Much like a thanksgiving occasion, songs of supplication for God’s wonderful deeds filled the hall. And people poured out their hearts exuberantly, as they sang along and danced. The event was the graduating ceremony of over 500 participants who were trained in various field as cinematography, photography, bead and wire work, event decoration, shoe making, hat making among other areas.
The three-week workshop which was organized by The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Ogun Province 13, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State in conjunction with Capacity Development and Skill Enhancement Initiative (CDSI) has come to give youths in the community a new lease of life.
The entry of the over 500 participants was marked by excitement. The hall erupted in yells and applause as they were presented with certificate with their works on display. Many had the impression they had been in the field for some time, but when the Pastor in charge of the Province, Joseph Abimbola addressed the audience he informed that the participants were only taught during the workshop.
“What we have done is taking the gospel to another level to empower people in a way that they will be financially independent,” he said. “The gospel of Jesus Christ is meant to address the soul, body, and spirit. In Redeemed Christian Church of God we have what is called Christian Social Responsibility that is floated by the General Overseer, Pastor E.A Adeboye to address this aspect of human lives and that is what we have done.
After today the skill that they have acquired they will use it wisely and it will help reduce unemployed rate in the society.” He hinted that the project is not restricted to any tribe, religion but mainly to give youths in the community a new lease of life. “I did not gained anything from what we are doing, our joy is making other happy. We give God the glory for using the church to touch the lives of thess youths.
The programme is free for all, nobody paid a fee to be part of the project; it will amaze you that there are Muslims among the graduates today. We took the handball to the whole town, we went to the king, bale, we have Muslims and Christians from other denomination.
To our amazement we have more people from outside the church.” Asked her feeling upon seeing participants turning their talents into wealth Pastor (Mrs.) Loveth Abimbola said she is elated seeing what they have become within the 3-week workshop.
“It gladdens my heart to see this youths being empowered, seeing them bringing something out of nothing. During the project l went to their classes and l was marveled with the level of their works. Among them were deaf and dumb participant, she could not speak, but when you see her work you will be surprised. I asked them if they have attended workshop like this in time past, they said no and within the short period they have come out with fantastic works.” Mr. Odewumi Olatunji, the consultant for CDSEI said he embarked on the project when complain about Nigeria situation became unbearable.
“l told myself what can l do to bring about change in our nation, something said to me put things in the hands of people; as a result of that we started a workshop on skill acquisition training going to different communities, training people on different skills such as photography, cinematography, among others 12 skills.
We have so far trained 20,000 people in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Ijebu Ode and Ibadan,” he said. He urged Nigerians to use their talent wisely.
The reason China is a major nation in the world today is because so many Chinese are producing things.
That is what I see Nigeria becoming, that is my passion and that is what l want to get to. Even if you are a top manager in a bank you must have a skill, something that you can do with your hands, and when Nigeria get to a level that we all are producing things we can start exporting things outside the country.”
The participants showered encomium on the organizers. Miss. Iretiogo Shotayo who has been hunting for job without success gave kudos to RCCG for the initiative. “When l heard about the workshop l told myself that l must attend, and today l have something that will put food on my table.
I can start employing people to work for me,” she said. Another participant, Mr. Oyenuga Adedoyin who acquired cinematography skill was full of praises to the organizers. “I am really happy to have acquired cinematography skills l will put it in good use.” The second edition of the workshop will be held second quarter of the year.