The Lagos State Government (LASG) has empowered 200 household heads of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) with household tools to mitigate the effects of poverty in the state.
The state Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr Segun Dawodu, coordinated the programme organised by the ministry at the Correctional Centre for Junior Boys, Birrel, Sabo-Yaba on Friday.
Dawodu said that the vocational tools given to the OVC households by the state government were meant to contribute to the economic and financial advancement of the benefiting families.
“It is to reduce their economic vulnerability and reduce poverty to the minimum level as enshrined in the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“The advent of COVID-19 pandemic affected most Nigerian families’ economic base which the OVC household was not exempted, hence, the intervention to reduce the effects of the pandemic,” he said.
The Commissioner said that orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) were mostly affected by malnourishment, marginalisation and, even in some cases, discriminated against.
“Hence, adequate care and protection should be given to them, noting that not having a means of economic sustainability does have a devastating emotional and financial effect on these vulnerable households.
“It is in this vein that the state government is looking at increasing the OVC economic independence by providing access to essential services such as: food, health, education among others.
“We thank Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the implementation of the initiative and charge the beneficiaries to put into good use the vocational tools given to them.
“It is to mitigate the effects of economic challenges faced by the households,” Dawodu said.
In her opening remarks,Mrs Yewande Falugba, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, said that the intervention would lead to a positive result for the families.
Falugba said that it would increase their income as well as the wellbeing of the children in their households thereby demonstrating both economic and social resilience.
“I thank the implementing partners, community based organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) for their technical support toward the OVC in the society,” she said.
Newsmen reports that some of the tools given to orphans and vulnerable children include: grinding machines, sewing machines, and generators.
The event also witnessed the success story of a past beneficiary: Mrs Rofinat Alarepe, who received the economic empowerment tools last year.
She said that she currently has two apprentices.