NGO empowers over 1,000 Imo youths via skills acquisition

By Athan Agbakwuru, Owerri

An international humanitarian outfit, Open Arms Outreach Organization, has trained a total of 1,045 young men and women in Ngor Okpala and Aboh Mbaise LGAs of Imo State in various skills, as part of its strategic plans to fight unemployment and eradicate poverty among youths in the state.

The organization registered in Canada and the United States of America, USA, during a three-week training and skills acquisition programme, groomed the participants in 12 entrepreneurial fields namely; Interior/Exterior Decorations, Paint Production and Application, Fashion Designing and Hair Styling/Dressing.

Other skills taught during the training included; Foot Wears/Bag making, Cosmetology, Catering/Confectioneries, Phone Repairs, Hair Barbing, Agriculture, Information Communication Technology, ICT and Cinematography.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony held at Central School Umuohiagu, the venue for the training programme, International Chairman of Open Arms Outreach Organization, Rev. Basil Ndubuisi Njoku, disclosed that the latest event tagged “Onyeaghalanwanneya Skills Acquisition Program, August/September 2022, was designed to equip young people of the area with viable skills that will make them productive citizens.

Basilman, as he is fondly called by his associates and admirers, hinted that the exercise held at Umuohiagu was the fourth in the series of such skills acquisition programmes organized by the Open Arms group in Imo State since 2019 when he got the divine call to embark on the project.

The Imo-born international oil and gas magnate and renowned entrepreneur, applauded the dedication of the beneficiaries to the programme and prayed for their success in their chosen skills and admonished them to always trust God to excel in their businesses.

In her keynote address at the occasion, International Vice Chairman, Dr Mrs Helen Ndubuisi Njoku, encouraged the trainees to utilize the skills acquired to improve their lives, families and the larger society by putting what they have learnt to work.

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Mrs Njoku, who is the wife of the Chairman of Open Arms Outreach, regretted that the government in Nigeria has so depended on oil and gas revenue sharing to the detriment of entrepreneurship stressing that the training programme is the organization’s modest contribution to bridge the gap.

She noted with dismay that only two universities in Nigeria offers academic programmes in entrepreneurial studies and enjoined the participants to become employers of labour rather than job seekers.

Earlier in his welcome address, the national coordinator of the organization, Rev. Elijah Chukwudi Emmanuel noted with delight that history has been made with the successful completion of the training programme, declaring that the programme was quite timely and highly strategic, especially, as it took place during the vacation coupled with the ASUU strike.

In his speech, the Eze-elect of Umuohiagu, Chief Donatus Nzeribe Nwachukwu, on behalf of the traditional authorities in Onyeaghalanwanneya Court Area, applauded the organizers and participants for the success of the programme.

He prayed to God to continue to strengthen and replenish the stock of the organization just as he charged the trainees to apply the knowledge acquired practically to impact the society positively.

Mr James Kabiri, Miss Chiamaka Igbokwe and Engr. Emma Nwachukwu, on behalf of the beneficiaries, thanked Basilman, Open Arms Outreach Organization and the resource persons for the opportunity given them to learn new skills and vouched to utilize the skills to better the society.

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