In a bold initiative aimed at combating the dire issue of youth unemployment in Nigeria, the Serving With Love (SWL) Foundation unveiled its Digital Life After School Programme (DLASP) centre in Lagos on December 10, 2023. Founded in May 2018, the SWL Foundation focuses on providing technology education to children from low-income families, a crucial intervention in a country where reports indicate that 85% of graduates lack the digital skills essential for the contemporary job market.
As highlighted by online education technology company GetBundi and echoed by a UNICEF education specialist, only 7% of Nigerian youths possess the ICT skills necessary for thriving in a digital economy. SWL Foundation’s DLASP emerges as a beacon of hope, offering a lifeline to those who might otherwise face challenges in securing employment opportunities.
Eniola de Hollain, founder and trustee of SWL and co-founder of Africa Communications Week (ACW), emphasized the foundation’s dedication to empowering youth through education. “The DLASP programme is not only about teaching children how to use computers and technology; it’s a mandate to arm them with skills that will enhance their competitive chances now and in the future work environment,” she declared.
Tomi Otudeko, another founder and trustee of SWL and the Head of Corporate Services at Honeywell Group, underscored the urgency of addressing the digital literacy gap in Nigeria. “Closing Nigeria’s digital literacy gap is an urgent mission that SWL has always been passionate about. The DLASP Centre enables us to support this mission by empowering children and youth in underserved communities with essential digital skills,” she noted.
The SWL Foundation’s DLASP curriculum, implemented by Digital Fortress, covers a comprehensive range of topics, from basic IT and Microsoft Office tools to programming, coding, gaming, and robotics. The tiered approach ensures that each child receives a tailored education, progressively enhancing their digital literacy.
Having already impacted over 300 children since its inception, SWL Foundation’s DLASP aligns with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of quality education. The launch of the purpose-built centre in Lagos signifies a substantial step toward expanding the programme’s reach and making a more significant impact on the pressing youth unemployment crisis.