Sola Afuye, Abuja

The Shamies Unusual Hearts Foundation, an Abuja-based NGO, has embarked on a transformative mission to empower 20 people with invaluable skills to cushion the effect of the recent fuel subsidy removal, especially among the indigent in Nigeria.

The event coincided with the organisation’s annual Founders Day held in Abuja on Saturday, 12th August 2023, had the beneficiaries trained in pastry making, soap and scented candle making, and barbing.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of the Shamies Foundation, Amb. Sara Abdul, who was represented by the Foundation’s Director of Communications, John Olugbemi, noted that the Foundation decided to use the occasion of its Founders Day to train and empower indigent youths in requisite skills needed for them to be self-reliant and financially stable, especially at a time like this when the removal of the fuel subsidy is taking its toll on individuals and families in the country.

“We desire to ignite the spirit of entrepreneurship in the beneficiaries by empowering them with vocational skills and providing them with startup kits needed to generate income,” Olugbemi noted.

Olugbemi, after that, encouraged the beneficiaries to use their newfound abilities to create positive change around them, as doing so will create a ripple effect of progress.

The Foundation’s Director of Programmes, Shadrach Oka, noted that although economic fluctuations often lead to increased criminal activities, the Foundation has embarked on this empowerment initiative to deter people from engaging in illegal activities.

“If you do not want young people to go into crime, you must present them with viable alternatives through skill acquisition and empowerment. Our vision is to see a society where crime is less attractive and ex-inmates become part of sustainable solutions to peace and security. For a crime to be less attractive, people must be empowered,” Oka said.

The beneficiaries, who could not hide their excitement, prayed for the Founder and the entire team of the Shamies Foundation, stating that they would not betray the trust imposed on them.

Mrs Habibat Ibrahim, one of the beneficiaries trained in soap making, noted that her newly learned skills have restored a newfound confidence and a renewed sense of purpose. “I can’t thank God enough for the Shamies Foundation,” she said. “I now have the skills and the tools to provide for my family and contribute positively to the society.”

Established in 2018 with a mission to rehabilitate, empower and reintegrate ex-convicts into society through a wide range of advocacy, representation, training and support programmes, the Shamies Foundation, since its inception, has carried out various medical and humanitarian outreaches and sponsored the release of awaiting trial inmates in major correctional centres across Nigeria.

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