By: Ike Philip AbiagomIBUSA: Two weeks free Skills Acquisition Training Programme organized by Gloria Okonkwo Onyekachi Foundationin in Ibusa,Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State has ended with a record of over Two Hundred registered participates.The event held at the Ibusa Community town hall and was attended by a team of Facilitators from within and outside Delta State, notable Skills Acquisition Training experts, among others.
About 200 youths from Ibusa town in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State have graduated from various skills acquisition programme organised by Gloria Okonkwo Onyekachi Foundation (www.goofoundation.org) as a way of
transforming society and providing employment opportunities for the youths.
The skills acquisition programme, which cut across a wide range of vocational skills such as cake, Wig, soap making, and make-over, marked the successful completion of the second batch trainees.The programme marks the third edition of Gloria Okonkwo Onyekachi Foundation’s intervention as it is targeted at providing vocational skills to the teeming youths population in Ibusa.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Mrs Gloria Okonkwo Onyekachi, President/ founder,Gloria Okonkwo Onyekachi Foundation(GOOF) said the initiative was a demonstration of Gloria Okonkwo Onyekachi Foundation’s commitment toward
capacity-building and youth empowerment in Delta State.
Onyekachi said the programme was another level of her foundation’s intervention targeted at providing vocational skills to the teeming youths population in Ibusa. She said the programme was also aimed at making youths from Ibusa
employable.She said the 200 youths from Ibusa community in Delta State graduated from various skills acquisition programmes put together by Gloria Okonkwo Onyekachi Foundation as a way of transforming society and providing employment opportunities for the youths. According to her,Technical education and Skill Acquisition is a cardinal programme of Gloria Okonkwo Onyekachi Foundation because we believe that until we get our targeted 5,000 youths to acquire the requisite technical and vocational skills, we are not building a future for the youths.She urged the graduands to be more focused and diligent in whatever they do and serve as frontier to others.
“With the tools given to you today, you can be good ambassadors of this great community and our foundation. So many graduates outside are still searching for jobs, but yours is different because you have been trained.
“We are going to give you our maximum support to ensure you are self- employed in our operations, as our communities remains our priority. These skills given to you today, can take you to various places and attract better opportunity if
managed effectively,” she said.
Mrs Onyekachi advised the graduands to commit themselves to continuous learning and development as the business environment changes frequently, and promised to assist them to succeed.She expressed optimism that the Ibusa communities will experience a turnaround in their fortunes very soon.
Also at the event, Chief Charles Okonkwo, Chairman,Lifeguard Limited lauded the Gloria Okonkwo Onyekachi Foundation for
the initiative, and urged the newly graduated youths to be good ambassadors to the state and their community.
“We will ensure that all of you that graduated today, will be self employed tomorrow because we believe that what you learnt will be useful for the development of Ibusa. I urge you all to be good examples to others and always demonstrate better character and integrity in what you do,” Chief Okonkwo said.
Another speaker, High Chief Celestine Okafor, Ikwele of Ibusa said that the Gloria Okonkwo Onyekachi Foundation was desirous of reducing youths unemployment through youths empowerment and job creation stressing that “this is why the foundation have embarked on Skills Acquisition sensitization in our various quarters across the town in curbing criminality and creating entrepreneurs” adding “He will continue to support skills acquisition programme of this foundation to reduce unemployment.He applauded the founder for the sensitisation programme and reiterated the commitment of her foundation in the reduction of unemployment rate in the town, while urging the students to look beyond their certificate.
The General Co-ordinator of the program Mrs Mary Atuma-Egwuatu lauded Gloria Okonkwo Onyekachi Foundation for pioneering the skills vocational training for the youths in the Ibusa.
Mrs Egwuatu said the programme which started a week ago,had today recorded tremendous success among the 200 graduands. The programme has transformed the students to do better and also improved their standards of creativity on
the jobs learnt. He encouraged the youths to fully utilize the skills they acquired. He commended Gloria Okonkwo Onyekachi Foundation for its unwavering support to community development initiatives in the state and emphasized the need for the youth to work hard.
The Publisher of Grassroots Publishers Online and Newsbreeze Magazine, Comrade Ike Philip Abiagom who is a general consultant of the program noted that the World at the moment is no longer in the era of certificate but ‘Sabificate” and having a skills will showcase you to the world and also save you from financial slavery. He also noted that the objectives of the entrepreneurship awareness programme was to sensitize students on the need to acquire skills while in school, adding that it was also meant to grow a new generation of Entrepreneurs from among students even before graduation.
We are appealing to the foundation to continue this empowerment because the biggest economic challenge in Nigeria today is youth unemployment. Unfortunately, our current educational system has adverse effects on the mentality of the graduates that we produce; they have a job seeker’s mentality. It is my conviction that Skill Acquisition holds the key to solving our unemployment problem. Skill Acquisition offer highly technical, vocational and entrepreneurial education to enable graduate youths function as wealth creators and job creators, in addition to giving them employ ability skills. One of the students, Rapu Ijeoma Miracle said the programme was laudable, adding that it came at the right time.
According to her, most youths in the Ibusa do not have meaningful livelihood, while urging Gloria Okonkwo Onyekachi
Foundation to continue the good work.
Another student, Nora Okoafor said the programme had created opportunities for most of the youths. She added that this
could make them independent in the community.