HICC trains youths in App development, others
The Harvesters International Christian Centre (HICC), has trained thousands of youths in its quarterly free Harvesters Skill Acquisition Program (HSAP), which was held at the church premises in Lagos.
The four days programme, which began on February 28 ended March 3, where participants who were majorly youths were trained in five different skills. They include App Development, Digital Marketing, Graphics Design, Make-Up, Pastry and Mixology, Photography, Videography; and Video Editing by certified instructors. These included Founder and CEO, House of Tara International Tara Fela-Durotoye, Chief Executive Officer, Topcrust Bakery Limited Tosan Jemide, Subomi Plumtre of Alder Consulting, award winning Nigerian Photographer Shola Animashaun, Mary Jane-Ohobu of Zaron Cosmetic, and Gbenga Sesan of Paradigm Initiative.
According to the Associate Pastor of the church, Pastor ’Adedayo Ogunrombi, the quarterly programme has been going on in the church for three years. “Harvesters Skill Acquisition Programme is designed to empower Nigerians. We are a Christian organization, but the programme is open to both members and non-member, Christian and Muslims alike. We are passionate about helping individuals understand and maximize the opportunities the societal and economic realities creates to be empowered or start a business/ career of their own.”
On why the church decided to organise the programme, he said: “We are doing this because we have decided that we cannot sit down and watch the spate of unemployment in our land or sit down and observe and do nothing about a lot of people that go hungry, people that may turn into crime or prostitution if they have nothing to do so, the programme is designed to empower people with easy to start skill, what they can learn within a short time and begin to make money. We did event planning and decoration in the past so, we’ve been doing this for the past three years, and we have trained not less than 5,000 youths. We are not ending the programme soon, but continue to improve on it because it’s making a different. And the feedback we are getting is overwhelming. People that have not made a penny or have any source of income before attending HSAP, less than a month after graduation from the programme, are now making hundreds of thousands, doors are opening for them, and things are looking much better for them, it’s something we are in for a long run.
On government response to the program so far, Ogunrombi said, “the support we got from the government so far, was from the Lagos State government trust fund where the executive secretary of the agency did a seminar in conjunction with the church in 2017, they trained participants on how to access loan. I cannot tell of how many people got the loan but I know one or two people were funded and the government have also spoken to us informally about the church taking over the government skill acquisition program because one of the things I gathered was that the skill acquisition programs organized by the government are not well attended; even Oyo State government have also indicated interest in us helping them with similar initiative in some part of the state.
The response is always amazing. Remember that it’s free and nobody pay a dime not even for registration, there is nothing religious or political about it. It costs not less than N100, 000 to get the training if they are to pay for it. And we will keep doing whatever God has laid in our heart to build our nation.
A tutor of Pastry Faith Abdullahi who was also one of the participants in the program in 2017 said, “Before I had the opportunity to come for HSAP, I was at a point in my life where I really did not know what to do. Prior to the program, I just clocked 22 and I started feeling I was getting old and I asked myself what I was waiting for, I did not have anything working for me and I don’t want to wait till I get married or clock 30 before I start doing something for myself so, when I heard about HSAP, I just keyed in because my school was on strike. I learned Pastry and Mixology and after the program, I determined to get serious and develop interest in it. I got my first job for a hundred people without having instruments for the job; I made my first one hundred thousand naira after HSAP, I was able to get the money I needed to start properly and thereafter, I get called up for a bridal shower where I met other people and since then, I get jobs after job, called to television stations to showcase what I am doing, It’s been God; I didn’t know anybody when I started and I was worried about how to get clients but God took control.
Gabriel Onyema, who was trained in photography last year and was one of the instructors at the program said, “It was undefined, things were tough, there was no direction. I was just a young man with dreams, hoping for a better ways to improve, that was my story before coming for HSAP. Getting to know Harvesters, the church gave me a career, a place in the society; I can say HSAP in general gave me a bank account, because there was no bank account before I came for the training. I was one of the photographers that covered Zahra Buhari wedding; that was part of the turnaround I got in my career. I started with friends and now I own my company, a book to my name, I have a land of my own, above all I am not where I used to be.. Just four days training changed everything about me and that is why I say to people, ‘time does not matter in destiny but how connected you are with the time. I located my place in career which was HSAP”
A participant in App development class Pelumi Bamgboye, said “Prior to this class, I was at the beginner level, just things I learned online but getting to HSAP, I was able to learn more and get to know about things I didn’t even know existed. I also learned how to repackage myself; I hope to focus and start a career in app development.. I am thankful to HICC because people pay a lot to get trained outside but still did not get same quality we got here.