Foundation empowers widows, orphans in creative skills
Philanthropist and businesswoman, Folorunsho Alakija takes her Rose of Sharon Foundation (RoSF) into the creative sector as some women have been given skills in art, craft, fashion, among several other trainings in vocation.
With focus on orphans and widows, RoSF, a not-for profit organisation empowered beneficiaries during a one day Enterprise Development /Skills Acquisition Training via economically viable vocational skills and business management techniques. During the unveiling ceremony, which held at Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech), the founder of RoSF, Mrs. Alakija said the training and entrepreneurship program was in consonance with the foundation’s mission and values, which seeks to respond to the challenges faced by widows, their children, and orphans.
According to her “We have a mandate by God and our desire is to earnestly fulfil the scripture in the book of James 1:27, which says ‘Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’
She said the programme was structured to provide business and life support services to widows who become the principal providers for their families. “This program is also for orphans when and where required. We work to create the conditions they need to lead lives with a reasonable degree of stability, support and resources to take care of their basic needs of shelter, finance, health, and education, to find satisfaction in life, raise and educate their children successfully,” Mrs Alakija added.
For three consecutive years, RoSF has initiated the programme, which has benefited about 600 widows and in turn improved the living condition of over 2,400 people. “Exposing our participants to viable and multiple sources of income has equally increased their demand for the RoSF’s Micro Credit scheme, which allows our widows access to interest free loans with flexible repayment plan,” she recalled.
Alakija expressed satisfaction as some of the widows were already taking bold steps in owning and running private schools, crèches, fashion houses, make up outfits. “We also have several of our orphans who have graduated from the higher institutions, working and supporting their families. In fact, some of them are now married with children,” she listed few of RoSF’s achievements.
The skill acquisition was in partnership with Yaba College of Technology, Empretec Nigerian Foundation, StreSert Services, X10shun Beauty, Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN), Bimbeads and Women in Technical Education and Employment; Yaba Tech. Chapter.
“Today, we have about 300 women who will be undergoing training in the different vocations of their choice and by the end of this skills transfer program, they will be empowered with loans to start up their businesses,” Mrs Alakija disclosed. “The handiwork of our participants from this training will be exhibited during our Rose of Sharon Foundation Christmas Party for widows and orphans on Friday, 9th December 2016, at Yaba College of Technology.”
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