By Peter Egwuatu
Venture Garden Group, VGG has disclosed that through joint collaboration with its partners it will work with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) to lift 50 per cent unemployed youths out of poverty in the next five years.
It also noted that in collaboration with the Venture Garden Foundation (VGF) it will help to transform the nation’s economy by solving real socio-economic challenges and create jobs for unemployed youths
The Co-Founder, VGG, Kunmi Demuren, disclosed this to newsmen during the signing-on partnership with the Chess in Slums Africa (CISA) initiative in Lagos at the weekend.
Demuren said : “As a group that has extensive experience in serving both in public and private sectors, it is looking at lifting 50 per cent of unemployed youths out of poverty and set them up for success while adding that the VGG was created to solve everyday African challenges such as energy, healthcare, education, aviation, financial services and social services.”
“We know that the NESG is a private sector-led think-tank and policy advocacy group that means well for the sustainable development of Nigeria and this is why we are going to work with them to be able to come up with policies that we know can benefit the children, youths so as to ensure we improve the lives of communities and so we are going to become more proactive with the NESG”, Demuren stated.
“We are focusing now on Chess in Slum Initiative as the first initiative which involves “de-risk” children so that we can be able to give them a creative way to be confident in themselves and enable us to unlock their potentials and this initiative has touched 200 kids and our job is to take it to one million in the next 5 years. For us to achieve our goals, we have set aside a million dollars to be able to impact these kids” he said.
Also speaking at the event, the Founder, CISA Initiative, Tunde Onakoya, noted that the initiative is in need of a lot of funding, resources, help in an administrative capacity and called for public-private partnerships.
Onakoya said, “Being a Chess champion, I thought it wise to bring this back to the grassroots. There is more that needs to be done from a public-private perspective. We need a lot of funding, resources, and help in an administrative capacity because it is one thing to understand what impact will bring for impact is quiet but achievements are loud. So, visibility of this project is needed to give these kids a platform irrespective of the current situation in the country.
There are 16 million children that cannot afford to go to school and so what will happen to these kids in a few years to come? So there is a need for stakeholders to come together from an administrative point of view to change the narrative.
I am glad the group is looking to be more proactive in their partnership with the NESG”.
For her part, Senior Manager, Garden Social Ventures, Funmilayo Ikujenyo, noted that the group is all about linking input to impact and added that it is looking at a way to make the initiative bigger, socially acceptable and create room for more kids to participate in it.
She said, “For us to do this, there will be need for funds and so as we are working with the amount of kids we have now, we want to be able to trace where we are coming from and this is the kind of thing that attracts partners and sponsorships and investors.”