Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, Chairman/Founder, Pro-Value Humanity Foundation exchanging instruments of the agreement with Rev. Maximus Okoro, Project coordinator of the Salesians of Don Bosco at an MoU signing ceremony in Abuja while Provincial Economer and Administrator for West Africa and Rector of the Salesians in Abuja, Rev. Frs. Christopher Nizniak , right and Ambrose Anene, left, look on.
A brighter future awaits youths in Anambra state as a frontline aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the governorship of the state, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, Wednesday in Abuja, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between his foundation, Pro-Value Humanity Foundation and the Salesian of St. John Bosco, a Catholic organisation of priests and brothers, to begin technical and skills development of youths in the state.
While Dr. Okonkwo signed the dotted lines on behalf of pro-value Humanity foundation, Rev. Fr. Maximus Okoro, who is project coordinator for the Salesians, signed on behalf of the religious group while Rev. Frs. Christopher Nizniak, Provincial Economer and Administrator for West Africa and Ambrose Anene, Rector of the Salesians in Abuja witnessed the event.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Okonkwo, who paid glowing tribute to the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. Dr. Valerian Okeke, for his magnanimity in ceding a portion of the Archbishop Heerey Technical college Ogidi, including buildings, to the Salesians or the immediate commencement of the project, said Anambra youths are in for a bigger deal that would impart market-driven skills on them.
He said that with the right kind of skills, Anambra youths would be empowered to become job creators while the state would also export technical skills.
Dr. Okonkwo, who disclosed that all tools and equipment needed for the smooth take-off of the project is already on the ground, said the Salesians are known the world over as experts in youth development adding their work in countries like India has lifted over one million youths out of the job market and out of poverty.
“A new future awaits our youth in Anambra state. with what we have done here today, Pro-value Humanity Foundation will mobilize funds to enable the Salesians to begin the vocational and technical training of our youths and imparting in them market-driven skills that would increase their employability and add value to their lives.
“We do this because we are committed to youth development not just in Anambra state but across the country. I see this project benefitting youths across the country as it has no religious, denominational or ethnic barrier. With this, we hope to begin to actively address the issue of joblessness among the youths. Once they are trained and have the right kind of skills, they can become better people for themselves, their families and the country at large as the training will be certificated”, Okonkwo added.
Okonkwo further disclosed that the coming of the Salesians will open the potentials on the creation of a degree-awarding polytechnic in the area.
According to the terms of the agreement, Pro-Value Humanity Foundation will among other things “mobilize funds and financial support for the training; make financial contributions directly or through proxies to execute scholarships; assist to monitor and evaluate the success or otherwise of training and programme as well as support in providing policy advice on the programmes and specific implementations”.
On its part, the Salesians will “implement the training and its work plan; approve and implement the programme plans and recommendations; recruit trainers for skill enhancement and training of trainers and also make provision of training facilities; classrooms, workshops and other training facilities”.
Speaking at the event, Rev. Fr. Nizniak said the Salesians have over the years established themselves as the foremost order in the Catholic Church for youth development.