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Foundation empowers 50 youths with ICT skills

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A non-governmental organisation, Keeping It Real Foundation, together with Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), has empowered 50 youths with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills in Rivers State.

The beneficiaries, who included persons living with disabilities were trained on ICT and other related skills to sharpen their prospects on opportunities in the sector. 

The Volunteer, Executive Director of Keeping It Real Foundation, Bitebo Gogo, stated that the essence of the empowerment was to engage the youths and keep them away from crime. 

She said: “Today, we are doing the graduation of the second phase of the Niger Delta Employment Pathways Project. This project is an initiative of PIND and Chevron Foundation, which began two years ago because of the high rate of unemployment among the youths in the Niger Delta. 

“After in-depth research to find out skills that are in high demand, ICT, construction, agriculture and leather works were identified. We are handling ICT and we planned to work with persons with or without disabilities; mostly those with mobility challenge or the deaf.” 

Gogo, added that the trainees were also coached on ways to start their own businesses and how to also engage others. 

“The beneficiaries between the age range of 16 to 35, and 35 years for physically challenged youth, because they are considered late starters in life. They were taught basic ICT skills; phones repair skills, computer hardware and software repairs, digital marketing skills and entrepreneurship. 

“We keep track of the trainees through WhatsApp groups, so they don’t become perpetual trainees. We bring them in clusters and give tools to those of them who are putting their training to use to be self-employed,” she explained.

She, however, called on youths to take advantage of the offer as the government was already overwhelmed by the unemployment situation and youths’ involvement in crimes in the state. 

She said: “The demography of Rivers State is 70 per cent youths, but the truth is that the demography can either work for us or against us, and the only way it can work for us is if the youths on their own decide to take advantage of this kind of opportunities and also put themselves up.

“Because if they continue to wait for the government which is already overwhelmed, they don’t know what to do about the current demographic crisis that we have, so every young person has to be their own inspiration because there are no jobs. If they don’t have certificates, they can take advantage of training like this and right now we are living in a global village where technology is the next oil.”


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