65 graduates of the 2021 batch of trainees of Skill Acquisition Centre domiciled with the Anambra State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare, were on Thursday, presented with empowerment items by the State Government in collaboration with the Ebuka Okafor Foundation.
The graduation ceremony and presentation of the empowerment kits took place at the Prof Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka, where the trainees also displayed their works.
Among the items handed over to the graduands for their self-actualization include Hairdressing machines, sewing machines as well as industrial baking ovens.
Handing over the items, the wife of Anambra State Governor, Mrs Nonye Soludo said the present administration under Governor Chukwuma Soludo is interested in teaching the young people how to fish instead of giving them fish.
According to the governor’s wife, the idea behind sustaining the programme was to ensure that Anambra youths are adequately empowered for the future.
“I want to appreciate the Ministry of Women Affairs for this wonderful initiative.
“I have seen the products of the graduates and I think you are ready for the future.
“What we are doing with this training of young women is good because these empowerments will have multiplier effect. This is because women are wealth creators.
“All I am asking is that as you go out of this centre, that you do your business with honesty and diligence,” she advised.
The Anambra first lady assured that the 2022 batch of the training will be better and more organised, maintaining that the governor is serious about training of youths.
According to her, it is the expectation of government that more partners will take interest in the programme to ensure that a greater number of women are reached through the programme.
On her part, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Ify Obinabo revealed that the programme has since 2008 when it was initiated, offered opportunity to 1229 young women and girls to attain some level of financial freedom and become employers of labour.
“The skill acquisition training and empowerment programme has been a source of hope and fulfilment not only to indigenes of the state but to other residents of the state.
“This year’s graduation ceremony is unique because it is the first time since the inception of this initiative that a philanthropist is collaborating with the Ministry.
“The Ebuka Okafor Foundation is donating some equipment which the graduands will receive,” she revealed.
The Commissioner urged the graduating trainees to be good ambassadors of the centre and ensure that they diligently apply the knowledge and skill they acquired during the course of the training.
She advised; “Take advantage of this golden opportunity to improve your living and contribute your quota towards the economic growth of our dear state.
“I can say that your destiny is in your hands and do not toy with it.”
The Founder of the Ebuka Okafor Foundation, who was represented by Lady Blessing Nweke disclosed that the foundation was a vision of an indigene of the state from Nnobi community.
“The vision started when the father died and the mother was faced with negative widowhood practices. Ever since then, the Founder had sought for ways to touch the lives of women and so far, the Foundation has succeeded in empowering many widows and lifting them out of poverty,” he said.
He explained that the decision to partner the state was because the Foundation has seen in Governor Soludo, a committed leader whose intentions to develop the state are genuine.
Okafor assured that the foundation will sustain the partnership, promising that more support will come from the Foundation towards the initiative.
Chideraa Ohaka who spoke on behalf of the graduands, expressed appreciation to the state government and the partnering foundation for the opportunity given to them and promised to put it to good use.
Highpoints of the event were cutting of the graduation cake, fashion parade by the graduands and product exhibition.