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Group to empower 1,000 secondary school pupils

By Ujunwa Atueyi and Ruth Adekunle
30 June 2016   |   1:13 am
Brighter Days Youth Empowerment Initiative (BDYEI), a non-governmental organisation has moved to empower 1,000 secondary school pupils in Lagos.


Bothered by the alarming rate of unemployment, idleness and despondency among Nigerian youths, Brighter Days Youth Empowerment Initiative (BDYEI), a non-governmental organisation has moved to empower 1,000 secondary school pupils in Lagos.

Unveiling the project details at the 2016 Stakeholders Conference on Education, founder of the organisation, Olaolu Williams, said the project would among others expose secondary school leavers to life-changing skills and also afford them vocational training in a sustainable manner.

He said the project, which will be replicated in the six educational districts of the state would, in the first phase, engage students from Lagos Education District I, which houses 99 secondary schools with over 130,000 pupils.

Presenting the project modules, which according to him will gulp N35m in its pilot scheme, William explained, that the programme targeted at 1,000 students, would train 400 interested students in agriculture; 400 in sports and 200 in cosmetology.

He said, “What we are looking to do here is to peg unemployment and post-secondary school idleness by engaging secondary school pupils in vocation, sports and other skills that can enable them ease out sustenance. We are working with Education District One and we are looking to spread the outreach to the entire district. It is open to all children in the school.

“We are looking for secondary school students… people with exceptional skills, people who want to forge a better life for themselves than what they see in their communities. We would provide for them monthly allowance, training kits, and other logistics to aid their movement and each of them would be entitled to N35, 000. Because we want to give them dependable skills, we have a well-thought-out plan to ensure sustainability,” he explained.

On the selection process, he said, “It is the easiest. It’s pretty much by interest. But one of the things we are aimed at achieving in this programme is to spur student’s enrolments and retention in schools. The criteria for next year’s event is that they must have 90 per cent attendance in this year’s summer camp.”

While pledging their individual support for the project, other stakeholders at the event called on well meaning Nigerians, corporate organisations, individuals and philanthropists to be actively involved in creating an efficient and effective youth base in the country.

Deputy Managing Director, Deutsche Bank Nigeria, Mrs. Adeola Azeez; former Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture and former Deputy Rector of Lagos State Polytechnic, Dr. Mufutau Olatunde Animashaun, Chief Executive Officer of Kereksuk Rice Farms, Nasarawa, Mr. Rotimi Williams, General Overseer Guiding Light Assembly, Pastor Adewale Adefarasin are some of those that spoke at the event.