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Rotary Club empowers 70 IDPs

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Some beneficiaries at the training event.

As in its mandate and mission to affect the lives of individuals in voluntary service, the Rotary Club of Nigeria District 9110 recently held a vocational training and empowerment programme for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The workshop sessions, which held at the Rotary Center, Ikeja hosted 70 persons both male and female to four different skills ranging from confectionaries, soap making, cosmetics and local manufacturing.

According to the President of the club, Dr. Adewale Ogunbadejo: “In Nigeria today, we have more than 2 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and we thought of how we could empower as many women as possible and give them skills to start up businesses, so that they can leave the camps.

The longer they stay in camps, their dependency increases, that is not a way for any human being to exist.

“However, since the security situation is not getting any better and those who should help us with funding and logistics are busy as politics is on, we decided to do it here in Lagos.

We contacted the National Committee for Immigrants and Internally Displaced Persons and they were able to get us about 70 of them living in Lagos since we don’t know where they stay.”  

Ogunbadejo noted that as a rotary society their aim this year is to empower as many less privileged as possible. “We have had trainings for youths and widows and then unemployed graduates. We want to ensure that we empower as much people as possible to be self-sufficient.”

Coordinator IDP committee, Bukola Bakare, noted that the IDPs have been trained in four areas; Confectioneries (chinchin, doughnuts, pancakes, egg rolls), soap making (liquid detergents for cleaning purposes), fashion slippers, perfumes and jellies.

“Earlier, we carried out a need analyses to find out which areas we can assist with and that is how we came about these, they also came prepared on what they want to participate in, else it would have been a wasted venture. 

For us, it is more like a multiplying effect. We hope that after training these 70 people, they would go out and train other people.

That way, the society will be better for all. We have made sure that these 70 are provided with all the materials they need for startup so that they don’t just go back home and sit, a lot of people have laboured for this and we will follow up.

Head of IDPs unit, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, South West zone, Ola Erifolami said that Rotary club has been supportive just as they have trained these IDPs today, they have also given out startup kits to make them self reliant.

“Since there are no camps in the South-West zone, they live within the community and where there is need to reach out to them, we do so through their leaders; we will visit then unannounced to see how they are faring. 

Head of the facilitators, Dr. Comfort Amire, added that they are committed to ensuring that the right information is passed to these IDPS and ensure they earn a living from the workshop. “All our facilitators are experts in their various fields, we want to ensure that these people become less dependent.

One of the beneficiaries, Mustapha Adamu from Kastina State was a drycleaner before the insecurity situation forced him into the IDP camps.

“I like to engage in business and this is exactly what I like to do. After today, I will go home and practice more then move out and start up my business.

For the club to have us in mind and given us a lifetime source of livelihood, it means so much to me and that shows how much they care. I am indeed grateful.”


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