An internationally recognised human rights organisation in Nigeria has urged the Akwa Ibom State government to make it a deliberate policy to empower female youth with education from primary to tertiary levels and with life enhancement skills.
The Director, Center for Human Rights and Accountability Network (CHRAN), Mr Otuekong Franklyn Isong, said this when the Female Youth Association (Purple Girls), led by the progenitor, Lady (Mrs.) Edna E.D. Udeme visited the center in Uyo on Tuesday, 15th August 2023.
The center which was also taken on a facility tour of the Female Youth Academy, a subsidiary of the Female Youth Association (Purple Girls) at 177 Aka to have first-hand information of the goings-on at the various departments of the academy, commended the Purple Girls’ progenitor for training and empowering over three thousand (3000) female youth in the state.
The group, however, thanked the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel and his wife, Dr Martha Udom Emmanuel, for the support they gave to the Purple Girls, expressing optimism that since the ARISE Agenda of Governor Umo Eno captures skills acquisition training and human capacity development, the government will collaborate with the academy in training and empowering Akwa Ibom youth on various skills acquisitions.
The center admonished Mrs Udeme to keep hope alive in her quest to elevate humanity by using her meagre resources to train and empower female youth of the downtrodden while commending her resilience and passion in bridging the gap between male and female youth in the State.
It also urged her to expand the academy to accommodate skills acquisition training for the male youth to discourage them from political thuggery, cultism, and other social vices, and by extension, reduce the crime rates.
Earlier, Udeme conducted the CHRAN’s team around her academy’s facility, explaining the vision behind the establishment of the training school.
She listed the various departments in the academy including Haute Couture and Creative Arts (Fashion and Designing); Information and Communications Technology (ICT); Culinary Arts and Hospitality (Catering); Hairdressing and Wig Artistry; Cosmetics and Headgear Artistry (Make-up and Gele Tying); Cinematography and Photographic Arts; Music and Instrumental Performance (The Purple Brass); and Business Management Advisory.
She added that the academy also carries out attitudinal reforms of the female youth, and teaches them good personal hygiene and presentation, among others.
Udeme stated that due to a lack of sufficient space, the academy only accommodates two hundred (200) trainees every year from the 31 Local Governments Areas of the state.
She said that, so far, in four (4) years of the training institute, eight hundred (800) trainees have graduated from the various skills acquisition programmes and were empowered with relevant startup packs by her.
Udeme added that as per the tradition of the academy, four (4) fresh trainees were attached to each of the 800 graduands from their respective local governments for training while the academy carried out regular checks and follow-ups on them.
She revealed that the visit to CHRAN was part of activities marking the 7th Anniversary of the Purple Girls’ existence in the state, using the visit to appreciate former Governor Udom Emmanuel and his wife, Dr. Martha Emmanuel for supporting the Purple Girls during the Udom Emmanuel’s administration.
She listed her challenges to include the lack of better accommodation for the academy, staff and trainees who come from rural communities daily for their training, transportation, feeding and the excessive cost of running the academy, appealing for support from Governor Umo Eno and his wife.
Lady Udeme noted that the Female Youth Association – Purple Girls – is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, inaugurated on April 8, 2016, and also got certificated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to embark on the skills acquisition training of female youth in Akwa Ibom State, calling for support from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), EXXON Mobil and other multinational oil companies operating in Akwa Ibom as well as well-placed Nigerians to support the Purple Girls.
Members of the center at the event were the Director, Mr Franklyn Isong; Deputy Secretary, Comrade Usen Johnson; Deputy Director of Public Affairs, Comrade Vincent Aluu; Director of Students Affairs, Comrade Aniedi Michael, Comrade (Dr.) Alice Etuk and Comrade Utibe Archibong and the center’s media partners.
Members of the Female Youth Association – Purple Girls, at the event were Lady (Mrs.) Edna E.D. Udeme, progenitor; Veronica Alphonsus Albugast, Supervisor, Essien Udim LGA; Abigail Effiong Adua, Supervisor, Ikono LGA; Mbuotidem Joe Akpan, Supervisor, Nsit Ibom LGA.
Others were Koko Idongesit Okon, Supervisor, Uyo LGA; Brenda Bassey Dunican, Supervisor, Okobo LGA; Mercy Ekpa Tom, Ward Coordinator of Eket Urban 4, representing all the Ward Coordinators across the 31 LGAs.