By Job Osazuwa
A non-governmental organisation (NGO), Child of Destiny, has equipped hundreds of youths in Lagos State with entrepreneurial skills in a move aimed at waging war against the increasing rate of unemployment and idleness in Nigeria.
The event, which took place in Agege, saw motivational speakers from different disciplines lecturing the participants on how to be productive and self-reliant even in a tough economy. Most of the beneficiaries were indigent teenagers and youths.
The participants, in their hundreds, led by four young ladies, activated the atmosphere with melodies and followed up with prayers and worship to God. The participants,boys and girls, could not conceal their enthusiasm as they were seen taking active part in all the sessions.
The founder of the NGO, Mrs. Olufunke Fayemi, said that she started the foundation two years ago as a result of her passion to alleviate the increasing level of irresponsible youths in Nigeria.
She said it became worrisome how morality was fast disappearing in the country, even as many adults and stakeholders in the country folded their arms and watched the ugly trend. She said that many people in different leadership positions didn’t only fail in influencing young followers but also helped in further worsening the situation through their lifestyles.
“My friend and I decided two years ago to do something to help our society by reaching out to the youths. While I am in Lagos, my friend, Mrs. Adedigba Mopelola, is in Ogun State using the same name. A lot of things are going wrong in Nigeria.”
The founder said that the youth had been exposed to popcorn making without the use of the machine, photography and decoration of event centres.
Apart from teaching the requisite skills to make them productive, she said counsellors and clergymen often admonished the youths not to forget to tread the path of morals in their success.
“The hallmark of all our programmes is to make our trainees to become self-dependent and to also contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s economy. Some of them have started selling soaps, doughnuts and sandals that they make on their own. These and many other testimonies give me joy,” Fayemi said.
On parents who give birth to too many children, far beyond their financial resources, she pleaded with them to have a rethink, warning that such a practise could further impoverish them. According to her, children from such homes end up constituting a nuisance to society. She lamented that most parents were engaging their children in non-profitable activities such as hawking at the expense of learning a skill.
A visually-impaired journalist, Abiodu Elugbaju, who thrilled the audience with his local drum, encouraged the youths to look beyond their deficiencies and aspire for greater heights in life. He said that, if he could acquire first and second degrees in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos, scoring 2.1, despite his physical disability, nothing could stop the participants from achieving something greater, if they were determined. For, Mr. Abiodun Dada, a cobbler who came from Ibadan, Oyo State, to motivate the audience, his story was a source of inspiration, as he showed the audience how to make quality shoes and sandals, and make profit.
Dada was bathed with acid by his cousin when he was 18 months old, but said he couldn’t allow the scar and trauma to stop him from becoming useful to himself, family and the society.
An artist, a student of Marine Science at the University of Lagos, Fayemi Ayotunde, narrated and demonstrated how he makes thousands of naira as a student by simply using N30 pencil to sketch beautiful images.