The wife of Nassarawa State Governor, Salamatu Al-Makura through her Non-Governmmental Organisation, Mother and child Care Enhancement Foundation (McCEF), has empowered another batch of 230 persons in various skills.
The governor’s wife also empowered them with working tools to help them become independent.
The 230 beneficiaries received their working tools at their graduation ceremony held in Lafia on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the graduation ceremony held for the 230 beneficiaries is the 10th of its kind since the inception of the NGO in Nasarawa State.
The beneficiaries were trained in Kampala making, tailoring and bead making, among others.
Gov. Umaru Al-Makura, represented by his deputy, Mr Silas Agara, lauded the accomplishments of the NGO in training and empowering youths with various skills for the past seven years.
“I congratulate the first lady for sustaining this NGO for the past seven years.
“You will agree with me that it’s not an easy task to reach out to the less privileged, but we have seen her doing that for the past seven years.
“I appreciate what she has been doing for the people of Nasarawa state and appeal for the sustenance of the NGO even beyond her capacity as the first lady,” he said.
The governor called on other well meaning citizens of the state to follow in the footsteps of the first lady by making useful contributions that would lift the less privileged in the state from abject poverty and hopelessness.
“I also use this opportunity to call on those God has used our mother to empower to use the knowledge and tools gotten wisely so as to better their lives. (NAN).
“I also urge you to pass down the knowledge you have gotten to others so that they too can have the capacity to strive for themselves.
“This gesture will justify the effort of her excellency in your training and empowerment,” he said.
In her remarks, Hajiya Salamatu Al-Makura said founding McCEF and using it to help women, children and the less privileged in the society was her own way of assisting and complementing the efforts of her husband, in her position as first lady of the state.
“The journey, even though not as smooth, but Alhamdulilah, we have done our best in our own little way.
“This is going to be my last graduation as the first lady of Nasarawa State, but let me be quick to add that McCEF is a project that has come to stay,” she said.
She congratulated the graduands and reminded them that the skills they acquired at the McCEF centre were tools for survival.
“It is your torchlight to the world. It’s your pillar and your umbrella in the sun and under the rains.
“If you properly utilise your handwork, you will not only care for your immediate family, but you will also employ others, thereby making you an employer of labour.
“Feel proud to encourage others to go through the same process,” she said.
The governor’s wife thanked partners of the NGO for their support and commitment to the initiative.
She listed some of them as World Bank, Institute of Human Virology (IHVN), Nasarawa State Aids Control Agency (NASACA), National Mass Education Commission, Nasarawa State Government, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, and individuals who chose to remain anonymous.
“Also to the trainers and resource persons, I thank you for your commitment and resilience in ensuring those you trained are the best.
“Let me also call especially on our people, even if you are a salary earner, try and get something doing by the side to complement, and reduce over-dependence on your monthly income,” she said.
Mallam Alhassan Useni, Programme Manager of McCEF, said that the 230 graduands were trained in computer, kampala, knitting, tailoring, hairdressing, beads making and bag making.
He said that 30 traditional birth attendants were also trained and given equipment to start working.
“Basically, we trained them not to handle delivery but handle referrals,” Useni said.
Miss Marian Usman, one of the beneficiaries trained in tailoring, thanked the Nasarawa State first lady for offering them the opportunity to learn skills and be independent.
She also promised to take maximum advantage of the opportunity given to her.