From Gyang Bere, Jos
A group under the umbrella of Scripture Union of West Africa (SUWA) has decried the rate of violence and drug abuse among Nigerian youths saying one of the ways to curb the menace is through effective vocational skills for the unemployed youths who are willing tools in the hands of the undesirable elements.
The Programme Manager of SUWA, Mr Amos Fakunle who disclosed this at the Vocational Skills Acquisition Graduation: Funded by Tearfund implemented by Scripture Union West Africa on Wednesday in Jos, Plateau State said the youths could be a positive force for development when provided with vocational skills and other opportunities they need to thrive.
Fakunle who said many youths are vulnerable as a result of high unemployment added that there is the need to scale up youth development through technical, vocational and entrepreneurship.
” For us in SUWA, we have continued to empower the young ones to be role models in their chosen profession. We discover that so many youths are idle without anything to do and therefore more vulnerable and some of them because of their idleness get into drug and substances abuse.
“We train them skill acquisition and this has been helping them to eke out a living knowing that the government did not have all its takes to employ everyone. But through training like this, a lot of youth have been trained in one vocational skill or the other, those graduating today are trained by SUWA, they are also expected to train others. Through this, there would be a lot of positive changes within the community” he said.
He further pointed out that SUWA has so far trained over 250 young people in various vocational skills, mostly tailoring, Solar, leather works, shoemaking, handbags among others across the 17 local government areas of Plateau State.
The Programme Manager further disclosed that SUWA recently trained another 100 youths in sustainable agriculture through a partnership with the Leventis Foundation in Abuja adding that many of the youths are from the Barakin-Ladi local government area of Plateau State.
In his keynote address, Professor Kent Hodge said violence in any society can be curbed by addressing drug related issues and charged the youths to abstain from drug and the use of any dangerous substance that can destroyed their future.
Professor Hodge also encourage the young ones to be stronger in faith and utilise the opportunity given to them judiciously and strive to inspire others in the process.
He charged both the young and old ones to love one another and promote good neighbourliness in order to build good relationships with people and live in harmony with those around them irrespective of creed, tribe and religious differences.
The graduation featured different presentations such as drama, exhibitions by graduands and talks on business entrepreneurship.