Twenty-five thousand internally displaced youths in Borno State are slated for skill acquisition programme of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and European Union.
The programme, which is a partnership between the Borno State’s Agency for Mass Education (SAME) and UNICEF, is supported by the European Union.
The programme, which is expected to train youths in batches over the next three years, is aimed at empowering indigent young people with vocations so they can return to school or support their children and community in the uptake of education services.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony of vocation centres in Maiduguri at the weekend, Education Manager of the UNICEF Borno Field Office, Dr. Nasser Kaddoura, said youths living in communities in Hawul, Gwoza, Mobbar, Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, Monguno and Jere Local Government Areas will be empowered with skills in painting, shoe making, interlocking, poultry farming, sewing and catering.
Kaddoura, who disclosed that over 1,000 Borno youths have enrolled in the first three-month cycle of the programme across five local government areas of the state, stated that opportunities to earn income would boost school enrolment and literacy rates among conflict-affected young people in the state.
He said: “This intervention is a part of the resilience component of an EU project to strengthen communities in Borno State to demand education. As UNICEF continues to support the state government in providing quality education to children in many communities, adolescents and young adults who go through the skill acquisition project will recognise the invaluable place of literacy even in commerce. They would become champions of education in their communities.”
Also speaking to poultry farming trainees at the event, the Executive Secretary of SAME, Alhaji Ali Mustapha, said: “When we say there is no money in circulation, we have skills in circulation. I want to advise you to follow up your customers with phone calls.