PROJECT: Centre for Fashion and Designing.
Growing up in the face of poverty have not always been very easy and it has its peculiar challenges. With barely enough food to eat, descent dress to wear and no good shows, oftentimes, you feel completely empty, hopeless and full of uncertainties. That was precisely my situation while growing up as a child.
My mother assumed a dual parental responsibility of raising and caring for us-me and my siblings, all alone with little or no help coming from nowhere. With her petty trading from which she ekes out a living, we struggled through thick and thin from childhood to adulthood. It was oftentimes and regrettably most painful to see my adorable mother working and struggling very hard all alone in an attempt not to be laughed at and to provide for her children as best as she could. I observed all the pains, her pains in trying to survive and to raise us.
As I write this piece and looking back, I still feel the pangs of been totally helpless as a child not to be able to aid whom such help should be most accorded. The challenges were severe and multi faced. Most times, we would go to school with empty Tommy and even after school. Although as daunting as these challenges seemed to be, I was nevertheless very undaunted and equally very determined to do something significant with my life; to make a great difference in the journey of my destiny. School was prime to me. But I did not waste much time jettisoning that idea or ambition, simply because of my poor background since it would be a futile exercise. Because, there would be nobody there for me. I had to quickly pitched tent with the profession that was dear to my heart, the vocation I felt passionately about-fashion and designing. Getting money to enroll me was something else. Let me not bore you with much details about the challenges, disappointments and near frustrations I encountered during acquiring the skill. It was a six-Month program. I busied myself with much zeal and great optimism in the act of learning and mastering the skill. And with time, I soon graduated to the delight of my mother particularly with my hopes and expectations roaring very high.
As the sole bread winner of the family, my graduation was a respite to my mother in her onerous struggle to see her children succeed in life; It represented at least less burden among her responsibilities and the expectation that soonest by His grace, help would soon be coming her way, from me to support the family. But, as event played out much later, this was not to be. Disappointment followed yet another as those who had promised to assist turned their back on me and I was left in the cold. With the passage of time, five years went by in quick successions. My initial expectations of owning a fashion house was now turned into a mirage. It was not forthcoming at all. With time, I began to be agitated and desperate as no help was forthcoming. With no hope in sight, I soon began to lose faith; faith in the Nigeria project. Nothing mattered to me anymore. And hopelessness began to set in and this also gave rise to bouts of helpless resignations.
By this time, the social-economic frustrations in the country was palpable and this was very widespread because of the unbearable hardship that followed. Thousands were losing jobs by the day and thus swearing the already complicated labor situation. The future for the youths had never looked bleacher. As a result, I did menial jobs to survive instead of folding my hands doing nothing. In fact, it was an experience I do not intend to glamorize as there are
many ugly side to it. Eventually, still on the need and desperation for survival, I ended up with sewing and photo shopping through social media sites from which I was able to make nominal income, barely enough to take care of my personal needs let alone my mother and siblings. The pangs of seeing my mother and my sibling’s groans under severe economic hardship because of economic depression was unbearable for me. I totally felt helpless in the circumstances and completely lost faith in the system. And my best company was hope, nothing but hope either for the best or for the worst.
FRUGAL EMPOWERMENT SKILL ACQUISITION INITIATIVE:
It was this state of uncertainties and hopelessness that I happened to stumble on the Frugal Foundation Empowerment website for which I eventually made contact through the phone number provided there. I discovered that it was for real. Much later, I was able to meet with the Founder of the Foundation, Mr. Peter Osezua , a man of exceptional character, whose heart identifies with the very poor, a man with large heart, a man with unassuming kindness, generosity and humanity. He was able to discern my exceptional organisational and leadership skills in addition to my other professional skills. After scrutiny, he had decided right from day one that the Foundation had resolved to work with me, to assist me. To Mr. Peter, I own my unflattering debt. Through him, I was able to understand that challenges and disappointments in life are not made to destroy us but to strengthen us and give us the fortitude to accomplish God giving destiny if we remain focus, purposeful and resilient. My dream has suddenly come alive once again and it has placed me in the world I never thought or believed truly existed.
The Foundation is presently involved in setting up a Sewing Center where prospective trainee will be trained for a specific period and for producing dresses for commercial purposes. In other words, apart for training, it will be used for business of producing sewed materials for retail and wholesale sales for income generation most of which will go for the Foundation charity activities of helping the poor. And I, as the supervisor at the center and been a beneficiary myself will ensure that I will continue to contribute from my earnings to this noble objective as a way of sustaining the efforts of the Foundation.
The center has two outstanding benefits:
1: The registration and training itself is totally free. The applicants or trainees does not have to pay for the training.
2: The trainees are entitled to stipends and this is to further encourage them.
Registration for the trainees have commenced in earnest and I am really overwhelmed by the deluge of responses by the applicants so far. This observation is, however, is not surprising as most of them does not have the financial wherewithal to pay for training before now.
The Sewing Center been built will need to be expanded with time and equipped with state-of-the- art facilities to be able to accommodate more trainees in the future. This requires funding or finances.
It is important to note that alone, we can do little but together, we can do so much more.
When you made a commitment, you build hope. When you keep it, you build trust? Therefore, The Frugal Empowerment Foundation have made a strong commitment. That is, the commitment of building hope and trust. The commitment of seeing those in pains smiling once again, of giving hope to the hopeless and seeing their dreams comes through.
Little acts, multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.
Therefore, join Frugal Empowerment Foundation to transform the world by your token of contribution. To donate, you can visit the website:
Simply call the following phone numbers:
Always remember, that your donation will go a long way to touch lives and help rebuild the world. You too can help change the world.