By Aluta News
Dec 21, 2023
The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) has joined forces with the Mother and Childcare Enhancement Foundation to combat HIV and empower vulnerable youths.
The institute’s Senior Communications Manager, Ms Uzoma Nwofor, said this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
Nwofor stated that the collaborative initiative recently established an adolescent-friendly centre in Lafia, the Nasarawa capital, where 30 adolescents underwent a nine-month training in various skills, including ICT, fashion design and catering.
She said that the goal was to equip the youths with the tools for self-reliance, creating job opportunities and reducing the risk of HIV infections.
She quoted Mrs Adetutu Jinadu, the IHVN Programme Manager, Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), as highlighting the importance of fostering innovation and growth through the programme, emphasising its potential impact to the adolescents’ future.
She added that “this initiative aligns with IHVN’s broader mission to address health challenges, including HIV/AIDS, and contribute to the socio-economic development of Nigeria.”
She explained that the training also engaged caregivers to support their wards in mastering the skills and utilising hem.
She also quoted Mr Alhassan Adamu, the Coordinator of Mother and Childcare Enhancement Foundation (McCEF) as saying “the programme conducted home visits and interacted with caregivers to provide psychosocial support to the adolescents.
“At the hub, we created a safe place to facilitate learning among the young people. They had access to mental health services, sexual and reproductive health information, marketing skills, and digital literacy.
“One of the trainees, 18-year-old Douglas Peter learned fashion design at the hub and says he can now sew male and female clothes to raise money to further his education.
“We plan to go beyond senior secondary school certificate to study accounting at the university.
“I am planning to open a tailoring shop in Shabu. I was given a smartphone after the training and I use it to advertise my work on social media.”
Nwofor also stated that “IHVN implements an OVC programme in the FCT, Nasarawa, Katsina and Rivers states.”
She pointed out that the aim is for such group of persons to be safe, schooled, stable and healthy.
She disclosed that more than 217,000 OVCs and their households received care services to equip households to be resilient in the face of the socio-economic and emotional consequences of HIV/AIDS.