Campaign Update

Training Women in Rural Nigeria During Recession

Olutosin
Posted February 20, 2017 from Nigeria

Last week, we trained women in rural Omin.

Our ongoing training is in Omin, a rural community near Ibadan, Oyo state Nigeria. It is a 15 day training programme. We love to train women for weeks so that we are able to live with them, eat with them, go to the stream together, share our stories, and understand the condition of our sisters in their own comfort zones. This creates a lasting bond between our trainees and us, and in most cases, it develops into a lasting sisterhood. This has been our method since we began our programme in Nigeria.

Early this year, we came to an agreement in our organization that we will charge $6 as a registration fee for our training programmes,especially now that funding for our work is scarce.

We went into Omin last Monday, but on seeing the situation of the women, we decided to forget the idea of any registration fee because most of the women cannot even feed themselves,let alone pay a registration fee for a training. If we had pegged the registration fee to $2, I am sure that half of them would drop the programme. The economy situation in Nigeria is biting very hard in the cities and villages. It is very hard in the villages because everybody produces what they need.There are few households without a farm, unlike the cities where people buy their food.

As the training progressed last week, an unfortunate incident happened amongst the women. One of the participating womenstole $1. It became a dirty incident. When money is stolen in a crowd, the innocent one in the crowd is the owner of the money. Fortunately or unfortunately, someone saw the woman who took the money,and told us as it was happening.

I invited the woman who took the money to talk to me.Her story is a long one: Her husband walked away leaving her with two children. She has no work to keep body and soul together, and her children are another burden.She was attempting to steal to feed her family.

The matter was settled amicably. But as I listened, I asked myself: How can a woman who finds it hard to feed herself and her two children be able to save enough money to start up the business?

She is not the only woman with a walk-away husband. Many of the womenwe work withare widows and some are unmarried mothers, or mothers with estranged husbands. Hardly is there a woman who is comfortable in lifeamongst our trainees because our trainees are selected by their level of abuse or hardship they are facing in life.

This messy situation brings to mind the major challenge facing our trainees. We love to train women and women love to attend our training. In a country like Nigeria where life is very hard for single mothers, abused women, and rural women—the majority of our target group—how can we help the women to take off comfortably after our training?

It has been our dream to donate the resources women need tostart up a business; we do not want them to access loans through our organization, because personally, I have seen many situation where women die because ofthe stress of aloan repayment. I do not want to cause more havoc for women who have already gone through a lot.

We know that we can do it, and we will continue to work towards starting up our trainees without causing them sleepless nights.

Comments 14

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Dr Rejoice
Feb 21, 2017
Feb 21, 2017

Interesting story. The work that you are doing is inspiring. 

Kika Katchunga
Feb 21, 2017
Feb 21, 2017

Thank you for sharing with us the situation that happened there in Nigeria; It is so painful to hear, I pray to the good God to help those women who have gone through this horrible life. Just a word courage and good luck

Olutosin
Feb 22, 2017
Feb 22, 2017

Thanks a lot.

iyamail
Feb 21, 2017
Feb 21, 2017

What a story! I hope your program enriches these women with marketable skills and empower them to have the courage to look for ways to put these skills to work for their survival and why not also become leaders of others in situations like they were in!

Olutosin
Feb 22, 2017
Feb 22, 2017

Thanks a lot. I appreciate you.

LillianVB
Feb 23, 2017
Feb 23, 2017

Dear Olutosin, What you are doing is more than you can imagine. In such difficult situations, sometimes money is not the immediate answer. Your presence , immersed in the community ( Read Robert Chambers thoughts on Who's reality is it? and immersion exactly what you are doing), the dialogues you have with these women in itself, before you talk about the actual training is healing in itself. For them having something to participate in and look forward to gives a sense of hope  and self worth that they need in order to cultivate ideas for economic empowerment. You are doing a commendable job, I pray that you can get funding to strengthen the work you are doing!

Ann Forsthoefel
Feb 23, 2017
Feb 23, 2017

Olutosin,

You inspire me so much and I want you to know that the work you are doing is causing a ripple effect across the world. I send you bright blessings to keep on doing the incredible work you are doing!

Your Sister,
Ann

 

Sally maforchi Mboumien
Feb 25, 2017
Feb 25, 2017

Hello sis. Words can't express the joy you are bringing to these women. The story is very sad but the bitter reality of women's situation in many of our communities. I hope and pray you find the resources needed to do a start up for these trainees that way the healing process from the trauma a male dominated society gives many will be completed. Strength for this great task be yours always!!!!!

francisca okwulehie
Mar 08, 2017
Mar 08, 2017

Great work you are doing empowering women. Well Done!

WorldCare
Mar 25, 2017
Mar 25, 2017

Hello Olutosin, I so appreciate your leadership, and your vision for improving these women's lives. You are terrific!!!! I can understand your need to charge a fee, and yet I see how it is impossible for these very women to pay a fee. This is a serious dilemma. I will hope and pray that you will find a source of funding so that you may continue in your important work.

helen.ng
Mar 27, 2017
Mar 27, 2017

Thank you for sharing such an eye-opening story! In the modern world, money has such a powerful influence over people, and can make them vulnerable to desperation, to the point of stealing, as mentioned in the story. The work that you have done, and continue to do, is extremely inspirational and influential; you are a true role model for women and girls around the world. I look forward to hearing more about even more work that you will do in the future.

kathumberia
May 03, 2017
May 03, 2017

A great mission. May God grant you success and strength to change the lives of our sisters.

Julie Thompson
May 11, 2017
May 11, 2017

Olutosin, you have opened up a whole new world of potential buyers for your wonderful wares!  Keep up the good work supporting orphans.

Tebi Honourine
May 19, 2017
May 19, 2017

Hello, that's the spirit. Empowring widows, single mother's and even married women will help eliminate many domestic violence and create self resilience. Women needs to be one another's keeper. You solved the problem with wisdom. Keep the great work