The advice was given at the GOAL Annual Stakeholders Meeting in Lagos on Thursday, organised by the Youth Empowerment Foundation (YEF) in collaboration with Standard Chartered Bank.
GOAL is a school-based project launched in 2006 as a pilot in Delhi; GOAL Nigeria was launched in March 2010 in Lagos and June 2010 in Abuja.
The GOAL project uses life skills education and sport to empower adolescent girls and as at December 2020, it has reached and empowered over 120,000 young women in Nigeria.
Mrs Olukemi Ogundayode of the Lagos State Ministry of Works Creation and Employment said that the state government was concerned about the rate of unemployment and leveraging diverse strategies to bridge the gap.
“There is need to have employable graduates with relevant employability skills because the labour market is intensely competitive and employers are looking for people who have initiative, are creative and have the ability to multitask with minimal supervision.
“So, it is important that youths and unemployed graduate improve their skills .
“We train them on employability skills; that is for them to know how to write CVs, how to attend interviews and for them to be employable. Also we train them not to rely on white collar job alone; we train them to be self-employed too.
“I advise youths to improve themselves and also tap into the opportunities that abound in the ministry, if you reside in Lagos State,’’ she said.
Ms Tolulope Osoba, Programme Manager, Child Protection Office, YEF, said that the GOAL project had modules that include self-identity, communication skills, peer pressure and conflict management and resolution, goal setting, assertiveness, decision making, leadership building and sex education.
According to her, other modules are information on how to stay healthy, how to be empowered, information on Gender and Sexual Based Violence, time management and academic excellence as well as how to be financially savvy.
“GOAL is presently implemented in 36 schools across the three cities of Lagos, Ibadan and Abuja. GOAL Nigeria is focusing on younger adolescents,11-16 year-old, to equip them with with life skills, literacy, financial skills and football skills.’’
On some of the successes of 2020, she said that GOAL largely adopted community outreach strategies to reach out to young girls during COVID-19 schools lockdown.
“ A total of 2,125 peer leaders, girls, were engaged using the GOAL radio listening sessions, community and school based life skills training sessions.
“In 2020, 10 schools and nine communities benefited from GOAL project in Lagos State and the communities reached in Lagos are Orile Iganmu (Abata), Orile Mosque 1 & 2, Ijesha 1 & 2, Oworoshoki 1 & 2 and Mushin.
“Goal radio listening sessions was one of the important tools used during the COVID-19 school lockdown to prevent and address increasing cases of gender based violence, child and sexual abuse.
“Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) team also trained our young girls during the lockdown on series of leadership capacity building programmes.
“Some of the topics include: How to Maintain Relationships During the Lockdown; Business Development Made Easy: The New Digital U, Essential Digital Skills; Changing World of Work; Agropreneurship at a Time Like This’’.
Osoba noted that the COVID-19 with infections, schools lockdown, change in school calendar, large number of families needing palliatives and lack of getting a School with a standard football field for training across all sites and coaches, were some of the challenges encountered in 2020.
She called for collaboration and support to ensure expansion and sustainability of the programme. (NAN)