Adolescent girls often lack the entrepreneurial skills needed to start, grow and manage their petty trade and businesses and fully participate in local economies. They have limited access to needed knowledge, information and life skills that can support them while simultaneously reinforcing basic enterprise management methodology.

Through the implementation of the Income generation component of the Feed The Future Nigerian Livelihood Project (FTFNLP) which comprises of vocational skill learning such as tailoring, liquid soap making, beads; entrepreneurial development,Safe space, Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) and Literacy & numeracy in non-formal learning, females between the ages of 12 and 23, married or unmarried, were identified, enrolled and trained on various skills as well as being taken through a 9-12 months module centered around entrepreneurial and life skills.

This intervention cuts across many communities of the project intervention areas which are within two LGAs of Danko Wasagu and Birnin Kebbi in Kebbi state. In the last 24 months, over 2, 600 girls have been enrolled, out of which 1000 has been graduated and the rest are in various stages of the program. Murja Garba, LHI’s Vocational Skill Officer stated that with the deep understanding that adolescent girls are faced with wide range of challenges especially in rural communities, the program is developed in a very sustainable manner, providing holistic approach in raising girls out of poverty.

In addition to the fundamental enterprising life skills and entrepreneurial attitudes the girls are taken through, issues of personal hygiene, nutrition and other key health issues are reinforced.

She further stated that out of the graduating girls, 150 of them, who did not have the opportunity to attend any formal school were taken through basic literacy and numeracy, helping them to write their names, identify letters and numbers, enhancing their survival. .

Mr Godwin Olusiji, Technical Lead of the FTFNLP, who is also from Mercy Corps Nigeria gladly informed the audience that Mercy Corp will be supporting 200 of the graduated girls with a grant award. ranging from N30,000- N50,000 on the condition that they will give using the gained knowledge and support the training of other girls

The graduation ceremony took place on 21st of March 2017 at Birnin/Kebbi LGA and 23rd of March at Danko Wasagu LGA Secretariat.

Dignitaries that were present at the ceremony include the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Executive Chairman of the 2 LGAs, Traditional Community, & Religious Leaders; Council Officials, Representatives from SMEDAN, NDE, NRMEC, Media among others.