ILO Empowers 431 Trainees in Ondo and Osun States and hands over Renovated School to Community

To sustain its interventions on the elimination of child labour, the ACCEL Africa Project in Nigeria has provided training, classroom renovation and livelihood support to parents, guardians, and children within the legal working age in Project communities within Ondo and Osun States.

News | 09 September 2022
Cross section of dignitaries at the empowerment in Akure
The International Labour Organization’s Dutch funded ACCEL Africa Project in Nigeria has empowered 431 identified and trained beneficiaries in cocoa producing and Artisanal Gold Mining (ASGM) communities in Ondo and Osun States with equipment to start their businesses.

On 30 August 2022 at the Amazing Place Plaza, Oda Road, Akure, 402 Trainees from seven cocoa producing communities in Ondo State – Bamikemo, Oke Agunla, Wasimi Odunwo, Fagbo 1, Fagbo 2, Aponmu and Ipoba 2, received empowerment tools; while on 31 August 2022, 29 trainees resident in Ibala, a gold mining and cocoa producing community in Obokun Local Government, Osun State also received start up kits, with a renovated block of classrooms officially handed over by the ILO to the community.

Presentation of equipment to beneficiaries
Speaking at the empowerment in Akure, the ILO Country Director for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Liaison Office for ECOWAS, Vanessa Phala urged government, social partners, the media, Academia, NGOs, and donors to eliminate child labour by sustaining the project’s interventions through total free education, at least to Basic 9, decent learning environments and quality infrastructure for vulnerable children in communities.

According to Director Phala, the ACCEL Africa Project had trained the beneficiaries on the ILO’s Start Your Business Module to prepare adults and children of the legal working age for a school to work transition to improve their lives, impact their communities and build global brands.

From your local communities, you could build international brands that stand the test of time and become a reference point as a community without child labour."

ILO Country Director, Vanessa Phala
Following an inspection of the donated equipment including: sewing machines, welding machines, ovens and glass cylinders, Insecticide sprayers, clippers sterilizers, wheel barrows, generators, generators, industrial cooking gas, laptops, drums, hairdryers and wash basins, grinding machines, pop-corn making machines, charging boxes, vulcanizing machines, and mechanic toolboxes, the Governor of Ondo State, Arakurin Rotimi Akeredolu, represented by the Head of Service, Pastor Kayode Ogundele commended the Dutch Government, ILO and its tripartite partners for the gesture, describing it as a means to reduce poverty in the society.

Community sensitization led by the NOA
According to the Governor, Government will continue to partner with civil society organizations like Restoration of the Dignity of Womanhood (ROTDOW) and Kids & Teens Resource Centre (K&TRC) to reduce poverty to the barest minimum in rural areas.

Also speaking at the event, the Controller, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment in Ondo State, Folayan O.M noted that since the start of the ACCEL Africa Project in Nigeria in May 2019, Nigeria has recorded a significant behavioural change towards child labour practices in Ondo State.

The following day, the ILO Country Director led the ACCEL Africa Project Team to Ibala Community, where a block of 6 classrooms in the only primary school had been renovated by the Project to encourage attendance and participation by children in the community.

Official launch of the new classroom block by the ILO Country Director
Following a sensitization around the community led by the State Steering Committee on the elimination of child labour in Osun State, the community converged on the previously neglected Saint James Anglican School where the event took place.

In a goodwill message, Director Phala noted the efforts of members of the Community Child Labour Monitoring Committee (CCLMC), Osun State Steering Committee on Child Labour and other stakeholders in reviving the school, while urging parent beneficiaries to harness the donated equipment to sustain their children's education.

Presentation of equipment to beneficiaries
Speaking in a welcome address, the Onibala of Ibala Ijesa, His Royal Highness, Oba Christopher Adegboyega Ariyo, stated that the renovation and equipments will bring relief to the community.

Represented by Komolafe Ibrahim, Oba Ariyo added that the community will forever be indebted to all that worked together to resuscitate the block of classrooms, while pleading for more interventions by the Project.

Also speaking at the event, the Controller, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Osun State, Funmilayo Ayinla, stated that the rehabilitation project is an addition towards eradication of Child Labour in the state.

It is timely, highly commendable and will put a stop to child labour. Children should not be hawking when they should be in the classroom."

Funmilayo Ayinla
In addition, Abe Rachel Omolayo, the Head teacher at Saint James Anglican School commended the Project, while noting a behavioural change in the community since the intervention.

After the distribution of uniforms, sandals, school bags, textbooks, socks, even pants, parents have been encouraged to send their children back to school."

Abe Rachel Omolayo
The old block of classrooms
The renovated block of classrooms