On Tuesday, 27th April 2021, JDPC Issele-Uku Diocese presented 30 youths, who were trained by the organisation in different Vocational skills with startup kits. Both the training and the subsequent empowerment were made possible through the project, Sustainable Measures Against Trafficking in Persons (SMAT-P), which was sponsored by the Italian Catholic Bishops Conference through Caritas Nigeria.
The SMAT-P project was implemented in 5 Dioceses across 3 States. Previously, in the course of implementing the project in Delta State, 100 women were given small grants worth ₦50,000 each to start up different businesses of their choice, 77 children were given education grant for one year while 6 youths in higher institutions were given scholarships worth ₦200,000 naira each. All those were geared towards providing a livelihood support to vulnerable persons in order to protect them from traffickers. The presentation of the startup kits was the height of those livelihood supports.
The event, which took place at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Agbor had in attendance the Diocesan Chancellor, Rt. Rev. Msgr. John Ike Aduba representing the Diocese of Issele-Uku. Other personalities included Very Rev. Fr. Augustine Abude, Chief Jonathan Agbejiegwe (PG Abavo) and a Social Welfare Officer for Ika South, Mr. Peter Okocha, who represented the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, Community and Social Development, Mrs. Oghenekevew Agas. The Caritas Nigeria was represented by the grant specialist Mr. Gotus Gaksewa and Sr. Christiana Ikhane OP. and the Provincial Program Manager of SMAT-P, Barr. Onomen Oriakhi.
The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of the startup kits to the beneficiaries by the Diocesan Chancellor and the transportation allowance provided for them by Caritas. It must be noted that Caritas Nigeria also made provision for the payment of shop-rent for the beneficiaries for a period of six months. We wish all the beneficiaries good luck in their future endeavours.