Renowned environmentalist, Dr. Newton Jibunor, has joined the Executive Director, Courageous Girls Women And Children Initiative (CGWCI), Ayovuata Courage Uyoyou, in providing free vocational skill acquisition training for prisoners at the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Agbor, Delta State.
Jibunor, who is the founder, Fight Against Desert Encroachment (FADE), was very excited to join the team of the CGWCI as they taught the prisoners how to make Liquid Antiseptic, Nigerian Egusi soup, Nsala soup, Banga soup and fried rice, after which they ensured that the inmates were well fed.
Jibunor charged the prisoners to put to practice everything they have learnt, that no vocational skill is insignificant in this present age. He also charged them to remember that the Valentine’s day is a day to give love, especially to the less privileged ones among us.
The Desert Warrior shared his story with the prisoners on why he was honoured and celebrated worldwide as the Desert Warrior.
He said: “I wanted to go to the space, so I applied and wasn’t qualified. Instead of being discouraged, I embarked on something no one has ever done in the history of man by driving from London to Lagos and crossing the Sahara desert.
“So, I decided to embark on my adventure by driving from London to Lagos, Nigeria at age 27. On that trip, i drove pass 30 countries and the most dreaded Sahara desert. I was determined to do something different and at some point, I came face to face with death.
“I have discovered that in adventures, you have to be ready to die. In those days, 50 per cent of adventurers came back alive. So, since I knew that I would die some day, I said to myself that if I died adventuring, so be it; I must have been destined to go that way.”
Dr. Jibunor said he must have been the first person to attempt a journey from London to Nigeria by road, so he was encouraged to continue.
“My first trip from London to Lagos was a huge success, so I decided to do it again and I succeded in driving from London to Lagos, Lagos back to London four (4) times. The desire to do something remarkable and life-changing was what motivated me to embark on my adventurous travels through the ddeser.”
While commending the CGWCI for the empowerment program, he said, “This is a laudable project. In all my 84 years on earth, I have never celebrated Valentine’s day because I live my life showing love to humanity daily.
“I have never thought to observe one particular day to show love but today I chose to join the Courageous Girls Women and Children Initiative to celebrate Valentine’s day as they decided to engage the prisoners in their vocational skill acquisition training and feeding exercise. To me, this is the best way to celebrate Valentine’s day if we must celebrate it.”
He further advised the Prisoners to take the free vocational skills they have learnt very seriously.
Speaking further to our reporter during the training exercise, the founder of CGWCI, Ayovuata Courage Uyoyou stated that the empowerment initiative is a way of joining the global community to commemorate the Valentine’s Day, while she stressed the importance of vocational skills as a way of tackling the issue of rejection that comes with being an ex-convicts.
In her words: “Vocational Skills helps to promote aggregate Economic performance in a state or country. It also helps to promote individual success in the labour market. Engaging Prisoners to learn vocational skills is the best and fastest way to curb crime among ex-convicts. This Initiative is aimed towards self Development and the growth and development of the society.”
While responding, one of the prisoners said that the Valentine’s day is a day to show the love of Christ and appreciated the NGO for remembering them.