Covenant Launches Literacy and Empowerment Programme in Host Community
Covenant’s Women Development and Human Security Initiatives (CU-WDHSI) research cluster has launched a programme aimed at providing women and children with the requisite skills needed to actualise 5 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their local community.
The one-day event, which was in commemoration of the 2018 International Literacy Day, drew partnership from Covenant’s Community Development Impact Initiative Committee (CDIIC), the Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Creative Youths Community Development Initiative (CYCDI), and the Icon of Change Initiatives.
While speaking at the event held on Saturday, September 8, 2018 at Ifekowajo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Covenant and Head, Covenant-WDHSI research cluster, Professor Taiwo Abioye, noted that the 2018 International Literacy Day, with the theme “Literacy and Skills’ Development,” was topical to the daily realities that citizens faced in this part of the world, which was in congruence with the ideals of the Covenant-WDHSI.
Professor Abioye, representing the Vice-Chancellor, Professor AAA. Atayero, said Covenant was committed to holistically ensure that every member of the University’s immediate community, particularly women and vulnerable groups, no longer fell victim of unfair disparity. According to her, “We are committed to giving hope; and one of the ways we do this is through literacy and skills development”.
She stated that, while it was agreed that literacy was the most basic currency of the knowledge economy, it was not the end of education or even the beginning itself. Hence, alongside literacy, there was need to also prioritise skill development. “With collective efforts, we can bring an end to hunger, poverty, unemployment, marginalisation, abuse, inequality, and other ills that threaten human security,” she added.
Professor Abioye posited that since 2016, CU-WDHSI had engaged in skill development projects for members of Covenant’s immediate community who were not upwardly mobile. In 2018, however, the cluster was extending her community development impact initiatives to Ifekowajo LCDA with a view that it would involve both literacy and skill development.
“We are here today, not only to celebrate International Literacy Day 2018 and reinforce the importance of literacy and skills development in the formation of equitable and sustainable societies, but we are also here to kick start CU-WDHSI’s Literacy and Empowerment Programmes in Ifekowajo LCDA. This is to complement all of the talks that will be going on across the world on the ILD 2018. We are taking this one step further than talking; we are being pragmatic with our goals for a fair and equal society,” she said.
Professor Abioye noted that the current phase of the project was tailored, primarily, towards women; since women were still largely marginalised at various levels in Nigeria. According to her, “Among other things, we will be equipping women of Ifekowajo LCDA with functional literacy, financial and social empowerment skills for their economic sustainability in the next nine months”.
The Assistant Zonal Education Officer of Yewa South, Ilaro, Mr. Olabode Adewale, representing the Zonal Education Officer of Yewa South, Ilaro, from the Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology at the occasion, commended Covenant and other partners for their tireless commitment to see to the actualisation of the United Nations SDGs in Ifekowajo LCDA.
Mr. Adewale said the state government was ready to establish a women’s vocational centre in Ifekowajo LCDA, to support the initiative of CU-WDHSI, CDIIC and CYCDI towards empowering beneficiaries of the training programme.
The Chair CDIIC, Mrs. Ronke Asaolu, expressed the University’s readiness to partner with various communities around to create an enhanced way of life. According to her, every university is tasked with adding three key values to the society: teaching, research and impact. The tripod had made the CDIIC an intervening arm of Covenant towards propagating and driving community development in and around the University axis.
The Chief Executive Officer/Project Director, CYCDI, Mrs. Foluke Michael, appreciated the good deeds of Covenant through the WDHSI and CDIIC platform, which, according to her, were in tandem with the UN Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030.
Mrs. Michael noted that with Covenant’s focus on 5 elements of the 17 SDGs that addressed key issues bothering on poverty, quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, which were vital to positively drive the overall attainment of the SDGs by 2030 in Nigeria, the University was well positioned to partner the United Nations in ensuring the other 12 SDGs were implemented in the nation.
In his remarks at the event, His Royal Highness, Oba (Dr) Olurotimi Fagbenro, the Oloke-Odan of Oke-Odan, thanked the Covenant Chancellor, Dr. David Oyedepo and the University’s Management for the opportunity they availed his community to draw from the research outcomes of Covenant.
The monarch decried the prevalence of teenage pregnancy and marriages in his domain, and hoped the initiative of WDHSI, CDIIC, Icon of Change and CYCDI in Ifekowajo LCDA would go a long way in stemming the tide.
Participants were expected to gain hands-on skills in various vocations during the course of the programme such as tie and dye, waste to wealth management, agricultural crops production, snail rearing/piggery, perfumery and soap making, beauty enhancement, online marketing, photography, tailoring, and bag making.