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Digital Inclusion: Paradigm Initiative Trains over 600 Youths in 2017

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Paradigm Initiative (PI), a prominent social enterprise in the ICT sector, has continued to impart the ‘spirit’ of ICT entrepreneurship in young Nigerians.

In 2017 alone, as revealed in its recent report, PI provided free training in ICT and entrepreneurship to 667 youth in 2017.

This is contained in the 2017 Annual Report of the organization released recently to the public.

The Lagos-based organisation operates three training centres in Ajegunle (Lagos), Aba (Abia) and Dakata (Kano) where it runs its LIFE program that is dedicated to empowering young people in underserved communities with life-changing Life skills, ICT, Financial readiness and Entrepreneurship skills.

The LIFE program, which took off in Ajegunle in 2007, has now trained over 5, 000 in its eleven years of existence.

In 2017 alone, Paradigm Initiative graduated 248 trainees who successfully completed the 10-week intensive training program at its three centres.

The organisation trained a further 96 through its newly-introduced [email protected] program.

Another 332 female beneficiaries participated in various digital readiness workshop organised by the organisation.

This brought the total number of beneficiaries of Paradigm Initiative’s digital inclusion efforts in 2017 to 667.

A student concentrated on the training

According to the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative, ‘Gbenga Sesan, “While our focus is on impact and not numbers, we are glad to see that more under-served youth are getting connected to opportunities through our digital inclusion and digital rights programs.”

Besides the impressive numbers, the organisation also recorded definitive impact on its trainees.

The organisation’s Digital Inclusion Program Manager, said, Tosin Abolaji, “For many of our trainees, the LIFE program is their first productive contact with a computer system. Within ten weeks, we introduce them to the use of computer, Office Suite, web and graphics design, and programming languages, among other things. They leave our centres with useful skills that have seen many alumni’s earning ability improved significantly. We give them a solid foundation that could be leveraged for a career in the ICT sector or outside it”

“We don’t just provide free training, we also follow up with alumni to help them put their newly-acquired skill/knowledge to productive use. For instance, 15 of our 2016 trainees got internship opportunities while 147 of them are now using their skills as employees or as entrepreneurs. This is the kind of impact we live for.”

In preparation for the 2018 cycle of training, the organisation recently replaced all the desktop computers at the training centres with new, high-functioning laptops. The centres also received new power generating sets.  The organization said its investment in the new equipment is to ensure its students learn under the best of conditions.

According to Favour Obiorah, an alumnus of the training program, “The LIFE program has made a very big difference in my life, because I can now design websites for business owners. I know now how to write out a business plan, map market strategies and how to target the market for me to succeed as an entrepreneur.”

The organisation credited its ability to reach so many youth across three different states to the kind support of its partners especially “Intel Corporation, through its She Will Connect Initiative”.