The Islamic Education Trust (IET) has trained 100 almajirai children and teenage girls in Minna, Niger State, on various skills as part of efforts to end street begging and hawking.
The beneficiaries, aged 16-25, were drawn from various Tsangaya schools and less-privileged homes.
They were trained in tailoring, hairdressing, photography, catering, barbing, aluminum installation and fabrication, and phone repairs among others.
Hajiya Maryam Suleiman, a board member of IET, said begging and hawking had exposed many young Muslim boys and girls to social vices, adding that many of them had become thugs causing unrest in the community.
“If you look at the situation we are in now, you realise that youths have become something else. If all the youths that are thugs today had this kind of opportunity to learn at least a skill and get proper orientation while growing up, they wouldn’t have been thugs.
“Government cannot do it alone. So, the skill acquisition training is to intervene to reduce the menace of thuggery.
“Workshops have been provided and fully equipped and they have direct access to the machines to learn fast,” she said.
The programme manager, Malam Aliyu Magaji, said the almajirai were picked with the consent of their teachers and the girls with the permission of their parents.
“We had to pay some parents before they could release their daughters to join the training because they were the ones helping their parents. One interesting success is that both boys and girls are willing to learn and they are doing well,” he said.
He said at the end of the training, arrangements had been concluded to attach the trainees to private workshops where they would begin to work for pay before they would be issued startup kits.