Reporter : CHRISTIAN NWANGENE –
A Non Governmental Organization (NGO), Development Education Centre (DEC), Enugu, has awarded scholarship to about fifty drop-out of School children.
The NGO also graduated 240 out-of-School female youths and community-based un-skilled young mothers from its Enugu Skills Acquisition project, as well as presentated starter packs for take-off in their newly acquired skills, with 120 of them empowered with a grant of twenty thousand naira each.
The Founder and Executive Director, DEC, Enugu, Nigeria, Dr. Cecilia Asogwa, announced this at the 37th Annual Convention of DEC Assisted Women Self-help Groups in Southeast and North Central Nigeria, held at its Enugu Centre, Independence Layout, Enugu.
Dr. Asogwa, while presenting the annual progress report for the period ending, 2020 and plan of the organization for 2021-2023 said during the out break of COVID-19, the NGO in partnership with its Women Empowerment Projects Implementation Committee members sensitized women in more than 30 communities in Southeast and North Central to avoid being infected by Corona virus.
The NGO also produced COVID-19 preventive kits and distributed palliatives to most vulnerable in the areas to help cushion the effect of the lockdown on the people, including access to quality health care services.
According to Dr. Asogwa, DEC also works hard to ensure women inclusion in community governance structures and decision making process.
The organization led forces against gender based violence and other obnoxious cultural practices as well as denial of inheritance rights to widows.
On skill acquisition for unemployed and out of school female youths and unskilled community-based young mothers, Dr. Asogwa said DEC equipped 120 female youths with skills on fashion designing, cosmetology, catering, and hospitality management.
She also announced that the Board of the organization approved and gave out a grant of #60,000 each to the 36 best performed graduates from the five skills training workshops in DEC, Enugu, and provided loans to 1000 women working in 150 self help groups.
The DEC boss further announced that the Board had approved a one digit interest on loan facility to be accessed in January, 2021 by all women self help groups registered and working with DEC Enugu.
She stated that DEC, with her partners and Independent consultants, planned to commence a technology-driven innovations in digital technologies with emphasizes on information and communication technologies, ICT, during the next academic year.
The Chairman, DEC Board of Directors, Chief Emeka Odoh, represented by Mr. Christopher Odoh, noted that despite the unfortunate events in the country, which had brought untold hardship on the people, DEC would continue to add value to the lives of the people at the grassroots.
The Chaiman of the occasion, Dr. Edward Isiwu, said it was only by the grace of God that after thirty-seven years of existence, DEC was still impacting humanity, thriving and waxing strong.
The Commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development, Enugu State, Princess Peace Nnaji, commended Dr. Cecilia Asogwa for her investment in humanity development, promising her Ministry’s continued partnership with the NGO
Two of the beneficiaries of the DEC training, Miss Joy Ogar and Alice Emmanuel, from Benue State, said they learnt art of sewing and fashion designing.
There were solidarity speeches from traditional rulers of Okigwe, Umunneochi, in Abia State and Igalame/Odolu in Kogi State.