Sustainability through Vocational Training

By Jason Munafo, Back2Back Nigeria

Jason Munafo with Naomi, one of the first participants in Back2Back's vocational training program

Education opens doors of opportunity to people around the world. However, in developing countries like Nigeria the positive effects of education are often mitigated due to cultural factors.  Due to political corruption and a lack of infrastructure to support industry, free enterprise is limited and there is very little job growth. As a result, highly-educated individuals find themselves unable to even find jobs in their field. Many Nigerians have dreams of pursuing their careers in other countries, but in most cases leaving Nigeria is not a feasible option.

To this end, it became evident that it is not enough to simply provide an education to the youth we serve in the Kisayhip Village of Nigeria.  The youth needed the opportunity to learn a life skill or develop a trade as a means to support themselves and contribute to their community. We offered seven of our older youth an opportunity to do just that. We invited the youth to study a trade of their choice and connected them with trusted community business owners for additional hands-on training and mentorship.

Vocational training truly is vital to sustainability in regions like the Kisayhip Village. We are hopeful for the opportunities that our vocational program will offer to youth like Patience, Naomi, and Marcus, who will learn tailoring; Ijah who is studying electrical work; Blessing who will be learning catering and baking; Joe who will be learning to be a mechanic; and Samuel who is studying carpentry.