From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Over 1.000 youths are to be trained in shoemaking, fashion design, real estate and make-up in the bid to reduce growing unemployment in the country.
The gesture is to funded by 2022 winner of the Aso International Beauty Pageant contest, Mercy Abu.
Abu, who spoke to reporters recently in Abuja, noted that she would use the proceeds from the contest to help society.
The graduate of Linguistics and Communication Studies from the University of Calabar, noted that the initiative was inspired by her late mother, who encouraged her to touched lives positively.
“I prioritise education. I love people being aware of their environment. By education, I mean helping people with the knowledge that will help them in their field of endeavor, be it in real estate, fashion designer, or as a public relations strategist.
“So, I am going to use this platform to educate people in these three different aspects that I am involved in.
“In fashion, I’m going to seek sponsorship and collaboration so that I can empower as much people as I can to learn this craft.
“I’m targeting young people, especially those who are leaving secondary School first, because I think the earlier our youths know that they are capable of generating something for themselves, the better for them than to be used as tools for evil,” she said.
She added: “We will recruit about one thousand youths from public secondary schools and orphanage homes, who will participate in seminars from which those with interest in either fashion designing, real estate and HR, can get the opportunity to be linked to volunteers who will train them in such areas.”
She explained that the pilot programme would commence in December and it is designed to benefit youths in Abuja, Lagos and Cross River States, while other states will benefit in subsequent packages.
The model recalled started her modeling career in 2014 by registering with a modeling agency in Cross River State, where she participated in her first beauty pageant contest for Cross River Most Beautiful Girl.
She admitted that she did not make it to the top ten or win any crown, the experience molded her through her modeling journey, after which she did some modeling commercials.
She also contested in 2017 for Miss GoodWill Ambassador in Abuja and came first, reigning as the Queen for two years.
On what it feels like being a beauty queen, she said contrary to the belief by many that it is a ticket to glamour, “being a Beauty Queen is an office to work and serve humanity, adding that it has given her an opportunity to inspire people and also be inspired.”