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HIV/AIDS: IHVN Empowers Lafia Adolescents With Entrepreneurship Skills

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The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) Campus

In a proactive move to address HIV challenges and uplift vulnerable youths, the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) has partnered with the Mother and Childcare Enhancement Foundation to establish an adolescent-friendly centre in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

Thirty adolescents recently completed a nine-month training programme encompassing various skills, such as ICT, fashion design, catering etc.

The senior communication manager at IHVN, Ms. Uzoma Nwofor emphasised the initiative’s aim to equip young individuals with self-reliance tools, fostering job opportunities and reducing the risk of HIV infections. IHVN’s programme manager for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), Mrs. Adetutu Jinadu underscored the importance of nurturing innovation and growth, emphasising the potential impact on the adolescents’ future.

“This initiative aligns with IHVN’s broader mission to address health challenges, including HIV/AIDS and contribute to the socio-economic development of Nigeria,” said Nwofor.

The training programme also involved caregivers, ensuring their support in helping the adolescents master and utilise the acquired skills. Coordinator of the Mother and Childcare Enhancement Foundation (McCEF), Alhassan Adamu highlighted the programme’s comprehensive approach, including home visits and interactions with caregivers to provide psychosocial support.

“At the hub, we created a safe place to facilitate learning among the young people. They had access to mental health services, sexual and reproductive health information, marketing skills and digital literacy,” explained Adamu.

One of the trainees, 18-year-old Douglas Peter, expressed his gratitude for learning fashion design at the hub. He shared his plans to open a tailoring shop in Shabu, emphasising the impact of the training on his education and entrepreneurial journey.

“I plan to go beyond a senior secondary school certificate to study accounting at the university. I am planning to open a tailoring shop in Shabu. I was given a smartphone after the training and I use it to advertise my work on social media,” said Peter.

IHVN implements an orphans and vulnerable children programme in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nasarawa, Katsina and Rivers states. The programme aims to ensure that children and adolescents are safe, schooled, stable and healthy.

Over 217,000 OVCs and their households have received care services, equipping them to face the socio-economic and emotional consequences of HIV/AIDS.

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