FROM LIFE IN THE STREETS TO NATION BUILDING, STREET HUSTLER REDISCOVERS HER PASSION THROUGH VOCATIONAL TRAINING BY KINABUTI FASHION INITIATIVE
Anywhere across the world, widowhood is a tough experience for women. For Helen Uche, the experience of losing her spouse was difficult especially since there were two children to raise. For the resident of Makoko, an infamous slum in Lagos where living conditions are below standard and income making opportunities rare, life was arduous at best.
Helen described those days as “Life in the streets.” She said that though she ran around for help, she would come back at night with multiple problems and not enough to feed either herself or her children.
Her ray of hope shone when she got a text message inviting her for a skills acquisition programme organized by NGO Kinabuti Fashion Initiative, in partnership with Equal Health and Rights Access Advocacy Initiative (EHRAAI), Time for Africa and supported by Friuli Venezia Giulia.. She jumped at the opportunity to get empowered as she desired to take her destiny in her own hands.
Helen was one of the participants on the catering program which ran for four weeks. The training consisted of classes on pastries, intercontinental and African dishes and business classes.
As rich as the curriculum was, Helen says the greatest impact was that the training made her see herself differently. “I began to see myself in a different light” she said ‘They exposed me to the opportunities we have here in Nigeria.”
Currently, she is making profit in her business consistently but she is dreaming of bigger things. She aspires to have her own business which she has already named “Helen’s Kitchen.”
Helen will not miss her days of running around looking for help. She says she is a future job creator and not a job seeker. By building her own enterprise, she is determined to contribute her own quota to national development.
No wonder, the adage says when you empower a woman, you empower a nation. Helen Joseph is a classic example of how we are empowering the nation, one vulnerable woman at a time.
Written by; Pyemwa Deshi