YOUNG LADY WHO LOST HER WAY GETS A SECOND CHANCE AT REDEMPTION THROUGH SKILL AND ACQUISITION PROGRAM BY KINABUTI FASHION INITIATIVE
Before she was discovered and given a chance for rehabilitation, Omobolanle Oluwatoyin Bankola was already on the fast road leading to nowhere. Raised in a household where her mother was the only income provider, it was necessary for Omobolanle to drop out of school because there was no money to pay for her education.
Leaving school introduced her to a new kind of life that was counterproductive; a life on the streets with drugs in the mix. Omobolanle became a drug seller and user. She continued this way until a simple conversation with a social worker gave her a new lease on life.
One day, while smoking on the streets with her friends, a social worker asked about her employment status and she told him she was unemployed. He told her that enrollment was on-going for a skill acquisition program and emphasized that he wanted her to be a part of it.
While growing up, Bolanle always had passion for food and cooking in general so for her the encounter with the social worker was like a sign from the heavens. "I could do this!" she said as the officer's words woke a dormant dream; a dream she could pursue and achieve.
The program was her lifesaver. The empowerment program is organized by Kinabuti Fashion Initiative and Equal Health and Rights Access Advocacy Initiative (EHRAAI) in Nigeria as well as, Time for Africa in Italy. Funding is also received from Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy.
The young woman was accepted into the catering class as she hoped she would be. She was delighted to learn intercontinental cooking, something she had been interested in but never had the opportunity to learn.
Her instructors found her enthusiasm and attention delightful. Her passion marked her as one of the favourites in the program. It was clear to see that having been given a chance to achieve her dreams, she was going after this doggedly. After she was done, she went on to establish her business.
Currently, Omobolanle has two customers who find her catering so satisfying that they engage her on a weekly basis where she makes good profit. Still, she is not resting on her oars and intends to scale up her business as she recognizes that there is a huge market for what she does.
That is not all the good news. There are lots of others who are benefiting from this program which will run through till July 2019. We want the youth and women to know that opportunities are here in Nigeria.
Making impact is what we love to do; seeing results like Omobolanle’s is what makes our endeavor worthwhile.