Mrs. Obiano’s latest empowerment was facilitated with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The beneficiaries, who were trained in various fields, received equipment, which would enable them start up vocations in goods and services delivery, so that they could become self-employed and employers of labour in their various communities.
The 100 trained persons include 40 physically challenged men and women, who were trained in computer literacy, tailoring, shoe making and hair dressing, while the remaining 60 were youths, women and widows, were trained in soap making and confectionery.
Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on UNDP and Donor Agencies, Mrs. Nneka Onwudiwe said during the empowerment ceremony in Awka that since its inception, CAFÉ had worked hard to achieve its objective of improving the lives of the most vulnerable in the state with support from well-meaning individuals and corporate organizations. “From prison inmates to the mentally challenged; to widows and physically challenged persons, children and youths; to the entire rural communities, no one is left out of the warm embracing arms of CAFÉ as it continues to strive to give others the opportunity to make the best lives they possibly can through its various programs,” Onwudiwe said.
According to her, all CAFÉ projects and programmes covered the three senatorial zones and the 179 communities in Anambra State and commended the UNDP for its financial and technical assistance to the organization.
In her speech, the deputy country director of UNDP, Ms Mandisa Mashalogu said the fact that the beneficiaries were physically challenged persons and youths reinforced a cardinal principle of the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that stated that no one should be left behind. She said that recent statistics seemed to suggest that inequality in the country had increased, regretting that many people, including youths, women, widows and physically challenged persons were excluded from growth process and the benefits thereof.
She said: “In Nigeria, we are faced with a major challenge of economic recession, which is worsening the situation of unemployment, especially for youths. The slide in the economic growth levels may also have adverse effects on households, livelihoods and poverty levels.” Mashalogu expressed the commitment of UNDP to continue to partner with the government of Anambra State in key areas that would ensure attainment of the SDGs.