Samuel Luka, Bauchi
The Nigeria-WAY Project’ in Bauchi State and its implementing partners, Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) have commenced the setting up of structures known as Empowerment Learning Centres (ELCs) in the 7 LGs of Bauchi State.
The setting up of the centers according to the project, is aimed at strengthening its sustainability plan on gains achieved so far under the Global Affairs Canada (GAC) funded intervention.
In a well attended ceremony heralding the launch of the ELC in Dass LGA of Bauchi State yesterday, MEDA Nigeria WAY Project State programme manager, Grace Forseng said that under its 6th fiscal year plan, the ELCs are expected to be established as part of the sustainability strategy of the Project.
Forseng, who described the ELC as a community based mobile centre, said “it is a place where MEDA WAY clients and others can exchange ideas, concepts, and learnings with members of the community”.
She pointed out that ELC is aimed at spreading MEDA’s intervention and impact across communities for consolidation and sustainability of past engagements.
Forseng said that when fully put in place, the ELC structures will provide avenues for peer support and learnings within the LGAs.
According to her, the centers would also serve as a hub for exchange of ideas and knowledge between trained champions and other stakeholders in the community.
She stressed that the ELC is aimed at having a one stop-shop that provides support for all MEDA’s project interventions within an LGA.
Also speaking, the Emir of Dass Usman Bilyaminu commended Global Affairs Canada and MEDA for their consistency towards ensuring sustainability of what they have started.
The Monarch assured that the Emirate will also reciprocate the gesture by creating the enabling environment for the ELC to thrive.
The Emir who was represented by the Madakin Dass, Alhaji Dauda Ibrahim, enjoined the pioneer leaders of the ELC in the LG to consolidate on the gains of the project by demonstrating dedication, hard work, transparency as well as step down the business knowledge acquired to prospective community clients.
There were testimonies by beneficiaries of MEDA’s intervention in the LGA, where they shared their experiences before and after MEDA’s intervention.
They also commended Global Affairs Canada and MEDA for transforming their lives through exposing them to business opportunities within their immediate communities.
Highlights of the ELC launch was the official unveiling of the personnel that would be running the activities of centre amidst fanfare from traditional dancers of the LG.
MEDA and Global Affairs Canada (GAC) are working together to support women and youth-run businesses in the processing sector and food industry in 7 LGAs of Bauchi State.
Our correspondent gathered that the project works in three main value chains of rice, groundnut, and soyabeans.