As we continue our work with empowering abused women, we keep the conditions of girls in rural communities close to our hearts. The plight of these girls with limited opportunities cannot be compared to the even more desperate plight of orphans in rural communities. We cannot ignore their situations. This is why we decided to weave women and girls in rural communities into our organization’s goals. We must carry them along, and ensure that they have the right education to live a better life, just like their peers in urban centers.
One of the major aims of establishing our organization is to empower abused women economically and financially. This is so they will be able to sustain themselves in case of any eventuality. Sending those women back to their various communities without any financial support in place after our training gives me sleepless nights.
So, I decided to establish a sister organization called Tosin Turns Trash to Treasure (the 5Ts), an environment where every item is turned into treasure. Nothing is wasted. As it creates treasure from trash to protect our environment, it also generates income to sustain our organization and help women on the road to financial independence.
For women trained in our Transformation Center’s program, the 5Ts will be an advanced learning environment. After their training they have access to an experience for how, as an individual, a participant can continue to work everyday, creating treasures, branding the products and using innovative approaches to market these products both online and offline. This is a powerful demonstration to the women that it is possible to create treasure from trash and market them anywhere in the world.
However, few women who excel during the training are positioned to work for a salary. The 5Ts project encourages women to produce in their communities and create innovative ways of selling their own products.
The plight of orphans led us to our latest product innovation. My World Pulse sister Aimee Knight has decided to support Andrew, an orphan in Uganda. Aimee contacted me because she wants me to send a product for Andrew in Uganda. This made me think about other orphans who are not blessed with a sponsor like Aimee.
These orphans abound in our rural communities. When they are girls, they become more vulnerable because girls’ education in rural areas is marginal at best and the education of these girls, living in rural Nigeria who have lost both parents, makes their situation dramatically worse.
So I told Aimee that I would come up with some beautiful idea, not for Andrew alone but for our female orphans in rural Nigeria.
The Birth of the $100 Treasure backpack
That was how I got the inspiration for producing $100 Treasure backpacks, filled with educational supplies for female orphans.
My father died when I was just three years old. School resumption was always a nightmare for my mother. Violence against women comes in various forms. In many parts of the world, a woman who loses her husband can be blamed for his death and stigmatized while also carrying the burden of educating her fatherless children. Where will she turn? Who cares?
Now let us look at a girl child who has lost both parents. Who does she turn to now that she is all alone? She becomes extremely vulnerable.
Now women who are trained in our organization can create treasure that is needed by these orphans. 5Ts will market the Treasure backpacks to individuals who are can afford the bags. When a sponsor pays for the bag, the buyer will receive the backpack while the content and another Treasure backpack is donated to an orphan in a rural village in Nigeria.
The buyer will receive a thank you note from the orphan and the picture of the orphan as she receives her gifts.
Contents of a Treasure Backpack
A treasure backpack is filled with:
- 1 treasure lunch bag
- 40 Notebooks
- 6 pens
- 6 pencils
- 3 sharpeners
- 3 Erasers
- 1 Pencil purse
- 4 Reusable sanitary pads
- 2 sanitary pad purses
- 1 Large detergent to wash the pads
Since school resumption in Nigeria is the second week of January, we printed two thousand notebooks of 60 pages each, and began to donate to orphans. So far, we have reached out to 23 female orphans who have lost both parents in Ibasa riverside, Lagos, the palace of Batoro in Shagamu, Ogun and Dutse Uku, Jos, Plateau states in Nigeria.
We will continue to reach out to more girls with the global help of our sisters and brothers who can sponsor the purchase of a Treasure backpack for a girl in need.
Our World Pulse advisor Nancy Harkrider has pledged to be our first customer for a Treasure backpack and will use it proudly. Will you join her?
The delight in those girls’ eyes as they received their backpack was amazing! They had something that was beautiful, useful and theirs alone.
As always we feel blessed and supported by World Pulse as we change the world, one girl at a time.