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Skills training and economic empowerment initiatives.

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Growing up in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, I witnessed debilitating poverty around me. I was fortunate enough to attain primary and secondary education through the generosity of my hardworking grandparents. But others were not so lucky and the trajectory of their lives is not much to write home about. They ended up recycling the poverty from which they have emerged. It dawned on me at that impressionable age that education was pivotal to breaking the cycle of poverty and unshackling people and communities from its humiliating grip. It occurred to me that Education is emancipation.

So in 2007, I founded Caprecon to support individuals, especially young people, on their journey of emancipation, mostly through education. Some years later, I became interested in the experiences of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, having spent some time in an IDP camp as a volunteer, and witnessed the trauma suffered by most individuals in there. Also, I did postgraduate studies in forced migration which exposed me to the modus operandi of Humanitarian Aid and Relief agencies in Africa. I discovered that their programs were geared more towards providing scant material aid to Internally Displaced Persons and refugees, with little regard for the dignity of refugees and IDPs. To some NGOs, they were numbers to be checked off on a list.

But at Caprecon, we see things differently. We know that they are human beings with agency; and are able to cater for themselves, if enabled or empowered. At Caprecon, we hold the philosophy that every person has the right to design their own future. So we embarked on a number of programs, in tandem with local and international organizations, to empower IDPs and other individuals impoverished by natural disasters, violent conflict and other debilitating tragedies in some states in North-Eastern Nigeria. One of such programs was Sprout, which was aimed at providing IDPs with the tools they need to work themselves out of poverty and misery; and become self-reliant.

Sprout was essentially our anti-trafficking initiative. It was aimed at reducing Child trafficking in IDP camps by providing IDPs with marketing and business skills training, entrepreneurship programs and anti-trafficking education. Working with IDP community leaders, we aimed to create anti-trafficking strategies needed by IDPs to protect themselves and their communities. Unfortunately, we could not see this programme through, owing to disruptions brought about by Covid – 19, and factors beyond our control,such as insecurity in the northern part of Nigeria. Moving on, we have created Caprecon Green Initiatives for the purpose of promoting the empowerment and safety of IDP communities and other vulnerable groups through skills training and economic empowerment initiatives.

And also, we recently joined hands with Health Aid For all Initiative (HAFAI), an NGO founded by the very kind and compassionate Dr Ugochi Ohajuruka, that is dedicated to Menstrual Hygiene Management Solutions, Family Planning, Advocacy on Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, Human Rights and Women and Girls Empowerment. We hope to embark on A number of joint programmes for the welfare and empowerment of IDPs; especially, vulnerable women, girls and children. (See photos below).
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