A not-for-profit organisation, Diamond Development Initiatives (DDI) is currently facilitating the provision of globally competitive and sought-after skills to 15,000 youth in Lagos State to enable them actualise their dreams and contribute to the development of the country.
The Executive Director, DDI, Mr. Adamu Garba, in a press release, noted that the project is a collaboration between the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).
Tagged, ‘USADF-LSETF Employability Program’, Garba said it aims to provide industry and trade-relevant skills to 15,000 youths in Lagos over the next five years – equipping them to take advantage of employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
The ED made this statement ahead of the occasion of the commemoration of the 2020 edition of International Youth Day, marked annually on August 12, by the United Nations and its sister organisations.
He expressed, “For us at DDI, every day is the Day of Youth. This year’s theme is ‘Youth Engagement for Global Action’ and as a non-for-profit that is paying attention to, and contributing its quota towards the attainment of the 2030 agenda of a global commitment to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development by 2030.”
Garba, who is a development expert, said that they were concerned by the urgent need of having economically empowered youths who are not afraid of their voices to be heard; who are not intimidated to be engaged for positive global actions.
According to the ED, as an organisation that complements the role of development agencies, donors and other funding organisations by providing technical assistance in the design, planning and implementation of various development initiatives, DDI is currently facilitating the engagement of Training Centres to provide in-demand skills to over 210 youths in the state.
“Though the programme was not designed for a pandemic era, we are fully complying with physical distancing guidelines, hence piloting digital classrooms for the first cohort of the exercise, to ensure that target beneficiaries are not denied of the intended project gains,” Garba hinted.
He further remarked that for the pilot edition, 33 trainers were currently being supported to provide “industry-relevant and in-demand technology-oriented skills” like Cyber Security, Virtualisation, 2D/3D Design, Cloud Computing, Software Engineering, and Interior Design among others to the 210 young trainees comprising 45 per cent females and 55 per cent males.
He added that about 50 per cent of all beneficiaries of the programme would be placed in paid employment or internship – in collaboration with industry players.
Garba, who has led the NGO since its inception in 2002, expressed gratitude to, and confidence in this collaborative response to the need to promote small enterprise development in underserved communities, drive community benefits through social enterprises, and establish sustainable development models, especially as they relate to young people.
He described it as “a welcome development,” especially as participants would be equipped not only to be resilient in a pandemic but to also bounce back better – post-COVID-19.
According to the UN, August 12 was endorsed in 1999 as the International Day of Youth – a day that “gives an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement.”