This Day (Lagos)

14 February 2013

Nigeria: NGO Unveils Grassroots Mentoring Project for 300 Youths

The Reach Out and Care for Youths Organisation (ROAFYO), a non-profit organisation working in the thematic area of youth rehabilitation, has carried out a mapping exercise in Ikotun area of Lagos State.

In the course of the mapping, about three hundred youths have been identified and selected to benefit from a rehabilitation process that will help to launch them into meaningful economic engagement.

The exercise is a follow-up to a similar project that mentored two hundred and fifty youths in Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state last year, according to a release.

Speaking on the significance of the programme, National President of ROAFYO, Mrs. Pretty Ogbonna, said it is characteristically useful because it targets youths across gender lines, especially those traumatised by social vices and in particular those deep into drug abuse.

Ogbonna said many of the beneficiaries of the exercise are those indulging in various forms of anti-society activities either due to lack of parental care or those who were disillusioned with insufficient support from the society to enable them go to school.

"When we launched this project in 2004 we found a high population of disgruntled youths across the state, many deeply indulging in various forms of drug, prostitution and crime and all these we realised were as a result of failure of the leadership to provide them with support to build their capacity," she said.

She said she was abused at a tender age and the experience motivated her into launching the project to mentor youths who have gone through similar experience, since, according to her, "the society has not developed a structure that would help in addressing such abuses".

Ogbonna said the Ajeromi Ifelodun exercise produced an unparalleled result with many of them now advantageously employed while others who went through other vocational training are now involved in social field work counseling and mentoring their peers.

She disclosed that her organisation has held HIV rally in preparation of the project to attract those who are weighed down by the ailment and would engage in television talk show to educate the population in the area on the benefits of the projects.

She also mentioned plan to hold child abuse rally across some areas in the state to enlighten the population on the dangers of engaging in abuses and its consequences on the society.

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