The project Engaging Women as Agents of Change Against VAW and Poverty in Nigeria had its close-out ceremony in Jos Plateau on Friday 18th December 2020 to conclude the project which set its sights to economically and socially empower 1100 rural women through economically livelihoods initiatives that guarantee their economic self-independence and improve their general wellbeing
The project had APURIMAC NIGERIA, COUNTRY WOMEN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA(COWAN), FIDA NIGERIA, CENTER FOR THE ADVOCACY OF JUSTICE AND RIGHTS partnering as sub-grantees of Women For Women International under the Funding Leadership and Opportunity for Women (FLOW)2016-2020 project implemented by Women for Women International (WFWI) funded by Netherland Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The project drew participation from women in Jos East (Shere, Angware), Riyom (Bachi, Riyom), Pankshin (Pankshin) all in Plateau state with the women engaged in vocational training including Knitting, Crop Production, Animal Husbandry, Poultry Farming and Trading.
The project was groundbreaking as it saw Nine Hundred and seventy-eight (978) rural women have their skills enhanced and strengthen in the various vocations, Ensured that the economic inequality gaps in communities were reduced, with over 400 women in petty trade at rural areas trained to keep records of their business transaction, ensured improved relationship between wives of farmers and herders in Bachi district, improved the relationship between women of different tribes and religions in project locations, the relationship between federal/state financial institutions was also established, with 86 rural women at Bachi receiving financial support from Riyom Local Government Authority. ensuring over 600 women have bank accounts, with 64 women also been shortlisted for loan credit facility by Ecobank and women acting for peace and peaceful co-existence.
Mr Victor Nsunwara, The Economic Empowerment Manager for Women For Women International, said it was a 5years program that was geared at empowering rural women even beyond the funding window as such it was key that this woman have gone ahead to form advocacy groups to bring community issues to the front and engage persons of influence or stakeholders for action.
READ SOME TESTIMONIALS FROM PARTICIPANTS BELOW:
Mr Lyop Joseph in Poultry expressed her gratitude to Apurimac and WFWI for the skills acquired during the Self Reliance training and mentorship engagement as it has helped her improved her business. She started her business with the sum of 10000 she used in buying some birds, through mentorship guide, she took good care of the bird and sold them all during the festive period, at the moment she had increased the numbers of her birds (Chicks) from the previous numbers she kept.
Mrs Falicia Pete in Trading expressed joy as she was even able to pay her children school fees from profit made in her trading business. Initial before engagement with WFWI her business use to suffer a great deal due act of credit from some customers, but after the Self Reliance training supported by mentorship training today, she is doing strong in her business as she no long gives credit to customers. In fact, at her shop is boldly written No Credit Come Tomorrow.
For Mrs Ruth Yakubu in Crop production, she had challenges with her farm produce especially as it relates to applying fertilizers and tilling the soil, but with the mentorship support engagement, she was able to able appropriately fertilizer to her crops and indeed she had a good harvest this year and even brought some to the graduation venue to show case.
Mrs Rakiya Abdualraham who testified to improving her business from skills acquired during the self-reliance training and mentorship engagement. She was initially making groundnut candy with five measures of groundnuts and two measures of sugar, but had to increase to eight measures of groundnuts and three measure of sugar as the skills acquired during the self-reliance training really helped her to improve in her saving skills to expend her business.
For Grace Goltepba in poultry, she started with 34 chicks out of which 2 died and 10 were stolen, yet she was not discouraged, rather she took good care of the remaining with support from her mentors and sold them at 5 thousand each during the Xmas festive period as the chicken grow fat. She as now bought 60 new chicks and have some small amount of money saved from profit make to pay her children school fees.
DAUDA LYOP in piggery never had interest in business until when Apurimac came and trained them in self-reliance training which enable her to develop interest in piggery has been taught by WFWI. She started her piggery business with two (2) piglets she bought at the cost of ten thousand (10000) naira each. With the guidance, teaching and experience sharing by her mentor, she took good care of the piglet and sold them for twenty-five thousand (25000) naira each when the turn pigs. She expressed her willingness to continue in the business and requested for the continual support of her mentor.