Tuesday, April 29
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Although the unemployment rate is high in Niger, there is also a shortage of skilled labor. Youth from neighboring countries, in fact, come to Niger to work in areas like construction and trade, because Nigerien youth simply do not have the skills needed to meet the demand. Youth from Niger, in turn, often leave the country in order to further their education. The opportunities for schooling, in everything from nursing to automobile repair, are greater in the neighboring countries of Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. For this reason, the PC(USA) partner in the country, the Evangelical Church of the Republic of Niger (known by its French acronym EERN), has a long-term vision to develop youth skills and vocational-training programs in order to ensure the economic well-being of the country’s youth.
For now, the church has started small. Youth have been taught to make chain-link fencing from metal wire, which can be sold to earn a living. When the church built a health clinic and guest house, youth were employed in construction. Along the way, they were taught to lay concrete blocks and tile floors. When the church received a donation of 30 new laptops, it started a pilot project to teach youth in the area of IT. In the future, the church would like to see larger youth-skills projects develop in Niamey, Niger’s capital, and in Maradi, the heartland of the church in the east of the country.
— Rev. Joshua Heikkila, PC(USA) regional liaison for West Africa
Let us join in prayer for:
Evangelical Church of the Republic of Niger (EERN): Rev. Nomaou Sani, president, Ibrahim Abdou, permanent secretary, Mr. Yahaya Cherif, general secretary
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Lord, we lift up the EERN, which has a vision to empower the youth of Niger. Although the challenges are great, we pray that you will make a way for them to move forward. And in doing so, may your son Jesus Christ be glorified. Amen.