Niger: professional training for everyone
16-04-2018 | di COOPI

Niger: professional training for everyone

Fati, Aichatou, Wodi and Youra are some of the names of the twenty young persons participating in the COOPI project, funded by AICS (the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation), aimed at providing a personalized pathway for access to employment.

Fourteen of them, since January, have been attending the Craft Training Center in Diffa, undergoing training in tailoring and dressmaking, carpentry and welding. The school is addressed to boys and girls in Diffa Region who want to learn a practical job in order to be autonomous in a context in which access to work is already complex, but further reduced due to the persistent situation of insecurity.

The intensive three-month training is provided by teachers and persons specialized in the sector who thus alternate theoretical lessons with practical ones. At the end of this educational path, COOPI will help the participants create a cooperative, or a so-called “economic interest group,” and ateliers, enabling them to launch a small business together immediately. Some of the adolescents being trained were identified among the boys and girls that attended the schooling centers created and managed by COOPI in Diffa Region.

Another six recipients with disabilities are being supported in a nine-month educational path at the professional center in Kollo, in the District of Niamey. The adolescents were identified in collaboration with the local authorities and in particular with the support of Mr. Yacouba Warou, the person in charge at regional level of an association for disabled persons, and who also takes care of accompanying them in their trip to the Training Center in Kollo, 1,500 km from Diffa.

Mr. Nasser, the director of the center in Kollo managed by UNAN (Association National des Aveugles du Niger – Niger Blind Union), contacted COOPI with the aim to start a collaboration in other contexts, but when he talked to us so passionately about his center for blind and visually impaired persons we decided that it was an important training opportunity for our youngsters.

COOPI supports these young people economically by paying their enrolment taxes and their transportation from Diffa to Niamey; UNAN, in turn, puts at disposal specialized teachers and hospitality at the center in Kollo, which has a dormitory, a refectory and provides health assistance. The nine-month training path offers courses on weaving, the production of cosmetics and gardening. It also provides schooling, Braille courses and raises awareness on the creation of associations.

-Floriana Bucca