Nigeria: Skill acquisition programs

Human beings  - not for sale

Skill Acquisition Programs to reduce the number of
unemployed youth in Yola

Young Reformers: Nickson Makama and Blessing Benjamin Awu

Church: Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria

Implementation period: 1/01/2016 - 1/01/2017

How many people were involved? 10

How many people did you reach? 150

Our motivation

Which Bible verse motivates you in your work and vocation as a young reformer?

 "And to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you." (1 Thessalonians 4:11)
 "...but rather let him labour, working with his hands on the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." (Ephesian 4:28b)

What does "ongoing reformation" mean in your local context?

The Adamawa State Government of Nigeria, acknowledging the need to reduce unemployment among youth, has for the past few years been enrolling youth into skill acquisition programs to help them become self-reliant. The federal government has recently included entrepreneurial studies in colleges and universities for the same purpose.

What change do you want to see in your church and/or society?

To be Lutheran means to be political: that is one of the most interesting aspects about Lutheranism I’ve learned here. I had always thought that politics is of the kingdom of the world, and that we are not of the world. Before coming here, I referred to politics as “dirty business”. But as we discovered the root of politics in the Bible, I now understand that Jesus Christ wants us to be his ambassadors, even in politics.

Living Reformation project

Human beings - not for sale: Skill aquisition program

Unemployment has resulted in youth being used by desperate politicians to achieve their goals. Our training will help youth understand their value in society, provide them with the skills needed to grab employment opportunities and be better members of society. It will help people see how no human being is an object to be used and misused by others.

The Global Young Reformers' Network is executing a skill acquisition project for youth, which kick-started in January 2016 and will run throughout the reformation commemoration period of 2017. This project will help youth acquire skill that will enable them stand up to people who might use them for selfish purposes, given the opportunity. Idleness is one reason youth are involved in corrupt practices here in Nigeria.

 

What did you aim at?

The aim of this project was to impact youth with practical skills required for securing available jobs in the region and educate them on how to be self employed, thereby reducing the number of unemployed youth in Yola. By God's grace, we were able to achieve our aim by organizing lectures, seminars and practical classes for the youth of the region. The main challenge faced was inadequate funding due to sudden rise in price of goods and service since Nigeria went into recession during the implementation of our project.

 

What did you achieve?

By the end of this project:

  • 70 youth were able to operate and perform basic business tasks on popular computer software, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.
  • 30 female participants learned to bake cake and make beads and liquid soap which are all platforms for self-employment.
  • The increase of Lutheran youth who had success in the recently concluded JAMB computer-based test can be much attributed to the success of the computer training and seminars conducted as part of our project.

 

What did you do?

 

1. Three (3) weeks of training for participants

2. A seminar presentation on Youth and Self Reliability

3. Practical classes during which participants learned how to make beads

4. A weekend training on baking, mixing and different styles of icing

5. Liquid soap making

6. Church presentation of project and marketing of the products produced in the course of our training

Interview with the young reformers

What is the ongoing reformation you want to see in your church?

I want to see willingness; willingness in the life of individuals but beyond that willingness to give service to the Lord. I see that people act not out of willingness, but they come to the church out of some kind of obligation. I want to see something more than that, I want to see people willingly, passionately serving the Lord and being active in the church

What has been the reaction of the project among the youth?

The youth were very happy and motivated by the program and our activities. They were very positive and willing to participate.

How has been the participation of the youth in the reformation project?

We had 150 youth participating in our programs. We even had more people interested but we could not take more participants because of our limitation in the project (computers and baking classes). We organized different groups and had the program running in our main cathedral for practical reasons (we did it for 2 months). We had 10 youth leaders managing the project.

What has been challenging about creating the project?

The main challenges was the coordination of the team. It was difficult to arrange meetings and communicate because of travel distances and the timetable. Unfortunately, the budget was not enough to do more in our project.

Did everything go as planned?

No, we had some issues with the computers and with the baking classes but in the end we achieved our goal of the project. The youth received training and gained new skills for their own benefit and for employment opportunities.

How do you see the continuity of the project?

Yes, we would like to continue and the youth would like to have more training. Hopefully we can get some funding to continue with the support from our church. The youth need more of these opportunities in their communities.

Nigeria

Nigeria
Latitude: 9.081999
Longitude: 8.675277