At at the instance of Amuvi Welfare Union, AWU and Amuvi Development Group, ADG, the framework for entrepreneurship, reorientation and skills development program for Amuvi youths was designed by the training and education project team and it was approved for implementation. The essence is to equip the youths with skills for productive activities, thus reduce poverty and improve the quality of life in our community. It has four components, namely, value reorientation training, vocational training by Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Nigerian Directorate of Employment (NDE) master craftsmen attachment and Monitoring and Evaluation, after start-up of business by beneficiaries. At the close of the application period on November 15, 2020, a total of 52 applicants from six family units in Amuvi applied. The value reorientation training, the first phase of the scheme, held January 3 – 7, 2021 at Amuvi Comprehensive Secondary School.
All the 52 applicants underwent the reorientation training. Thereafter, 10 already skilled artisans among were empowered via Dr Ejike & Linda Onyeador family’s foundation while the rest shall continue with skills training by the ITF in March/April, 2021 (3 and 6 months duration). Graduates of the ITF training shall undergo the NDE attachment scheme with established artisans in Arochukwu and post attachment, successful candidates shall be mobilized and empowered to set up businesses via sponsorships. Monitoring & evaluation team shall track the beneficiaries during biz start-up activities and attachment and issue periodic reports and periodically beneficiaries and benefactors shall interact to jointly evaluate the scheme. The training and education project team held series of meetings at Arochukwu and deployed several sensitization strategies to prepare the candidates for the program.
A final pre-event meeting held at Amuvi Community Hall on Sunday January 3rd, 2021 at 4pm during which candidates were accredited, modalities outlined and branded T. Shirts distributed. The training held Monday – Thursday from 9am to 4pm daily at Amuvi Comprehensive Secondary School. The facilitators included the lead Consultant – Dr Chidi Iheama; Chair, ADG training/education, Dr Azubike Okoro; ADG Treasurer, Mrs Ijeoma Orji-Okoronkwo; ITF Area Manager, Enugu, Mrs. Uzoamaka Yahaya, Mrs. Chioma Ezumah of NDE, Abuja (represented); Mazi Chibueze Orji, a lecturer at UNN; Dr Sam Okoro, lecturer at ASCETA; Engr. Alex O Ezumah, Rtd Director, FCTA, Abuja and Mazi Maquis Onyeador.
Some of the topics covered include the challenges of drug and substance abuse, patriotism, commitment and managing change, the place of traditional values in Arochukwu society, developing corporate values, value reorientation: problems and challenges, work ethics and productivity, entrepreneurship development, etc. AWU/ADG members, including the Secretaries, Mazi Edward Enyi Okoro and Mrs Uju Nd Ezumah and her husband, Mazi Ndubuisi Ezumah, Mazi Agustine Kanu, Mazi Charles Onyeador, etc were regularly in attendance. Barrister Ijeoma Nwakamma Okoro also visited the session and boosted the morale of trainees. The closing ceremony was graced by many, including the traditional head of Amuvi, Eze Ogo, Mazi Thomas Nlenanya Okoroji, the acting President-General, Mazi Uche Uwah and Home Branch Chair, Chima Amara. Aside from the 52 candidates expected, 19 new ones showed up, totalling 71.
The Eze Ogo in his closing remarks prayed fervently and thanked God for making the event possible during his tenure. He thanked AWU/ADG, the entire Amuvi community and Dr Ejike and Linda Onyeador who empowered the first set of trainees to immortalize their father of blessed memory. The ten beneficiaries were as follows: Miss Okafor Chinonso, Hair Dresser, Orji Ifeanyi, Brick Layer, Uwaezuoke Udenyi, Barber, Okereke Okechukwu, Brick Layer, Arukwe Ejike, Electrician, Ogbonnaya Victor, Welder, Amara Emmanuel, Welder, Chijioke J Paco, Brick Layer, Nwokoro C Stephen, Vulcanizer and Onyeador Kinsley, Mechanic. The Eze Ogo blessed the toolkits before they were distributed. For each, the basic and essential toolkits for their jobs were procured. Also, those that had existing shops, one year rent was made available while those without shops were provided with one year rent. The three artisans whose jobs do not require renting an office were given cash as working capital.
All candidates were advised to work hard to procure the remaining essential tools themselves as a proof of commitment and dedication. Monitoring is identified as a critical success factor as many past start-ups failed due to lack of observance of basic accounting and management principles. It has started with the ten persons who were empowered after the training. Monitors shall watch and monitor their progress as they make decisions on getting jobs, delivering jobs, managing clients, conflicts, their new apprenticeship team, etc. Some business professionals and managers of both local and international outfits led by Mazi Marquis Onyeador shall manage this important process to ensure that money spent on the scheme does not become a waste. They shall render periodic reports which would be used to keep benefactors updated on the progress with the scheme.
The first phase of Uda Entrepreneurship Scheme and the empowerment component generated huge enthusiasm and impact in the community. We therefore, remain grateful, as ever, and pray that the Almighty God shall reward everyone that made it possible. In particular, we thank Dr Ejike Onyeador and family and the Amuvi sons and daughters, including groups who saw this as best way to invest in our people who shall become the pillars of the community tomorrow as sponsors and donors. ADG requires more benefactors and donors to raise sufficient funds to train and equip the youths with tools and working capital to commence business undertakings. No amount is too small in order to support this flagship program of AWU/ADG and the benefits are starting to emerge. Our mantra, adopt and sponsor an Amuvi youth today and watch him/her become well established entrepreneur tomorrow. Join the growing list of ADG partners on Uda Entrepreneurship Scheme.