Misfortune yet fortunate; devastated and rendered homeless but comforted. These are some of the words one can use to describe the victims of the North-East terrorist attack (Boko Haram) some of which have now relocated to Uhogua Internally Displaced Persons Camp, International Christian Center Mission, Edo State.
They can be said to be fortunate though in the midst of their misfortune due to displacement from their natural and traditional birth place. They are comforted by well-meaning Nigerians, especially Edo State Government who is collaborating with the camp Director, Pastor Folorunsho Solomon to give them security, shelter, education and feeding.
That’s not all, the wife of the State Governor, Mrs. Iara Oshiomhole has concluded arrangements through her pet project, We Care Trust’s “Project Focus” to empower 380 Internally Displaced Persons in the areas of skills and creative learning; computer training, creative art, farming, catering and food processing.
The training programme is scheduled to commence on Friday, April 1st and last till the end of Easter Holidays.
According to Mrs. Iara Oshiomhole, “About 380 persons would be captured in the empowerment programme while others would be engaged in what we termed “Sport Summer Camp”.
“There would be football, volleyball, basketball, table tennis among others” she explained.
The training which comes as a way of empowerment, is structured in such a way that they can start their own business with minimum startups and whenever anybody needs their services, they would be engaged and eke out a living thereby and also make what they usually go out to buy themselves.
For the catering and food processing, 80 persons would be trained. There would be safety and hygiene training just as National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) would also be on ground to certify them.
They would be taught how to make “Kilishi” tapioca, coconut candy, fish drying, chinchin, gurundi, zobo, kunu among others.
For the creative art, 80 IDPs would be enrolled and they would be taught how to make clothes, tailoring, bags, slippers, sandals, different kinds of earrings, headbands, necklaces, bow-tie, table mat, bangles and head flowers.
In addition, 80 others would be enrolled for the demonstration farms for the IDPs. There would be vegetables such as pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, green leaf vegetable among others.
It is expected that after training, they would be empowered to put it to practice and if they plant their vegetables in stages, they will harvest monthly, because vegetables grow fast coupled with the treated seedlings that would be provided.
The idea, according to Mrs. Oshiomhole is to empower the IDPs to feed the camp and save it from starvation just as they would also source their own food themselves.
They would be taught in such a manner that the least of them can catchup. They are from the North and their major occupation is farming, so they would be trained in their line of passion which is easy for them to catch up and thereby give them hope of livelihood.
They would get training on how to construct their own fish pond in the simplest form and how to produce or source their meal including how to raise snails.
“You need no expenditure to raise snails except their pen-housing. The gestation period for snails is three months and they begin to sell; don’t forget snails are the most expensive meat in the market”.
With this project, according to Mrs. Iara Oshiomhole, “food shortage in the IDP camp would be a thing of the past or would be half solved. They would also make money from it and above all, bring a sense of relief. They can cater for themselves” she assured.
“You also do not need money to feed snails, apart from pawpaw, pawpaw leaf, egg shell, cassava leaf and moist control. It is very easy to maintain” she explained.
It would be recalled that Mrs. Oshiomhole had through her We Care Trust’s “Project Focus” empowered 36 trainees who would be part of those to train the 380 IDPs.