this skill. I have just finished my Masters and have not got a job yet. With this, I believe I can start generating income for myself,” Risikat said.
Mrs Zainab Ikheloa, Chairman of the vocational training exercise which was facilitated by Lagos-based Zeekay Vocational Training Centre, reaffirmed that the beneficiaries trained under strict learning environment and had individually displayed discipline and passion, characteristics she said were very reassuring for Inner Wheel.
Earlier in her address, Mrs Olayinka Ayanwale expressed gratitude to donors who made the project achievable.
But like Oliver Twist, she asked for more, saying, “I want to encourage others to assist us in our goal this 2015/2016 Inner Wheel year, which again, is to train women and girls in our society with a view to empowering them.”
The event was attended by the Vice President, International Inner Wheel, Mrs Oluyemisi Alatise; National Representative, Mrs Vivian Alade, and past District Chairpersons as well as members of Inner Wheel.