Brotherhood of the Cross and Star (BCS), a religious organization based in Calabar, has set aside N46.9 million to train youths in various fields such as skills acquisition, agriculture, and sports.
Patriarch Christ Shepherd Edet Archibong, the organization’s spokesman, revealed this at a press conference in Calabar on Monday to mark the start of the 8th Annual Convention of the Brotherhood All Youth Assembly (BAYA), which he described as an umbrella body in charge of empowerment programs.
BAYA was founded in 2012 to assist youth in becoming financially independent in order to promote global peace and sustainable development, according to Patriarch Archibong, and its mandate was to develop an empowerment program for youths within the next five years.
“This is to directly empower 230 youths over the next five years at a cost of N46,960,000, with a projected multiplier effect of empowering and creating jobs for another 2,150 youths.
‘Taking into account the disparity in youths’ felt-needs, the plan has earmarked the flotation of programs in various areas such as agriculture, education, entertainment, broadcasting, and sports,’ he said.
This year, he said, 70 young people had been trained in organic farming, including fish hatching and rearing, mushroom, pepper, fluted pumpkin, okro, and tomato cropping, among other things.
Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Kaduna, Kogi, and Rivers were among the ten states chosen, he said.
“Selection for the 2022 Empowerment Programme, which will focus on education, will begin on Sunday at this year’s Convention. UTME (JAMB), WAEC, and tuition fees tickets will be drawn from lucky dip boxes by contingents from different states. It is expected that 175 people will benefit from this.
“The program is an interventionist scheme that aims to purchase UTME and WAEC forms as well as provide undergraduate and postgraduate scholarship,” Archibong explained, adding that “a good chunk of the youths will gain entry into a more stable and sustainable source of livelihood” as a result of the program.
According to him, the BAYA Convention has already had a positive impact on hundreds of young people across the country, with events held in Rivers State, Abuja, Uyo, Lagos, Owerri, Yenegoa, and Asaba.
BAYA was created to promote holiness among youths, encourage evangelism, stimulate academic excellence, establish vocational/skills acquisition, institute and support entrepreneurship development, and empower the physically challenged in society, according to him.