As part of its activities to mark the 2017 International Youth Day, Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative (HOFOWEM), a pet project of wife of the Lagos state governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, on Wednesday commenced a two-day entrepreneurial training programme, at its Oregun office for youths in Lagos State, aged from 15 to 34 years.
The programme, which thoroughly examined entrepreneurship education, trained more than 80 youths in skills such as baking technology, piggery; fish grass-cutter, mushroom, poultry, snail and vegetable farming, so as to channel the focus of the youths to skill acquisition for sustainable self-employment.
Speaking on this year’s International Youth Day, Founder of HOFOWEM, Mrs. Ambode, observed that concerted effort was needed to empower the teeming youths with relevant skills and put them in a position to generate steady income for themselves.
She said it had become necessary to explore viable ways of generating viable employment for the vibrant and job-hungry youths, aside strict office jobs.
“When you have a skill, it helps you to employ yourself and when you employ yourself, you enjoy the freedom and peace of mind to drive your own business. And if you are committed and hard-working enough, you will grow your business to such levels that you make more money than you can ever earn as salary from any employer. This is why we are laying this platform for our youths in Lagos State,” Mrs. Ambode said.
She urged the youths to put to good use all they had learnt and be prepared for a better tomorrow, saying it was achievable and doable.
According to her, “I am very passionate and optimistic about a better tomorrow. It is achievable. It is doable. I urge you to put to good use all you have learnt. Congratulations and see you at the top.”
Mrs. Ambode, who described the programme as a pilot one for the youths, promised that many such skill acquisition training would be organized in future for their benefit.
Addressing guests and beneficiaries at the programme, Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Ms. Oyefunke Adeleke, noted that since inception, HOFOWEM had undertaken many people-friendly programmes including widows’ empowerment, support for expectant mothers, kits for pupils in public primary schools, sponsored surgical procedures, support for sick youths and aged women, scholarship for brilliant but indigent students in public tertiary institutions, among others.
According to her, “In commemoration of this year’s International Youth Day which comes up on August 12 every year, Mrs. Ambode, out of her milk of kindness, approved this entrepreneurship training programme to empower youths with various skills that appeal to their passion from which they can be financially independent as entrepreneurs rather than waiting endlessly for a white-collar job.”
She noted that just as the mission of the NGO was to touch and transform the lives of less privileged persons for sustainable living; the youths must use the opportunity to transform their lives permanently for good.
Some youths who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, thanked Mrs. Ambode for her kindness and passion for improving the welfare of youths in the state, promising that they would not disappoint her but make the best use of the opportunity presented to them.
August 12 every year was set aside by the United Nations as International Youth Day, to examine the welfare of youths around the world and explore ways of improving it.