Concerned about the low rates of financial autonomy and inclusion skills among youth and women in Kano State, a nonprofit, the Whitefield Foundation in partnership with the Coca-Cola Foundation, has launched a initiative labeled EQUIP
Organizers said more than 20,000 women and young people across the state will benefit from a series of transformative skills and knowledge programs.
According to the Foundations, the objective of the EQUIP project, which stands for Educate, Quench, Upgrade, Illuminate, and Pivot, is to improve the standard of living of the beneficiaries and to engage them in a trajectory of sustainable growth.
The company made the announcement at the launch event recently held at the Displays Event Center in Kano State.
The ‘Project EQUIP’ initiative is championed by the philanthropic arm of the beverage company in partnership with the Kano State Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Office of the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Goals of sustainable development, Medshare International Inc., and Global Health Engineering.
In Nigeria, the UN postulates that women and girls make up more than half of the population but still lack sufficient access and opportunities to realize their full potential as agents of change who can bring solutions to life. some of the country’s most pressing problems.
The latest data also shows that 47.3% of Nigerians, or 98 million people, live in multidimensional poverty, most of them located in northern Nigeria.
Armed with the above data, Funmi Johnson, CEO of the Whitefield Foundation, said the initiative would open a door of opportunity for women and youth in Kano while preventing them from venturing into damaging means of acquire financial autonomy.
Following on from the initial launch in Lagos in November, organizers said the idea is also to ensure the economic empowerment of 20,000 women and youth in Kano, as well as thousands in Lagos, Abuja, Benin and Owerri, for a total of 60,000 beneficiaries.
They said the initiative will take an integrative and hybrid approach to empowering youth and women to teach transformative skills and knowledge; improve the standard of living in target communities, show and lead participants to new avenues of economic growth and put participants’ lives on a trajectory of sustainable growth.
According to Saadia Madsbjerg, President of the Coca-Cola Foundation, the official launch of the project in Kano demonstrates a commitment to address the socio-economic issues identified in the region, particularly around skills acquisition and inclusion. financial. According to her, the initiative aims to promote women’s empowerment and youth development in vulnerable communities in Nigeria.
“We are particularly proud to finally launch the EQUIP project in Kano State,” she said. “It’s no secret that we believe the community of Kano will benefit greatly from this initiative, given recent developments and trends regarding the lack of opportunities for women and youth to break the cycle. poverty through transformative skills.
Speaking at the event, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, Director of Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria, said the launch of the EQUIP project will see his company continue its quest to spark positive change in people. underserved communities in Nigeria.
She added: “Northern Nigeria is dear to us for many reasons. Last year, we donated multi-billion naira worth of medical equipment to Aminu Kano Medical Center as part of the Safe Birth initiative, which ensures reduced child and maternal deaths in the North. This year, we plan to tackle another area of stress, including employability and skills development in the state. Our interest in the North extends beyond bottom line, which is why we continue to invest heavily in Kano State, the Northern Region of Nigeria and its people. “
Kabiru Ado Lakwaya, Commissioner for Youth Development and Sports in Kano State, also present at the event, praised the potential impact of the initiative, adding that it will help advance the development of the State and ensure sustained economic growth.
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