BENIN CITY – Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI), in partnership with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has flagged off the presentation of empowerment to 107 beneficiaries of the Sustainable Mechanisms for Improving Livelihood and Household Empowerment (SMILE) project.
SMILE is a USAID funded project for vulnerable children in Nigeria through the Catholic Relief Services (CRS).
The empowerment is made up of N20,000 cash transfer to 88 beneficiaries for business investment and start-up kits to 19 beneficiaries trained on different vocations, including fashion design, catering and event decoration, hair dressing as well as housing electrical work.
The co-ordinator o GPI, Grace Osakue who was represented by the Programme Officer, Ayo Amen Ediae at the ceremony in Benin City said that the Household Vulnerability Assessment Tool used by SMILE to determine eligible households for enrolment, categorizes households into vulnerability pathways based on the LIFT framework.
According to her, each of the 88 benefiting households will receive a maximum lump sum of cash transfer worth N20,000 (twenty thousand naira) for business investment, 11 tailoring Machine, 4 Ovens, and 1 complete housing wiring Electrical tools and 3 Hair dryers with stretcher, rollers, Pins and Hair Wash Basin to 19 beneficiaries trained on these vocational skills.
This, according to her, would go a long way in empowering the household of the 107 vulnerable beneficiaries.
“We are proud to say that the SMILE project has accomplished a lot in the Local Government. The project provides among others, Household Economic Strengthening (HES), Education, Psychosocial Support, Nutrition/Food Security, Health, Child Protection, HIV services to VC and households based on needs using relevant national assessment tools Specifically birth certificates, cash transfer, agricultural inputs such as Provitamin A cassava, Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) and High Quality Protein Maize (HQPM) as well as other sustained economic empowerment through skill acquisition training provided to caregivers and vulnerable children”, she added.
She disclosed that the SMILE project Household Economic Empowerment matrix recognizes Social Protection as a mechanism for sustainable development. We know that there are relative, subjective and absolute poverty. The absolute poverty are those who are at the lowest of the ladder and are therefore more of need. Though they should be taught on how to “fish” but should be given “fish” as consumption support to preserve their lives, hence they are in provision circle of vulnerability.
Highpoints of the ceremony was the presentation of cheques and distribution of start-up kits to the selected beneficiaries.