By Olubunmi Adeniyi
Lagos. April 24, 2013: The Alcatel-Lucent Foundation has announced the donation of $20,000 grant to support SOS Children’s Villages Nigeria’s Youth Empowerment Programme, a vocational/entrepreneurship and leadership training for young Nigerians designed to assist youths become more self-sufficient.
With the donation, the Foundation will support twenty young adults including unemployed graduates, vocational trainees and final-year students in learning entrepreneurial, leadership and life skills that will help them face day-to-day challenges and give them a jump start into the world of work, the technology company says.
According to Alcatel-Lucent, during the programme, the group will develop the attitude, behavior, confidence and skills needed to take responsibility for building their own future and to become successful and contributing members of the society.
In addition to the grant, Alcatel-Lucent Nigeria says it employees participate in a coaching and mentorship volunteering programme. “They will assist teachers on a wide range of areas like Languages (Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, English, Arabic, and French), Mathematics, Basic Science, Social and Civic Education.”
Also there will be some courses and coaching for youth employability to prepare them to jump into the professional life with lessons in English, email writing, resume preparation, professional attitude, life experience in a professional environment and so on, the company says.
During the mock cheque presentation ceremony held in Lagos, Amr K. El-Leithy, President, Alcatel-Lucent for Middle-East, Africa, Turkey and Azerbaijan said “today, I am very proud to be here with you, I am proud because the SOS Children Villages in Nigeria has given Alcatel-Lucent Foundation the opportunity to lend our support to their youth empowerment program.
This fantastic program will help provide twenty young people with a head-start towards an independent life with the necessary skills to succeed professionally and become leaders in tomorrow’s world, El-Leithy adds.
Hatim Zougari, Country Manager of Alcatel-Lucent Nigeria adds that, “I am delighted that we can lend our support to the youth empowerment program of SOS Children’s Villages in Nigeria. This program will help provide these youth with a head-start towards an independent life with the professional skills necessary to succeed in a globalized world.
“It is really great that we can take part in changing peoples’ lives in the communities where we work and live,” he says.
Eghosa Erhumwuns, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Nigeria appreciates Alcatel-Lucent Foundation for their support and contributions, which made the Youth Empowerment Programme a reality to enable twenty youths undergo training in entrepreneurial and leadership skills.
“It is really encouraging building synergy that is needed to empower youth to become independent and contributing member of their community, with this vocational/entrepreneurship and leadership programme, Alcatel-Lucent is already sharing in the development of the youth communities, Erhumwuns said.
According to him, the coaching and mentorship volunteering program, as well as providing assistance to teachers in Hermann Gmeiner Schools has further reaffirmed the importance of partnership and synergy building in contributing to the development of children and youth in Nigeria.
The SOS vocational training centre was founded in 1995 and is located within the SOS Children’s Villages Nigeria in Lagos. Over 190 trainees are currently benefiting from the wide range of programmes offered by this centre at the moment.
The project in Nigeria continues the Alcatel-Lucent Foundation’s long relationship with SOS Children’s Villages, having previously supported projects in India, the United States and Morocco.
The Foundation’s commitment to these projects is part of Alcatel-Lucent’s initiatives worldwide to address global challenges such as digital inclusion and sustainability. The focal point of the Foundation’s activity is centered on supporting educational programmes for young people.