Lifeline for Chibok Girls

To ameliorate the suffering of some rescued Chibok girls, the Chibok Ladies Vocational Tailoring Program was instituted. So far, two batches of 24 trainees have graduated from the programme, Chiamaka Ozulumba reports

The Chibok Ladies Vocational Tailoring Program (CLVTP) has been instituted to ameliorate the suffering of some rescued Chibok girls. It is a platform designed by Dr. Adrian Ogun to give skill acquisition in tailoring to some of the girls. 

The project is being supervised by Yakubu Nkeki, the Chairman of the Abducted Chibok Girls Parents Association.

So far, two batches of 24 trainees have graduated from the programme. Four facilitators were engaged for the training in their different workshops within the Chibok community, Borno State.

On Saturday, June 11,2022, Nkeki led five of the graduate trainees and one of the facilitators, Mrs. Rahilla James, alongside sewing machines and samples of clothes sewn, to Abuja on the invitation of Dr. Ogun.

They were all full of praises to the chartered accountant from the London School of Economics and Abuja real estate developer for giving them joy and hope. According to Nkeki, efforts at rehabilitating the girls by the federal government failed because of certain factors which include nonchalant handling of the affairs by ministry officials.   

According to him: “the federal government sent some of the girls to American University Yola but due to individual differences, some of the girls refused to stay in school, some preferred to get married, some preferred hand work.

“And for the purpose of those that preferred hand work, I contacted the Minister for Women Affairs to whom the President handed me over to facilitate training for these girls but the effort proved abortive.

“So, these girls were sitting idly at home until Dr. Ogun came and said he wants the girls to be involved in skill acquisition so that they will have something doing after their marriage and that is what we are doing now”.

He said 24 of the girls some of whom are now married have undergone the six months training and have been well-equipped to stand on their own.

One of the beneficiaries, Mary Dauda, thanked Dr. Ogun for the impact he has made on the lives of all of them. On her experience during the training, she said, “we really enjoyed the training which lasted six months.”

She was full of appreciation to the family that trained them. She said she and her colleagues are now professional tailors, adding that they have been sowing different styles on commercial basis for people in Chibok and making good living to cater for themselves and their junior ones.

Responding, Dr. Ogun said he just did what he did on behalf of his church, the Saint Mark Church, United Kingdom.

He said he was encouraged by his wife to give means of livelihood to the girls who seemed to have been rejected and neglected by the society because of the humiliation they experienced in the hands of their abductors.

Dr. Ogun said rehabilitating them by giving them source of livelihood and income is the best that could have happened to them in the situation they found themselves.

He promised to see to the challenges of inadequacy of equipment being experienced by the facilitators to hasten the training program and to be able to accommodate more beneficiaries.

Recall that 276 female students of the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok , Borno State were abducted from school by kidnappers believed to be of the Boko Haram Islamic sect in April, 2014.

 A lot of kind hearted organisations, human right campaigners and civic society organisations mounted different campaigns targeted at getting the girls out of captivity.

After several national and international efforts, many of the abducted girls were rescued though in batches while till date, others could not be found.

The federal government, faith-based organisations and even individuals made promises to assist in giving life back to the girls by rehabilitating them and integrating them into the society and give them means of livelihood to avoid being stigmatised.

Pix caption

L-R: Mr.  Yakubu Nkeki, Chairman Abducted Chibok Girls Parents; Mrs Rahilla James, trainer; Mary Dauda, beneficiary;  and Dr & Mrs Adrian Ogun sponsors of the programme during a reception and certificate presentation in Abuja to two batches of 24 trainees in Abuja ….. recently   

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