A non governmental organization, Foundation for Resilient Empowerment and Development (FRED), recently empowered women and girls in Lagos.
The 25 graduands, which included women with disability were beneficiaries of the three-month skills acquisition programme on hairdressing, fashion,makeup and culinary arts and shoe making. This is the third graduation edition.
The Project Director of FRED, Rosemary Ngozi Echewe, disclosed that the graduation ceremony, which was its third edition, under the Spotlight Initiative , was designed for women, who have been violated at a point in their lives and so the program was focused on Ending Violence against women and girls.
Echewe, who has the passion to ensure that women and girls in the community engage in meaningful activities, noted that the organisation has trained 25 Sexual Gender based survivors (SGB)-in different vocations and has graduated over 300 women in Lagos and Abuja.
The graduands were also equipped with start-up kits “to begin their lives so that they can start up economically and be free.
“Our focus is on women and girls who have been abused.These women are survivors of sexual based violence. They have gone through one violence or the other like rape, domestic violence.”
On the process of selecting the beneficiaries, Echewe said they go through government agencies.
“They are accessed by a committee and then trained.
“A lot of them were violated because they could not help themselves. financially. So, we have empowered them and trained them intellectually so they can be free and able to stand and help other women in their communities by reaching out to them and being a source of help.”
She said partner agencies on this initiative are the Ministry of Women Affairs, Poverty Alleviation , Lagos State; National Human Rights Commission; T Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA); International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA). “These are the government agencies we worked with this year.”
Advising the graduands, she told them to aspire to be better in their skill delivery.
“You have to improve on your present story. We will come visiting and calling, so expect us anytime to know how you are fairing.
“Try your best to impact your community. Pass on what you know to a girl or woman . Show what you have on your inside because the more you share, the more you sharpen yourself.
Make friends and reach out. Replicate what you have learnt and recieved in your community. The day you stop learning, that is when you start dieing. Let your children be proud of you.”
One of the beneficiaries, a woman with disability, Nwafor Christiana Ifeanyi, said she was excited and grateful for FRED, UNDP and Spotlight initiative for the opportunity given to her to acquire the skill.
Source: The Sun