The wife of the Ondo state governor, Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has empowered no fewer than 78 youths and women in Ondo southern senatorial districts in the state.
Mrs Akeredolu, while presenting different starter kits for different trades to the women in Ile-Oluji, Ile-Oluji/Okegbo council area of the state, said the bid was to reduce poverty rate among the youths and womenfolk.
She explained that the three-week intensive training was informed by her determination to ensure women and ladies in Ondo State are self-sufficient and be able to provide for their children and support their families.
The wife of the governor said that the training was made intensive to prevent any distraction and ensure the trainees understand the skills they are being trained in within the period.
According to her “when the trainees acquired the skills, they would be determined to make use of the starter kits to make money for themselves rather than selling off the kits.
Akeredolu noted that the programme was implemented through the Ondo State Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Programme (OSSA-EP) in collaboration with Foundation for Wives of Ondo State Officials and the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
The programme , according to her wouldn’t have been successful but for the financial support she received from some personalities from the district.
Addressing the trainees during the graduation ceremony, the wife of the governor,charged them to ensure they seize the opportunities presented to them by the programme by ensuring they use the equipment presented to them.
The programme, which was bankrolled by the governor’s wife was made free for the beneficiaries.
She advised the beneficiaries to work hard and expand their businesses and never return to unemployment market
Akeredolu said that “I explained how important women’s economic security is; why women have to be economically empowered for families and, by extension, communities to be stable and financially secure.
“I want to reiterate that women’s economic security is inevitable and it is key to achieving stronger, happier, healthier and prouder womanhood. This is what OSSA-EP stands for.
“It is my belief that women have to be economically fortified for the womenfolk to evolve. There’s no alternative to this. It is, on this note, quite fulfilling that we are churning out another batch of experts with various skills.
“I have theref come to celebrate you and also celebrate with you for being so lucky to have participated in this beautiful programme.
“No doubt, you have all had a rigorous time acquiring different skills here in the last one month.
“I feel truly proud of you that you that you did survive the rigour of your training in ICT, solar technology, event planning, make-up and gele-tying, wig-making, fashion designing, bag-making, baking and confectioneries among others.”
The trainees, among who were persons living with disabilities, were presented certificate of participation and starter kits for the different skills they acquired for them to start off their businesses immediately.
Speaking during the occasion the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa, commended the wife of the governor for the people-oriented programme saying it would go a long way in improving the living standards of many homes.
Akinterinwa noted that the initiative would drastically reduce unemployment and poverty rate in the state, describing the programme as being in tandem with the goal of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu-led administration.
He advised the beneficiaries to be focused and ensure they soon become employers of labour which is one of the reasons the wife of the governor embarked on the programme.
A traditional ruler, the Jegun of Ile-Oluji Kingdom, Oba Olufaderin Adetimehin, appreciated Mrs. Akeredolu for bringing succour to the lives of the beneficiaries, who he said would never remain the same.
Oba Adetimehin said: “This is a practical example of people taking full dividends of democracy. Arabinrin has transformed our women.
“Your lives and families have been transformed. You have been taught how to fish and feed all through your lives and provide food for other. This is a golden opportunity and we need to appreciate the wife of the governor.
“We’ve had historical empowerment programme, but this has surpassed any that I have known of. You’re no longer going to unemployment market again. A standard has been set for you to improve on it.
“The equipment you’re presented are not meant for leasing but for you to create services to the people. They are not for sale. They are meant for you start a business and make life easy for you and your family.”
Equipment presented to the beneficiaries include, sewing machines, ovens, laptop computers, make-up kits, wig-making kits, among others.
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