by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
TEKAN Peace Desk has trained and graduated 19 trainees on various skills acquisition programmes. This move is geared towards reducing the high rate of unemployment that is ravaging Nigeria and ensure self-sufficiency.
Our correspondent gathered that, the 19 graduands, cutting across different religious beliefs, were trained on catering, make-up artist, cosmetology, barbing salon and decoration.
The coordinator of TEKAN Peace Desk, Mrs Helen P. Haggai, disclosed that, what prompted them to key into the initiative was because Plateau State has borne the brunt of crisis for the past 20 years, and there are a lot of talks and dialogue within those at the helm of affairs, either as religious leaders or political leaders.
She noted that, “But what we again see is that people speak with their two sides of the mouth. You know, people will just see things and just go back.
“That is why we felt that, we can have two approaches, be it top-bottom, bottom-top; and said since we are the people at the grassroots and were those, who bear the brunt of all these crises, especially the women and the youths, we felt that instead of us coming to talk, talk and talk and nothing comes out of it, why can’t we do our interfaith differently.
“So, we brought this approach – bringing the indigenes together, the women and then young people. Bringing them from the two divides (Christians and Muslims) together we build their trust on each other and, because they are poor, we gave them the means of livelihood,” she stressed.
Giving a breakdown of their activities, Mrs Haggai stated thus: “For the last six years, we picked from different places and bring them together and, as you can see from what happened here, they have built synergy and friendship and yet again, they have something to put on the table for their children for those women, who are widows, and youth, who have nothing doing,” she mentioned.
The coordinator further revealed that, “In no distanced time, TEKAN Peace will meet with Plateau State Microfinance Development Agency (PLASMIDA) and Plateau Peace Building Agency (PPBA) to strategize for better partnership so that their impact may well be felt more than the present.”
According to her, they have challenges in terms of finance, saying, “As you can see, we could have done more than 19 people, but we have no funds; but, if we have more funds, we will go more bigger and we will get more young people to take them out of the streets and empower them to be self-reliant.”
She charged the graduands to take advantage of the skills acquired and be the employers of labour, as they were being given start-up packs. “We have monitoring and evaluation team as mechanisms for checkmating the beneficiaries from time-to-time,” TEKAN Peace Desk coordinator noted.