Ten of the girls were from Lagos and five were from Ijebu Ode. While initially only 10 girls were to be trained, the interest in the project was so high that it was expanded to 15. The project also employed 10 trainers who showed proficiency, experience and passion for the field.
Guided by the goal of equipping trainees with skills in tailoring and sewing, the training consisted of 90 percent practical work and 10 percent theory, which also involved life skills training, marketing, management, interpersonal communication and other essential aspects of running a business.
The trainees also completed a one-month internship before being provided with starter kits to help with self-employment to improve their livelihood. They remain under the supervision of the project for another two months for business monitoring and performance assessment and to ensure that their start-up kit tools are being used effectively.
“Salesian missionaries in Nigeria have been able to impact young lives through the delivery of training, education and providing for their basic needs like shelter,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “Training girls and young women has remained of pivotal importance to address issues of gender inequality and youth unemployment. Girls who are able to receive an education have an advantage in helping to break the cycle of poverty and live a life of self-sufficiency.”
According to UNICEF, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the ninth most populous country in the world. By United Nations estimates, Nigeria will be one of the countries responsible for most of the world’s total population increase by 2050. While Nigeria has the second strongest economy in Africa, it also has extreme rates of poverty with 100 million people living on less than $1 a day.
About 64 percent of households in Nigeria consider themselves to be poor while 32 percent of households say their economic situation had worsened over a period of one year, according to UNICEF. Poverty still remains one of the most critical challenges facing the country and population growth rates have meant a steady increase in the number of people living in conditions of poverty.
Source: Salesian Missions