The Nigerian Air Force Officers’ Wives Association (NAFOWA), yesterday 12 June 2018, kicked off the 9th edition of its skills acquisition and vocational training programme for widows and youths at Azare in Bauchi State. The programme is aimed at empowering dependants of NAF personnel, widows and the less privileged residing in host communities towards making them self-sufficient. While speaking during the launching ceremony, the NAFOWA President, Hajiya Hafsat Sadique Abubakar, reiterated the commitment of NAFOWA towards empowering women and youths in NAF Bases and host communities. She said the initiative would help reduce unemployment in the country as well as complement the effort being made by the NAF to build needed capacity for families of personnel. She explained that the 9th edition of the Scheme would accommodate 150 participants, who would go through a 10-week intensive programme in different vocational trades such as tailoring, hairdressing and barbing,
leather shoes and bags production, beads making, computer appreciation, catering, soap and disinfectant production, aluminum windows and doors fabrication as well as events and interior decoration.
The NAFOWA President explained that the vocations were carefully selected because of their potentials to speedily have positive impact on the lives of participants shortly after they graduate from the programme. “These vocations are skills that are needed in the society everyday and would thus, no doubt, attract great patronage”, she added. Hajia Hafsat Abubakar further stated that NAFOWA had carefully selected women and youths from the needy in Azare and its environs, to ensure that only those in need of its intervention became participants in the programme. “It is our hope that this training in Azare will be of a positive impact to all the beneficiaries of this programme. We are doing this as part of our efforts, as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), to complement the Federal Government’s aspiration at reducing unemployment in the country, especially amongst the teeming youths, widows and other women”, she said.
While receiving the NAFOWA President and her entourage in his palace, the Emir of Katagum, Alhaji Umar Faruk, expressed delight over the laudable strides being made by NAFOWA to ensure that women and youths are empowered. He stressed that the philanthropic act should be emulated by other NGOs within the country. The Emir then urged participants to be serious and take full advantage of the opportunity offered by the 10-week empowerment programme. It is noteworthy that the NAFOWA Scheme, since its inception in 2016, has empowered well over 1,000 women and youths in NAF Bases in Makurdi, Maiduguri, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Lagos, Benin and Kainji.