UNICEF ends its skills training program for displaced women and girls in northeast Nigeria

The United Nations Children‘s Fund (UNICEF) on Monday, May 23, said young women and girls make up the highest percentage of beneficiaries of its Response, Recovery and Resilience (RRR) project, which provided educational opportunities and economic empowerment skills to people. with vulnerability.

The European Union (EU)-funded program, which started in 2019, would end at the end of May 2022. UNICEF is also introducing a new program that would consolidate the achievements of the RRR project.

Paola Ripamonti, UNICEF’s Borno state education officer, told a press conference that the project, which ends this month, “has provided 102,859 children (51% girls) access to inclusive, equitable and quality education in a safe and protective learning environment”. environment.”

“A total of 29,985 out-of-school youth and adolescents (55% women) received vocational skills, including poultry farming, shoemaking, soap and bag production, sewing, painting and production. of interlock tiles. »

Ripamonti said the majority of young people trained are back in their communities and earning an income to support their families’ basic needs.

“Some of them have even gone back to school and are supporting their education with income from their businesses,” she said.

The final program has been designed to ensure that vulnerable children in Borno State have the same opportunity to benefit from a quality education and are the best version of themselves.

During the press conference, UNICEF announced the launch of a new program to integrate with the RRR.

The “EduTrac mobile phone data collection system and integration of psychosocial support into formal education in Borno State” was idealized to “improve education planning, expand access to education for conflict-affected children and strengthen learning outcomes while improving their mental health”. health.”

She said the new program would consolidate the achievements of the RRR project.

She hinted that “among other project achievements, 30 schools have been built or rehabilitated, equipped with furniture and have gender-segregated WASH facilities.”

“Fifty-eight temporary learning spaces were built or rehabilitated, and 28 vocational training centers were established in six LGAs.”

She added that RRR interventions have supported over 300,000 children and young people (52% women).

Among them are 20,104 out-of-school children (53% of whom are girls) who are now accessing informal learning courses and 16,630 children (52% girls) who have made the transition to the formal education system, and more than 29,000 young people (55% of whom are girls). ) who have acquired employable skills through vocational training.

In addition, 750 school management committee members (44% women) improved their school management skills; 1,630 teachers and Community Volunteer Teachers (49% of them women) strengthened their skills on various themes such as psychosocial support, gender-sensitive pedagogy and effective classroom management.

The education sector in northeast Nigeria is one of the most affected by protracted armed conflict. UNICEF and European Union support have led several interventions on the Response, Recovery and Resilience Project in Borno State, which has led to a partnership with the state government to provide a response integrated in education.

This has generated demand for inclusive and equitable quality education from communities; strengthened capacity of education personnel to collect and analyze school data for better education planning and empowerment of school principals and community leaders as active participants in the education response.

UNICEF explained that the EduTrac tool is a mobile phone-based data collection system that allows teachers, school leaders and school management system focal points to send data directly to school administrators. education for rapid interventions.

Husseini Adamu, one of the internally displaced beneficiaries of the RRR project, told HumAngle that he had never been to school in his entire life until he enrolled in the RRR project, which trained in poultry farming.

“Now I make money from the sale of chicken from my poultry to fund my studies at the adult education center,” he said.

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