Foundation empowers 5,000 Plateau women in agriculture



The Support Women Initiatives to Transform Children (SWITCH) Foundation, an NGO, has trained 5,000 women on Agriculture across the three senatorial zones of Plateau state.

The Coordinator of the foundation, Mrs. Zainab Tsok, said that the women were trained on dry season farming and were empowered with farm inputs such as fertilisers and herbicides.

She disclosed this when she led members of her team on a courtesy visit to Gov. Simon Lalong, on Wednesday, at Government House Jos.

She said the empowerment was to improve their socio-economic conditions and source of livelihood.

She said the foundation conducted sensitisation programmes in 345 wards across the 17 local governments in the state for women, on child mortality, morbidity and the importance of good nutrition.

According to the coordinator, SWITCH, a pet project of the wife of the governor , Regina Lalong, has trained 300 under-privileged girls on Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills and provided laptops for them.

She said 100 girls were selected from 10 public schools across its three senatorial zones, following a needs assessment that revealed the difficulties they experienced in writing computer based examinations, especially the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Exams.

“Her Excellency wants to bridge the ICT skills gap the girls have, so that they can access more opportunities and actualise their dreams ,” she said .

She said the foundation similarly organised a sensitisation programme for 500 youths against illicit drugs, in collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

“We follow up and counsel them and some of them have repented. We also want to train 100 youths who are battling drug addiction ,” she said.

Tsok said that the youths were also empowered with technical and vocational skills, in collaboration with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) for their re-integration into the society .

She said the visit was to seek the assistance of the governor in the implementation of its activities, especially the training of 30 girls on ICT and extra mural lessons in preparation of the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination.

She said the foundation needed more computers for its ICT programmes and was working toward expanding its outreach to more under-privileged persons in the society, especially those in rural areas.

Responding, Lalong thanked them for supporting his government in addressing the needs of vulnerable groups in the society, while assuring them of his support to execute their projects.

He said the state government would incorporate their trainees in various Federal government empowerment programmes and world bank projects it would be implementing .

He thanked Regina Lalong for the initiative and encouraged her to continue empowering girls and the youths, who are the future of the country. (NAN)