In its efforts to rid the society of poverty, unemployment, social vices, and other problems confronting youths and other vulnerable people, a non-governmental organisation, Mobilisation for Independence through the Mustard Seed Initiative (Project MIMI), is set to take empowerment of different dimensions to all the 33 local government and 35 local council development areas in Oyo State, with emphasis that 50 people, including youths and the vulnerable, will be trained and empowered in each of the council in Oyo State every year.
The state inauguration of the project took place at Community Hall in Ikereku, Akinyele East Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Ikereku, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital and had in attendance a spectrum of many segments of the community, including, but not limited to the caretaker chairman of the LCDA and the committee, traditional ruler, head of the administration of the LCDA and other top-echelon crew of the council, youths, women and the entire community.
Speaking to Nigerian Tribune at the event, the project coordinator, Mrs Kemi Oshiyemi-Cole, highlighted the foci of the project, saying “the Project MIMI is an organisation that focuses on training and empowerments such as tailoring, soap making, hairdressing, computer programming and web designing, Ankara craft, automobile mechanics, carpentry, catering, printing, vulcanising. The opportunities are endless. After the different pieces of training, we would give the participants, who will have qualified and been certified to have mastered their various vocations, equipment and materials to start their work/businesses. We will do likewise for our trainees in agriculture. Because very many youths are not engaged, we could see what happened during the EndSARS protests across the country and we want to fill the gap.
“By our strategies, we will be empowering, in every council of Oyo State, 50 people. For this year 2021, we will achieve it and it will continue like that every year. We have given out forms and people are responding. We will ensure that those that truly need to be empowered will get it because it will not be business as usual. Our basic project is youth empowerment. But it is not the youth alone we want to touch. We will touch the aged too. We will go to every LGA/LCDA. We have a partnership with other organisations whose foci are beyond the youth.
“Our major partner is Property World Africa Network (PWAN) Edge, real estate business organisation. Another partner of ours is World Humanitarian Support Foundation (WHSF) and its foci are women, children, the vulnerable people and community development. There are different areas this partner will come in as we progress.”
In his remarks, the chairman of the Akinyele East LCDA, Mr Olumuyiwa Ogunrinde, represented by his secretary, Mr Olatunde Fisoye, said, “All the programmes designed by Project MINI will be beneficial to our people. They may not beg you in Ojoo, Moniya and other areas in Ibadan. But, we are appealing to Project MIMI to do the programmes in a way that will better the lot of our people because government alone cannot do it.
“I will charge the organisers of the programme to put strict measures in place so that the participants will take the programme very seriously. The beneficiaries should remember that there are so many other people out there who need such empowerment. They maximise the opportunities brought to their doorsteps by the Project MIMI.”
While lauding the initiative, the Onikereku of Ikereku, Ibadan land, Oba Moses Olasunkanmi Akinyosoye, expressed optimism that the programme would help alleviate poverty and reduce social vices in the community. He said, “Unemployment is rampant in our community here as a rural community. It is the menace of unemployment that leads our youths to embark on commercial okada riding. This has led to rural-urban migration. This programme by Project MIMI will really help our youths. Even though we have some of our youths that farm, it will encourage them to do it in a mechanised way.
“This initiative by Project MIMI is laudable and will help our communities, especially in our LCDA. It is my wish that they would succeed and I want to encourage other organisations and bodies to emulate them to bring development to every section of our communities. I encourage the youths who will benefit from the largesse. They need to monitor the youth after being trained and empowered to ensure that they pursue the paths along which they have been empowered and use the initiative to become job creators and employers of labour. I equally encourage the government at all levels to do needful in order to rid our societies of youth restiveness and curb social vices.”
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