By: Wisdom Acka
Helpline Foundation for the Needy Abuja, in collaboration with the Rasaq Okulaja Empowerment Initiative, have empowered no fewer than 122 persons in Abuja.
The beneficiaries, made up of mostly widows, and the less-privileged, were engaged in skills acquisition programme at Church of God Mission International (CGMI) Vocational Training Centre in Byazhin, Kubwa, from 31st May to 2nd June.
After an intensive 3-day training in soap making, confectinaries, makeup and hat making, adire making (tie and dye), among others, all trainees were, over the weekend, given certificates of attendance with different kinds of gift items, while those with outstanding performance were given starter packs, including sets of sewing and grinding machines.
President, Helpline Foundation, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, while speaking to journalists at the event, in an emotion-laden voice, pledged to do more in the subsequent years in uplifting the needy, and ensuring that they in turn empower others.
“This year is just the beginning. Next year, we are going to come back to see that most of our trainees today will train other women,” she said.
“They are going to grow from this little handouts we are giving them here today to become big employers of labour,” she added.
“I want to challenge the women that have been trained in the past three days not to take this training for granted. Package your work very well, and market them effectively. With this training, you can go to the international market depending on how well you package your products”, Ahmadu charged.
Earlier, Pastor (Mrs.) Toyin Rasaq Okulaja, President, the Rasaq Okulaja Empowerment Initiative, said that the Non-governmental Organization, named after her late husband, Rev. Rasaq Okulaja, and launched on his one-year memorial, was designed to actualize his plan to establish such to support the less privileged in the society.
While thanking everyone who attended the event, she revealed that it was by God’s grace that she was alive, having lost Rev. Rasaq Okulaja a year ago.
Highpoint of the event was the exhibition by the trainees, of items they produced after the three-day empowerment programme, as they all expressed gratitude for the opportunity given them to be self-sufficient, pledging to use the knowledge and items judiciously.