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International Women’s Day: Single mothers empowered with vocational skills

About 1,000 young single mothers have been empowered with vocational skills in the Ibeju-Lekki local government area of Lagos State.

The women, who have no male support in their households, were provided with relevant skills, resources and support to enhance their economic independence and self-sufficiency by a civil society organisation, Oladele Fajemirokun Foundation.

Kene Egbue, the Foundation’s Program Manager, who announced the initiative in a statement released to mark the 2024 International Women’s Day, explained that the vocational skills acquisition program was an expansion of the organisation’s Sustainable Malnutrition Intervention Program (SMALINT) for malnourished children.

He noted that the initiative has received significant acclaim from local residents and community leaders.

According to Egbue, the Ibeju Lekki area in Lagos has for long faced poverty and limited opportunities, particularly for women, a situation which spurred the Foundation to intervene by providing more women with new skills to boost their job prospects.

“This initiative extends from the 2022 SMALINT program launch. Understanding the strong connection between malnutrition and poverty, we aimed for a sustainable solution.

“Women’s empowerment is crucial for sustainable development and breaking the cycle of poverty. By offering essential tools and support, our goal is to help them create better lives for themselves and their families,” Egbue said.

Explaining further, he noted that the empowerment program includes various activities focused on imparting practical skills and knowledge to women.

Participants received training in fields such as hairdressing, tailoring, catering, ICT skills and leadership development.

“A primary goal of the program is to enable women to generate income and achieve economic self-sufficiency.

“Through workshops and hands-on training at the vocational center in Orimedu, participants have learned how to establish and manage small businesses, creating sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families,” Egbue added.

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Ofem Favour, described the program as life changing.

She said, “As a single mother striving to support my family, the skills and support provided by this program have been life-changing.

“Overcoming the challenge of lacking a skill was daunting, but through the catering training, I secured an industrial training opportunity, all thanks to the Oladele Fajemirokun Foundation.”

Egbue further explained that the Foundation’s dedication to women empowerment goes beyond the program as it continues to offer ongoing support to program graduates, including mentoring, stipends, and opportunities for further education and training.

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