Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Give the Youth in Nigeria the Skills to Lead to a Better Life

A few weeks ago, I received a letter from Sr. Christiana Adefabi — a missionary Sister who works in Osogbo, a city in Osun state in southwestern Nigeria. There, Sr. Christiana is in charge of a training program that helps poor and indigent youth develop the skills necessary to find jobs in the hospitality and catering industry . . . jobs that help provide financial security and hope for a better life.


“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

Paulo Coelho, Writer

I pray that you and your loved ones are well and in good health. Our missionaries, too, continue to remember you in their prayers and Masses. As I have shared with you before, we know quite well how important the support you provide is — not only for those working in our missions but also for the people we serve. Whether through prayer or financial donations, your support enables us to make a positive difference in the lives of the poor. Thank you!

Future chefs learning to cook.

When I first read the quote by Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho, I thought about you. Many of our friends and benefactors often write to say that when they make a donation to help those in need, they begin to see their own world in a better light. When we help those in need, we gain a better understanding of our own blessings. How true! It is also true that when people get the help they need, they begin to have hope for the future.

One of the Sisters teaching students how to cook.

A few weeks ago, I received a letter from Sr. Christiana Adefabi — a missionary Sister who works in Osogbo, a city in Osun state in southwestern Nigeria. There, Sr. Christiana is in charge of a training program that helps poor and indigent youth develop the skills necessary to find jobs in the hospitality and catering industry . . . jobs that help provide financial security and hope for a better life.

“Nigeria is struggling desperately,” Sr. Christiana writes. “In June 2018, Nigeria was named the poverty capital of the world — with 87,000,000 people — nearly half of its total population surviving on less than two dollars a day.”

“One of the biggest reasons for this is unemployment,” she continues. “Almost 25% of the people in Nigeria do not have jobs — often because they do not have the necessary skills. We are working to change that.”

“Three years ago, we started a training program to help young people develop the skills needed to get jobs in the hospitality and catering industry. It is a one year program to train young people how to cook and be service providers. A local parish is allowing us to use one of their school classrooms and a kitchen on a temporary basis. The Diocese of Osogbo has donated land where we will hopefully — one day — be able to build a center.”

Students preparing a group meal.

“During the first year, 32 students completed the program. During the second year, nearly 50 young people finished the training program. This year more than 150 applied! We are seeing much success in turning lives around — but we need financial support to purchase the food and other materials that are needed each week. I hope you can help us.”

After I read Sr. Christiana’s letter, I thought of a couple of ways that you and I can help improve the lives of those in need in our own communities. To start, we can donate new or gently-used clothing for those who are looking for work — but might not have proper attire for a job interview (lots of colleges accept donations of clothes for job-seeking students). We can also encourage our local civic groups to host “job fairs” — daylong events where job-seekers can meet with many potential employers at the same time.

I am also hoping that you will make a donation to support the work of Sr. Christiana in Osogbo, Nigeria — and other programs working to eliminate poverty throughout West Africa. While my hope is that we can raise at least $27,000 for this and other programs, please know that any donation you send will give hope to those who are working to create better lives. God bless you!

 

Your Missionary Friend,

Denis P. Pringle
Director of Development