How RCCG CSR partnered with Foundation to train 229 persons in vocational skills acquisition

By Charles Olewezi

With the rising rate of unemployment in Nigeria due to lack of jobs in both the public and private sectors, right thinking organizations such as the church and other non-profit organizations are devising solutions to the menace. One of such organizations is the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), FCT Province 8, Abuja through her Christian Social Responsibility (CSR) department. In a strong partnership with the Michael Dato Relief Foundation (MDRF), the church embarked on a one week free vocational skills training programme for members and non-members. The overall aim is to raise and empower people that will become entrepreneurs and thereby reduce the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria.

In his welcome address at the opening ceremony, the Assistant Pastor –in-charge of RCCG FCT Province 8 (CSR) and Coordinator of the Programme, Pastor Yinka Olatunbosun, noted that the programme was an opportunity for the participants to learn new skills that will make them relevant in today’s world. He said, “You are all privileged to qualify for this training which has been put together by the CSR department in collaboration with the Michael Dato Relief Foundation. Please don’t joke with this rare opportunity because we have carefully selected quality resource persons to handle each of the vocational skills training. It is the church’s own way of giving back to the society it operates in”.

Also speaking at the occasion, Helen Kande Umar, President/CEO of Michael Dato Relief Foundation congratulated the participants and urged them to be serious with their trainings. She informed them of some of the activities of the Foundation which includes providing relief to the widows, orphans and other less privileged children through her educational and skill acquisition programmes. She noted that with the scarcity of the regular jobs in government and other private establishments, skills acquisition has become the new bride. “Nobody waits for government jobs again unlike in the past. Today, it is what you can do with your hands that puts food on your table. Thank God we have about seven different vocational skills you can chose to learn in this programme. The resource persons have been carefully selected to give you the best training.”

On ground to declare the weeklong programme open is the Pastor-in-Charge of RCCG FCT Province 8, Pastor Isaac Adelabu. He commended the church’s CSR department for the programme and urged the trainees to make use of the opportunity to empower themselves for a brighter future. Pastor Adelabu also advised them to give the training their full concentration. He said the Province under his leadership will continue to support any programme that will make impact in the lives of the members.

The following vocational courses were available for each of the participants to choose from – Catering and Baking, Soap Making, Make-up and Gele, Photography, Decoration & Event Management, Graphics Design, and Bag Making. The programme commenced on Monday February 12 and ended on Saturday February 17, 2024. Training classes were held between 10am and 3pm daily. Certificates of training were issued to all the participants during the Provincial thanksgiving service held on Sunday February 18, 2024. Special awards were also given to the outstanding students from each of the courses. A total of 229 persons participated and received certificates at the end of the programme.

Some of the participants who spoke to our reporter expressed their joy on the successful completion of the programme. Mrs. Regina Evans participated in the soap making class and was full of praises for her resource person as well as the sponsors. She said she hopes to start small with the capital she has and grow the business with time. Another participant from the soap making class, Chibuzo Blessing promised to commence her soap making business immediately. And for Engr. Friday from the graphics class, the programme was worth the time he spent given the depth of the teaching he received. “I am into shoe manufacturing as an entrepreneur. I decided to come for this graphics training so as to enhance my marketing skill especially on social media. Now I can design my fliers myself without going to pay anyone.”

If you think the programme was attended by only the adults then you may be wrong as our next participant will surprise you. She is Miss Precious Samuel, a senior secondary school student who took a one week off from her studies to attend the training. She said, “I have been eager to learn graphics design for a long time so when I heard about this training, I applied. I then took one week permission from my school to enable me come here. Now I can do some design works as you can see from this assignment our instructor gave us. I really thank the sponsors and pray for them. 

For Queen Gloria Awibe, a gospel artist, enrolling in the catering course was a dream come true for her. “Our caterer was just too good because she really took her time to teach us the basics of catering and baking. I believe with what we have learnt, a lot of us can even stand on our own now in the industry. I sincerely want to thank the church and the foundation for sponsoring this empowerment programme.”

On the final day of the programme (Saturday), the participants were taken through a general entrepreneurship talk by a seasoned banker and business strategist, Pastor Kingsley Omogiade-Dauda after which they were allowed to ask questions. In his closing remarks, the programme coordinator, Pastor Yinka Olatunbosun promised that the CSR department will assist some of the participants with start-up kits to commence business. He also stated that the department will organize another empowerment programme in April 2024 with another set of vocational courses and also at no cost to the participants.  

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *