Creation of Alternatives to Irregular Migration and Trafficking (CAIMAT), a non-governmental organisation based in Benin City, the Edo state capital, has trained and empowered four hundred and fifty youths in Benin City and its environment in skills acquisition and other vocational training programmes.
This was disclosed in a press briefing in his Benin City office, by the project director, Saliu B. Aidorolo.
According to him, the European Union Project through the British Council in Nigeria is implemented in Edo State by a consortium of four Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) led by the Ideal Development and Resource Centre (IDRC) and other partners to provide access to socio-economic alternatives to irregular migration.
The CAIMAT project aims to increase access to socioeconomic alternatives to irregular migration and empower them to make sound decisions.
He further stated that the project has recorded a commendable measure of success due to the realization of the three expected results. Adding that the success of the project depended on the realization of these results;
Creating Economic Alternatives by equipping 450 potential migrants in Benin with the necessary capacities and means to start up income-generating cooperatives (15 beneficiaries per cooperative in a total of 30 cooperative groups).
Monitors cooperatives and supports them in becoming economically sustainable and progressively adding value to their communities.
Increase public awareness of the risks associated with irregular migration, with a particular emphasis on sexual and reproductive health and rights, as well as the conditions in the country of arrival, through sensitization, media, and community-based efforts.
He said the specific targets of the project are young people in secondary schools, who recruiters and traffickers often target, and key influencing members in the target communities, including religious and community leaders, women’s associations, and parent-teacher associations.
The project strengthens the capacities of government agencies through strategic training pathways and continuous staff support, responding to the chronic institutional weakness in migration management.
To consolidate the measure of success recorded so far, he expressed the desire to establish a technical need assessment in six government ministries/agencies (with NAPTIP being one of them) in Edo state whose mandate will be inline with response to Irregular Migration and Human Trafficking. This will involve a capacity assessment of selected MDAs relevant to the migration response in Edo State and also the development of a training manual to fill the capacity gaps identified.
As part of an effort to ensure the objective of the organisation is achieved, he said, “a dialogue platform was created between civil society, cooperatives of potential migrants and returnees, authorities and private sector, to promote an open and transparent dialogue and create strong synergies that will impact on the society. By working with the government institutions and through the development of the ad-hoc capacity of the relevant government officers, the project is ensuring gradual monitoring and strengthening, paving the way for the adoption of good practices in migration management.
The development of a platform has helped close the communication gap that is currently eroding trust in government; this will enable the government to better tailor its actions to address migration issues and promote the full socio-economic development of youth in the project location and the state.
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