From Gyang Bere, Jos

The Executive Director, Centre for Community Action for Peace and Development (CCAPAD), Ahmed Salihu, has impacted 60 vulnerable persons with requisite skills from four communities in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.

Salihu disclosed this on Saturday during the graduation of 60 young men and women who were trained and provided with starter packs in different skills to become economically self-reliant.

He explained that the programme which was carried out in collaboration with other organisations, funded by the European Union, British Council and Agent for citizens-driven transformation, aimed at strengthening the culture of peace and resilience among children and youths in Jos, Plateau State.

“This programme is an idea of the European Union Project and the British Council who came around and conducted a capacity assessment of organisations after the categorisation of the results, they came up with their training lead,” he said.

“We came together as organisations and we were able to come up with areas of needs in four communities of Bauchi road, Naraguta, Angwan Jarawa and Angwan Rukuba communities in Jos.”

He noted that “Plateau has undergone violence conflicts and the people are living with the post-conflict consequences. We have youths who are out of school, we have youths who are into drugs, we have women that are into prostitution just to survive, and we have women who are competing with men in terms of criminality which is unfortunate.

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“We decided that we need to intervene in their cases and we asked what they need so that we can de-escalate them from violence by giving them skills in the areas of their choice. We subjected them to a series of training, monitoring and evaluation; and today they are graduating with starter packs with the aim of making them financially self-reliant so that nobody will induce them with money to do anything negatively.”

He noted that thorough research was carried out and the team arrived at providing the victims’ skills in hairdressing, shoe and bag making, home production, perishable fruits business, and decoration, among others.

A 28-year-old woman, Faiza Jar’afa, who is blind was among the beneficiaries of the good gesture. She expressed gratitude to God for being part of the training, saying she will be committed in her area of specialisation to make ends meet.

She expressed joy that the starter pack was presented to her with a grant to enable her to set up her business to become self-reliant.

Similarly, Umar Idris, a cripple and father of one expressed joy for being part of the training.

Umar, who specialised in shoe making received a starter pack and a grant of N40,000 to boost his business.

The participants were excited about the skills acquisition programme and the starter packs presented to them.