The Bauchi State Orphans and Vulnerable Children Agency (BASOVCA) have trained no fewer than 500 adolescent orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) on different skills with a view to making them self-reliant and financially independent.
Malam Abdullahi Ibrahim, the director, Programme and Community Mobilization of the agency, who made this known in an interview with the Newsmen in Bauchi on Thursday, said the training was conducted at the agency’s skills acquisition centre located in Bauchi metropolis.
He said the beneficiaries received three months training on vocational skills that included Tailoring, Knitting, Assorted Pomade making, Hair dressing and Cookery, saying that at the end of the training, participants were issued with trade test certificates from the federal Ministry of Labour and Employment
The beneficiaries were also provided with the starter packs and a cash donation of N10,000 each to enable them start their businesses, Ibrahim said, adding that the agency will also “give a minimum of N5,000 to those who deserve capital augmentation ” after six months.
He explained that the agency had established the Orphan and Vulnerable Children League (OVCL) across the state’s 20 LGAs and in 323 electoral wards as a quick response mechanism in support of the Agency’s activities.
Ibrahim described the league as a community structure comprising 6,600 credible community leaders, traditional rulers and religious leaders who feed the Agency with reliable information on OVCs in their locations for proper and prompt action.
The director added that members of the league offered the Agency voluntary services including sometimes, mobilizing foodstuffs, clothing materials, for distribution to the OVCs especially to those under the custody of care givers and foster parents.
He said the Bauchi state government had since domesticated the National Poverty Agenda on Orphans and Vulnerable Children as well as the National Standard of Improving Quality of life for vulnerable children in Nigeria.
It was reported that BASOVCA recently developed a four year (2020-2023) OVC strategic development plan outlining how to improve the lives of orphans and vulnerable children.