How can I get help in Ibadan

Nigeria

The partnership of the working group of YMCA Germany (AG) with the YMCA Ibadan in southwest Nigeria has existed for more than half a century. In the megacity of Ibadan, the YMCA has branches in more than 20 parishes of different denominations.

In 1974 the Vocational Training Center (VTC) was founded, in which the YMCA trains young people in printing and media professions. Hundreds of young men and women, especially from poor families, have been able to learn a trade over the decades and build their own existence. German specialists from the “Evangelical Development Service” or “Bread for the World” have supported the development of the training several times over a period of several years.

The VTC is a project of Aktion Hoffnungszeichen (AHZ) of the YMCA Germany. Ibadan is a successful example of adding an AHZ project to a YMCA partnership.

In the last few years it became clear that the VTC needs a strategic realignment in order to make it sustainable and future-proof. With the support of “Bread for the World”, a workshop was held with an external consultant at the end of October. From the YMCA Ibadan, representatives of the board of directors and the full-time employees of the VTC took part, as German partner Martin Barth from the AG of YMCA and Berthold Kemmler from the "Technical Advisory Team", a group of German printing specialists who provide technical support for the training in Ibadan.

The workshop was led by management consultant David Hirsch, who previously worked at the YMCA and was active in the Nigeria partnership at the time.

In a week of intensive joint work, good results were achieved and ambitious goals set in mind:

  • Through a cooperation with a college at the University of Lagos, a more highly qualified branch of education with a state-recognized diploma is to be developed
  • Training for young people from poor and poorly educated families will be simplified and shortened
  • Another branch is to begin training for shoemakers
  • A business plan was drawn up for the next few years, which will be an important instrument for content and financial sustainability.

The group also visited the institute at the University of Lagos and two printing works with which the VTC cooperates.

As an example from the YMCA Ibadan's social work, we visited the “Shoes for shoeless” project. The YMCA gives elementary school children from particularly poor families who cannot even afford shoes sturdy sandals. We took part in the handover at three schools and experienced the gratitude and enthusiasm of the students and teachers. Maybe the shoes can be made in the own workshop in the future.

Martin Barth, AG of YMCA Germany