The executive-secretary of Youth Empowerment Foundation (YEF), Mrs Iwalola Akin-Jimoh, has said the Non-governmental Organization working with young people in South-west and North-central Nigeria on education, health, sports for development, secured livelihood, child protection and financial literacy has trained over 100,000 young girls in Nigeria through the Goal project.
She stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at a stakeholder’s meeting to commemorate Goal project’s 10th year anniversary in Nigeria and to highlight key achievements of YEF in 25 years.
She said that Goal Project which started in Nigeria in 2010 and is being implemented in Lagos, Ibadan, and Abuja is a reproductive health, HIV/AIDS prevention, life skills, football, and martial arts capacity building project among young girls in selected Secondary Schools.
She added that the Goal Project which is being implemented by YEF in Nigeria is a project of Standard Chartered bank that is being implemented in about 20 countries of the world.
Speaking on the achievement of the foundation she said: “After doing Reproductive health programming for about ten years, we realised that the problem of adolescent is beyond just having access to reproductive and health services but rather thinking through having access to education in a standard conducive learning environment, having access to trainings; not just training on education but having the capacity to be able to earn income by themselves, know how to write budget , know how to recognized needs from want, you see it is a whole gamut of things.
“So we started holistic programming about 15 years ago. We do stuff around vocational training for young people making sure that you have the skills to earn income on your own. Also we orientate their minds that they can actually support themselves in terms of education and build their capacities not to think that after tertiary education they must have a white collar job, that they can be employers of labour.
“Also, for those who excelled in vocational training we link them up to soft loans but then they must have business plans , they must have excelled during their vocational training to qualify to take loan to be able to start up their businesses.”
She added that the foundation will soon expand its scope of operations in Nigeria in order to affect the lives of more adolescent positively.
“we looking forward to expanding our programmes beyond South-west and North-central particularly to other northern parts of the country where there is a need for people to not only have access to information on reproductive health but have access to better education, nutrition etc.’’ she said.
Also speaking, the Programme Officer of YEF in Abuja Miss Mary Adeoye said the Goal Project is currently being implemented in 10 schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“We currently work in about 10 schools here in the Federal Capital Territory and all of them are widely dispersed, so they are not schools that are located in Abuja municipality. So we have girls that are trained on different programmes in different communities,” she said.