Rose of Sharon Foundation equips youths with skills for self-reliance
Determined to ensure that the next generation of Nigerian youths are empowered with knowledge and life-changing skills they need for self-reliance, the Rose of Sharon Foundation recently trained over 100 young men and women through its Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP) to become useful to themselves, their families and the nation.
The Youth Empowerment Programme is the Foundation’s career development and capacity building platform for graduates and undergraduates, job seekers, working class and self-employed youths.
Speaking at the event which held at RoSGMI Hall Surulere, Lagos, Founder of ROSF, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, observed that empowering the next generation of Nigerians is critical to the development and wellbeing of the nation.
She said: “If we don’t ensure the next generation are empowered with skills, then what is going to happen to the economy? What is going to happen to the society? We need to build up skills because not everybody is going to work in an office, a farm or an hospital.”
Noting that there are different types of skills and the world is made up of different people, Alakija emphasized the need to make sure people are empowered in one way or the other to ensure a better society.
She asked: “If you don’t acquire skills, how are you going to make sure that you are useful to yourself and the society? When you train, and retrain, you are getting better at something and the better you get, the more you will be able to generate income for yourself.”
Alakija warned that if Nigerians sit at home and do nothing they are not improving themselves and the quality of their lives would be low.“It is whatever seed you sow that you will reap. If you don’t improve your life by learning and applying what you learned and the experiences you have gathered along the way, then you are going to remain a novice.”
Stating that the NGO is partnering with the Lagos State Empowerment Fund to equip beneficiaries, she, however, remarked that the foundation is looking for other well-meaning organizations to partner them and help in areas where they do not have capacity to empower their beneficiaries.
She urged Nigerians to take action, be more practical and sensitive to the needs of others noting that the major need of widows in the country is sending their children to school. She said they provide scholarship in this area to the widows.
The businesswoman noted that her foundation is also empowering widows with funding to learn skills or even return to school to be able to take care of their children.
She said the foundation is giving widows interest-free loans which after repayment enable them to come back for bigger loan to grow their businesses.
Speaking on the YEP, Executive Assitant to the founder, Mrs. Shade Paul-Rotua, said the essence of the training was to add more to what the foundation is already giving their beneficiaries.
She said: “Yes we sponsor them in school, yes some of them are graduates, but there are some that have graduated and are yet to get jobs. Some have gotten jobs and are looking for how to change jobs. So the foundation looked at the situation and wanted to support these beneficiaries.”
Paul-Rotua explained that they are providing empowerment programme for them either in their chosen fields, career or business, adding that the training was the first YEP edition and the foundation was hoping to have it on a biannual basis to equip more people with the right sets of skills and knowledge.
According to her, they are looking for seasoned professionals who can train the beneficiaries on how they can improve their career and work in corporate environments. She, however, noted that the facilitators at the event are a set of people who are passionate about the youth and willingly trained the participants for free.
“We hope to build up those who can move from one career to the other. For the ones that are still grappling with what to do, which career they want to pursue, we are looking for ways in which they can be firmly grounded on the career path that they want to take.