Sahara Group upgrades vocational centres, empowers 2,600 beneficiaries annually

A total of 2,600 beneficiaries in Lagos now have access to capacity building opportunities annually through vocational centres supported by leading energy giant, Sahara Group. This, the group said, is in keeping with Sahara Group’s quest to enhance economic growth and development in Nigeria. The centres, which include The Lagos State Vocational Training and Skills Acquisition Centre, Surulere and the Oshodi Community Vocational Centre, received support in 2014 and 2015 from the Sahara Foundation.

The Sahara Foundation is equally involved in several interventions in health, education and capacity building, environment and sustainability in its various locations across the globe. The Executive Director and Co-Founder, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, said working with the centres has reinforced Sahara’s belief that people can be empowered to excel beyond their limitations when linked with the right platforms, partnerships and opportunities. Cole said: “In every one of these 2600 people resides that innate God given idea that can create value for different people across the globe. Sahara Group is proud of the achievements some of the beneficiaries are already recording in their various disciplines. We are privileged to witness firsthand, the transformation of everyday people whose greatest attributes are their passion and commitment to pursue and realize their dreams.”

According to Cole, the promoters of the centres deserve commendation and support to ensure sustainability and a brighter future for more Nigerians, adding: “When we consider the multiples of success stories that will emerge from these 2600 beneficiaries every year and those they will impact directly and indirectly, Sahara Group is emboldened to remain committed in supporting and providing guidance to similar vocational centres.” In June 2014, Sahara Foundation refurbished the dilapidated Textile Laboratory in Oshodi Vocational Centre in Lagos, Nigeria. The main objective of this project was to provide opportunities for pupils and adults within Oshodi Community and its environs to gain vocational skills to support gainful employment and/or starting a business.

The centre’s mission to provide basic skills, including Catering, Clothing and Textiles, Laundry, House-craft, was hampered by the absence of essential resources and an enabling environment to promote skills transfer. The project covered structural refurbishment and equipping of the Clothing and Textile Lab as well as capacity building in Arts and Crafts for 10 vocational teachers from various centres within the locality, to positively stretch Sahara’s impact. Currently, over 1,000 pupils and locals now have access annually to a conducive, safe and fully functional Clothing and Textile lab for practical sessions. In continuation of the growing capacity in the locality, Sahara Foundation in 2015 upgraded the dilapidated Food and Nutrition Vocational Centre in Oshodi to a 21st century Cooking Laboratory. Following completion of the project, more than 1,000 pupils across 12 Government Primary School in Oshodi Local Government Area can now access the fully functional Catering Lab for practical sessions annually.

Sahara Foundation had also upgraded the Catering Department of the Lagos State Vocational Training and Skills Acquisition Centre in Surulere, Lagos in February 2014. The centre was established by the State Government to reduce the rate of unemployment. With over 600 youths within the locality having access to the facility annually, this enhances prospects for income generation and employment of beneficiaries by notable establishments in the hospitality sector.

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