23 Jul Rebirth – Power to Women In Nigeria
The alarming increased rate of child hawkers or labourers is a social menace that has been ignored for a long period of time in Nigeria. It’s normal to see children below the ages of fifteen, carrying goods and selling them on the highway to road users in every city and town in the country. Of course, this did not begin in one day, however, it has become the norm that people don’t really see the need for a change. After all, they are not their children or relations.
These children lose the opportunity of an education which contributes so much to the chances of better lives, opportunities and so much more.
A survey carried out by students of Enactus Adekunle Ajasin University in Owo and Akungba community of Ondo State, Nigeria, showed that majority of children involved in illegal labours hail from broken homes or with a single parent. Either the father is dead or took off without looking back while the mother are unemployed. Also, only 1 out of every 5 children in these communities are in school while the rest works as labourers. Now, this is a situation where such child is subjected to child labour because the mother needs all the hands they can get.
This is the major cause of the problem in Nigeria.
Rebirth is an initiative of Enactus, Adekunle Ajasin University, to combat this problem. To achieve this feat, local women are trained in the sewing skills. Their product, which is a water proof solar panelled bag made from wastes such as nylon, clothes etc gotten from the societal wastes are combined together to form the beautiful piece. Through sewing, these women will sell the bags thereby giving them a income to provide for their families.
Through this project, the women would have a source of income generation which will enable them to cater for their families, provide basic amenities such as good food, clothing, a home and education which will reduce the cases of child labour in the society.
Right now, we’re in discussions with schools in the community to put some of the kids on scholarships so as to lessen the financial burdens on the mothers thereby giving these children an opportunity of quality education.
WHAT WE’VE DONE SO FAR
Last semester that ended this month, we conducted the first training with a batch of 20 women. Through partnership with local organizations, we secured a venue and rented sewing equipments the trainees.
However, the difficulty at hand is the issue of funding. Enactus is a self funded organisation where the students raise funds or at times, task themselves with financial responsibilities. To make project Rebirth highly successful and sustainable, the women needs machines of their own to be able to continue the sewing.
After pricing the items, a second hand sewing machine goes for #35, 000 which is approximately a $100. We have plans to acquire 10 pieces ($1000) in which will be rotated among the first ten women on a ratio of 2:1. After which a savings scheme will be created for them so that each of them can save a certain percentage of the proceeds from the skills they’ve acquired so that they can buy their own personal sewing machine. The 10 machines will be used to train another batch of women.
WHAT WE SEEK
We require a partnership to make this a success. Also, from the vast number of partners associated with The Wish Wall Foundation as an organization, we are positive that before the end of this year, we would have been able to train at least, Three batches of women who will be placed on the path of a better livelihood for themselves, their families and especially the children who will now be on the road to getting quality education.
Help us make this wish come true.