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30 survivors of Gender Based Violence have received skills and entrepreneurship training as well as start-up kits for the production of liquid soap, wigs and reusable sanitary pads from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) after a 2-day programme organised in partnership with Eunice Spring of Life Foundation (ESLF) in Makurdi, Benue State.

Presenting certificates to the trainees last Friday, State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Tabitha Igirgi admonished them to make the most of their newly-acquired skills so as to reap the rich dividends of their enterprise within few months.

The UNFPA Focal Person in the State and Assistant Director at the Benue State Planning Commission, Mr. Matthew Ge who pointed out that big businesses start small, advised trainees on quality production and product branding to make them more marketable and noted the psychological and economic relevance of the training.

On his part, Programme Manager of ESLF, Tine Agernor who explained that trainees were carefully selected GBV survivors some from Internally Displaced Persons camps in the State, pointed out that the training was targeted at economic empowerment of GBV survivors to help mitigate the incessant cases of GBV spiked by lack of alternative income sources in homes and added that the start-up packs would aid instant take off of their businesses.

Speaking on behalf of the Director General, Benue State Planning Commission, Permanent Secretary at the Commission, Mr. Gbagi Stephen appreciated UNFPA for sustaining the programme since 2007 and commended the State government for providing the critical counterpart funding that enabled Benue State have access to funding for such programmes.

Mr. Gbagi thanked the State First Lady, Dr. Eunice Ortom who, through her Foundation, implemented such life-changing programme to help reduce the scourge of GBV.

Beneficiaries of the programme who appreciated ESLF, UNFPA and the State Government, said they would put the knowledge they had gained to use and described the opportunity as a step forward for them to achieve better lives for themselves, their families and communities.

Emmanuel Enenche Umele


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