EU, Mercy Corps empower 17,000 youths in N/East Nigeria

YOUTHS DIGEST – Mr Ketil Karlsen, the European Union (EU) Ambassador and Head of delegation in Nigeria, says no fewer than 17,000 youths have been empowered in various skills in the crisis ridden North-East region of Nigeria.

The empowerment was powered by the European Union (EU’s) funded project.

Karlsen made this disclosure while delivering an address at a summit organised by the Mercy Corps organisation on Wednesday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit was themed: “Reaching Adolescents in Emergencies”.

NAN also reports that Mercy Corps is a global humanitarian not-for-profit organisation empowering people recover from crisis, build better lives and transform their communities.

According to Karlsen, the EU funded project, known as Investing in the Safety and Integrity of Nigerian Girls (I-SING), was implemented by Mercy Corps.

He explained that the project was meant to change the lives of young people in the region by giving them life skills which they could use for their day-to-day lives.

He said that the population of adolescent of 10 to 19 years, constituted 22 per cent of the country’s population and that should not be ignored.

According to him, the development partners cannot solve the social problems created by insurgency in the country, but to support the policies and initiatives of the government to better the lives of the citizens.

“This Summit today is not only to celebrate the result achieved in this project but to find the way forward.

“Our success depends on our ability to support Nigeria led initiatives as we cannot solve the
social challenges in a huge country like Nigeria.

“Our experiences from this project can be translated to state policies that will benefit the entire country,” he said.

The Country Director of Mercy Corps, Mr Darius Radcliffe, said that the project was designed to provide livelihood to young people in the insurgency affected region of the North East.

Radcliffe explained that the project had given voice to adolescents and empowered them with various entrepreneurship skills.

He said that 12,000 of the 17,000 beneficiaries were girls, while the remaining 5,000 were
boys.

According to him, the project is community based and involved all relevant stakeholders in the affected areas. (NAN)