The federal government says it has trained 500 persons in Gombe state to mentor the vulnerable children and youth in the state.
The 500 facilitators drawn from the 11 LGAs in Gombe state were trained on critical areas such as child pedagogy, rights, and protections, basic literacy and numeracy, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, digital skills, sports and life skills,
Other areas include agriculture, mental health, psycho-socio support, basic monitoring, and evaluation among others.
The youth facilitators would be assigned the lists of disadvantaged youth and children within their LGAs as their direct responsibility.
The government will help for easy identification and to enable them secure parental/guardian consent before the training and nurturing would commence in the various community hubs set up by the state government.
They would also receive a monthly stipend to support the entrepreneurship opportunities arising from their peculiar skills.
Speaking during the closing ceremony of a 3-week capacity building training programme, Maryam Uwais, senior special assistant to the president on social investment, said those trained are expected to use the knowledge gained to provide further training, support, and mentorship for various At-Risk-Children in their communities.
Uwais noted that the facilitators have also been equipped to monitor the progress and challenges that may arise in respect of every child assigned to each of them as youth facilitators and report back to the federal and state teams every month on their findings.
“This is a hugely ambitious task, but we believe that it is one feasible way we can address the challenge of huge numbers of out-of-school children across the country,” she said.
“We need to create an army of capacity within the communities to see how we can support these children who, through no fault of theirs, are deprived of so many rights and protections.
“This is why we are relying on you, the ARC-P facilitators to support this initiative by applying the knowledge and skills you have garnered during the 3 weeks training in nurturing the vulnerable children and youth in your communities so that they can become useful and take ownership of their lives.
“The youth facilitators are clearly passionate & full of zeal, having been deliberately empowered with the oversight expertise & the skills to contribute to nation-building and development, to not only improve themselves but also support the positive transformation of the lives of their peers and younger children who are less privileged.”
Uwais thanked Inuwa Yahaya, governor of Gombe, for signing up for the ARC-P initiative.
“It’s really heartwarming to see how Gombe has embraced this effort. While keenly following the steps being taken in Gombe, we are also learning, hoping to share the lessons and outcomes with other states.
Sokoto, Ekiti, Kaduna, and Borno are next in line to benefit from this scheme, having signed the MoU and commenced preparatory activities in line with the ARC-P framework,” she said