Monday, 4 October 2021

Stakeholders Laud Spotlight Initiative Project.


By Isaac Aqua

Stakeholders in Akamkpa and Odukpani Local Government Councils in Cross River State have applauded  Spotlight Initiative over the successful implementation of it's vocational training programme designed to equip out of school  females with capacity for self reliance. 

Speaking at the presentation of certificates and starter packs to graduands of the training programme, the leaders stressed that the concept will promote financial independence amongst  the beneficiaries   and check vulnerability to sexual and gender based exploitations.

In his remark, the Chairman of Akamkpa Hon Linus Etim lauded the European Union and United Nations for funding  the intervention programme spearheaded by Spotlight Initiative and implemented by Girl's Power Initiative (GPI) and  Gender And Development Action (GADA). 

He noted that the concept will curtail undue exploitations of indigents girls  who pepertually depend on the males for survival especially in the wake of prevailing economic trend.

The chairman who was represented by the Council's  Primary Health Care Coordinator  Elder Felix Abeng stated his readiness for a synergy in order to sustain and expand the scope of the programme  to capture teeming young girls idling about  to give them    a source of livelihood.

In his reaction,the clan head of Akamkpa Town, Pastor Barrister Ntufam Paul Ogar expressed delight over the development and prayed for divine blessings for those behind the initiative.

According to him" most NGOs  concentrate their activities in Calabar, the state capital,but Spotlight Initiative, working in harmony with GPI and GADA selected our children to restore their hopes ,we are grateful

We are hoping for more of similar gestures to give our young girls a sense of belonging needed to protect them from undue molestations in their quest to survive"

At Odukpani,the Council boss,Mrs Justina Edem equally represented by her PHC Coordinator Mrs Gloria Nkebem said she was  particularly enthralled by focus and objectives of the project geared towards training and empowering  female out of school to become employers .

She expressed appreciation  to all behind the action and commended Spotlight Initiative for complimenting government efforts in jobs creation.

Also speaking,a women activist   in the area Princess Arit Bassey called for an effective collaboration between the Council administration and development partners to accelerate human capital development  to stem gender and sexual based violence.

In her opening speech,the human resource manager Girls' Power Initiative (GPI) Mrs Margaret Udoh  who spoke on behalf of the implementing partners disclosed that the spotlight Initiative project was initiated by the EU/UN and implemented through development partners to drive the process in the selected local government areas in Cross River and other 5 states in the federation. 

It would be recalled that 50 girls were selected from  each of the two councils in June this year for  orientation on starting and running small scale business,developing business plan, exploring access to capital  and tips for  choosing  suitable vocational training to enable them aquire basic needed skills in fashion designing,soap/bleach making, facial make up, hair dressing and pastries/ baking etc.

Graduands who spoke showered encomiums on EU/UN Spotlight Initiative project and the implementing partners for giving them a life line. 
Highpoints of the ceremonies included  presentation of starter packs,goodwill messages and testimonies.