Whitefield Foundation has partnered with Coca-Cola Foundation, Sterling One Foundation, and other parties to equip 60,000 youths and women across Nigeria with employability, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills in a bid to make the beneficiaries self-reliant.
The strategic partnership is also supported by Sterling Bank PLC (the official banking partner of the project), Kano State Ministry for Youths and Sports, MSME Africa and the Capstone
Speaking at the media launch in Lagos recently, Chief Executive Officer of Whitefield Foundation, Mrs. Funmi Johnson, explained that the NGO was set up to eradicate poverty through empowerment, adding that in 2019, the organisation soared because of support from The Coca-Cola Foundation.
The CEO noted that the EQUIP 60,000 “is an innovative hybrid approach to empowerment, to address the unemployment gap”. The program focuses on helping to achieve five of the SDG Goals including zero hunger, no poverty, gender equality, decent work and economic growth.
As part of the initiative, the Whitefield Foundation has opened a virtual portal to enable applicants to apply. The foundation is targeting 60,000 to 100,000 applicants by the end of December, after which the portal closes to enable training to kick off on January 3.
At the initial stage, applicants will be trained in money management, financial literacy, and the future of jobs. At the second stage, they will be exposed to courses in agriculture, catering, domestic essentials, web design, and make-up artistry, while the third stage will require the applicants to demonstrate what they learned in the first two stages.
Officials of Whitefield Foundation and partners will select about 1,000 applicants for grants ranging from N200,000 to N300,000. Sterling Bank is also providing end-to-end financial support to applicants with a passion to contribute to the country’s agriculture sector.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sterling One Foundation, Mrs. Olapeju Ibekwe, noted that 33 per cent unemployment rate was a key indicator that joblessness needed urgent attention from all.