It was a gathering of
women, driven by a common front and objective of creating a responsible citizenry and promoting the ideals of entrepreneurial development, especially among women and youth resident in Port Harcourt and its environs.
The gathering which operates under the auspices of Divine Daughters of Destiny International, an interdenominational platform stormed the headquarters of the Redemption Ministries in Port Harcourt to celebrate the third edition of the Yearly Skills Acquisition Programme organised by the body to raise vistas of hope for creative enterprise and guarantee financial independence among its teeming beneficiaries in various crafts and trades.
The 2014 edition of the special skills acquisition programme which commenced about three years ago was dispensing the humanitarian gesture to about one thousand participants and beneficiaries which had enrolled and graduated in various skills in the one month special training.
The graduands were clad in various attires reflecting their various trades, and they beamed with smiles of appreciation as they marched out for the special graduation ceremony. Addressing the mammoth crowd of participants, guests and members of the organisation, the President of the Divine Daughters of Destiny International, Pastor Mrs Grace Briggs, said the programme was an initiative aimed at addressing the peculiar challenges of entrepreneurial development among women and youths. Pastor Mrs Briggs noticed that the alternative to creative engagement among youths was boredom which she described as a chronic disease of the age.
The president ascribed the roots to violence and antisocial activities in the society to lack of active involvement in youths in creative ventures. As part of measures of addressing these disabilities in the society, the president said the body was poised to add value to the lives of the participants “by guaranteeing financial independence and crating wealth among them through the acquisition and application of new skills”.
According to the president of the body, “the vision was based on the objective that empowerment should go beyond giving money to people, but creating a platform for engaging one’s creative potentials and abilities for self development”.
She emphasised that “the roadmap to sustainable development in the society was the path of self reliance”, and assured the commitment of the organisation towards the capacity development of women in the society. She called on the beneficiaries to take advantage of the programme to engage themselves creatively and improve their standards of living.
In her remark, the Cordinator of the Special Skills Acquisition Programme, Mrs Patience Ibeh, said the initiative which was conceived a couple of years ago has begun to rub off positively on the lives of its teeming beneficiaries. According to Mrs Ibeh, the 2014 edition of the programme witnessed a significant improvement on previous editions, as over one thousand persons enrolled and graduated in various skills, such as catering, bead making, events management, photography and video, ICT, fish/farming, fabricating of pure water sachets to tiles, horticulture among several others trades. The Cordinator said “the task was daunting but not insurmountable as it has to do with the impacting of new skills and knowledge to adults”. She expressed hope that the beneficiaries would be better of after the programme, if the various skills acquired are put into practice.
In his admonition, the General Overseer of the Redemption Ministries, Pastor Steven Akinola, lauded the effort of the Divine Daughters of Destiny International for the initiative. Drawing a biblical allusion from the book of James, the renowned cleric emphasised the need to work diligently to earn a living, noting that there was dignity in labour. He pointed out that most devout Christians of old were skilful men who earned a living from their crafts.
Pastor Akinola however, observed a particular disability and disincentive that people in this chine suffers after acquiring skills. According to the cleric, “the major problem that most people encounter after acquiring basic skills was the penchant to go solo, there is a breakthrough when people forge a common front, as they are bound to excel on sharing common ideas for a collective breakthrough”.
The man of God who called on the beneficiaries to “use their hands to master to their own needs” cautioned against the hoarding of knowledge which he described as the “hallmark of poverty”.
He noted that most specialized skilled mastered by our forebears in the past went extinct because of hoarding of such skills and lack of transmission to succeeding generations. He called on the beneficiaries of the programme to form themselves into co-operative societies with a common objectives so that they can “collectively leverage on the various skills acquired to impact positively on their lives and that of the society in general.
Also speaking at the event, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications Mrs Ibim Semenitari who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs Cordelia Peterside, said the gesture of the Divine Daughters of Destiny International was uncommon, as it was complementary to the efforts of government in human capacity development. The Commissioner tasked the beneficiaries to avail themselves of the opportunities provided to live a life of self reliance, she also cautioned youths against anti-social behaviours and advised them to embrace the path of self reliance through skills acquisition and applications.
In her remark, the Chancellor, Pastor Mrs Matilda Akinola expressed satisfaction over the success so far recorded by the organisation and assured that commitment to the sustainability of the programme. A participant of the programme and graduate of events’ management, Lekue Nwibira, expressed gratitude to the organisers of the programme, and assured that the skill acquired would be put into practice. She also added that the training has broadened her mindset