Supporting Children Through Pleasant Children’s Foundation…
UBA Foundation Offer Skills Training to Teenagers
With its on-going campaign of ‘Each One, Teach One’, United Bank of Africa Foundation on Saturday 24th November engaged teenagers/orphans of the Rokel Community in partnership with Pleasant Children’s Foundation on training in several life skills, so as to empower them and make them self-reliant.
Speaking to this medium, Esther Michael Emeh, Brand Manager, UBA, said that the Foundation is an arm of the bank which carries out some of the institution’s Corporate Social Responsibility. It was formed in 2011 and had given back to society part of its profits by way of helping the less privileged and vulnerable.
This venture is done annually and this year they targeted the less privileged in the Rokel Community. In their bid to do this they needed an organisation that has a foot in the community and is positively engaged in development activities, thus the engagement with Pleasant Children’s Foundation was developed.
The campaign of the foundation is ‘each one teach one’ geared towards promoting human capacity development and effectively giving back to society. She maintained that being in the country for over 10 years now and desirous of doing more they decided to go a step further, thereby introducing the new campaign, which involves giving skills training to young people with the aim of making them self-reliant.
Esther went on further to say that their presence in the Rokel community is to teach skills to some 100 teenagers and orphans in the Pleasant Children/Foundation Orphanage. This training will give basic skills in creative art to these young people who are mainly orphans, under privileged and some teen mothers.
She noted that among these are some boys too. It is also a means of determining the interest of the kids in the type of skills they are prepared to learn. For a start, the Foundation, she added, decided to get trainers to train them in bead making, which can be used as necklaces, bags, etc, make-up artists to train them in the art of make-up (a skill that is in demand now as people want to look good) and photography.
These skills have the potential of turning the participant into entrepreneur, especially as there is widespread demand for make-up in the society and photography. They could use the training to later open businesses on their own, eventually empowering them economically.
This intellectual capacity building cannot be financially quantified, when one considers the result of this capacity building on the individual. It is a contribution to humanity. UBA is not only focused in Freetown, but has plans to extend similar programs to other parts of the country. The UBA has been in the country for 10 years now and has been responding positively in its Corporate Social Responsibility.
During the Ebola, she added, the CEO of the Bank, Tony Elumelu came to Sierra Leone and the Bank donated US$300 thousand to the then government to help the victims and when the mudslide took place they again donated US$500 thousand to the then government to help ease the burden of the victims. There are other programs in the pipeline and they will be divulged to the nation at the appropriate time, she maintained.
Adding her voice to the discussion, Marian Pleasant Kargbo, Founder of the Pleasant Children’s Foundation said that she is elated to see these kids get training in life skills and expressed appreciation to the UBA for coming on board to help them. She maintained that this venture is to identify the type of skills that the kids are interested in and see how they could further help them acquire them.
Most of these kids, which include teenage mothers, are in an orphanage run by her local no-governmental organisation and she has been doing her own bit to help them. She recalled providing scholarship for some 200 kids in the community during the course of the year.
These kids are part of their data base which they have of vulnerable and destitute young people. She is of the view that after getting these life skills, the kids will be able to fend for themselves and in time become somebody in life. Her organisation is there to give hope to these people and she is glad that the UBA has joined the band wagon in giving them hope. It is good to give money, but it is better to train them on how to make money and make them independent.
Marian further explained that the UBA has come with gifts for the kids and each gift has a sanitation pad, soap, tooth brush, paste and perfume, whilst the boys have almost the same thing with the exception of the pad. In their case they are given toilet tissues.
Food for the teenagers and Training sessions climaxed the ceremony.
Credit: The Calabash Newspaper