By NASIRU DAMBATTA
Poverty, endemic as it could be, is at the same time surmountable just like many other societal illnesses. All it takes is concerted efforts by governments.
On the surface, the prevailing rampant poverty across the northern region of Nigeria appears to defy government efforts in most states.
In Kaduna state, the case is different; here, the laudable poverty alleviation initiatives diligently pursued by government, are being complemented by independent private interventions.
Topping the list of such private interventions is the Uba Sani Foundation which has so far, succeeded in empowering hundreds of underprivileged families across the state by providing free skills acquisition training to women.
In one of its most recent projects, according to the Director – Malam Ibrahim Danhalilu, the Foundation on Saturday, December 8th, conducted a one-day rigorous skills acquisition workshop for 50 underprivileged women.
The workshop opened with a thirty-minute motivational talk by the lead resource person, Mr. Mohammed Inuwa Sabo, who explained the importance of having a home-based business especially for women. He noted that any woman that refuses to learn a trade or business would end of frustrated and manipulated by men.
After the motivational talks, the trainers did a theoretical presentation of step by step process of producing liquid soap, room freshener, Vaseline and Robb ointment, which are the popular choice products for the coming harmattan season.
The final stage of the training session was practical demonstration of how the chemicals are selected, and mixed to give different products, which led to the production of more than 500 pieces of the four products.
In his remarks at the occasion, the Executive Director of the Foundation, urged the participants to make good use of what they had learnt during the training to improve their lives and those of their family members. He explained that skills acquisition training was just one out of the four key pillar programs of the foundation. Others are youth empowerment and mentoring, educational support, and community health outreach.
The Chairman of the Foundation, Malam Uba Sani in his address, said the Foundation had been supporting the underprivileged over the last five years, through distribution of food stuff to the needy, and provision of medical assistance to the sick. He said he was impressed with the work that the participants accomplished in a day, promising more assistance to those that stand out in putting the skills they learnt into use. He also pledged the Foundation’s commitment to linking those participants who succeeded in starting their own cosmetic production businesses with micro-finance outlets that will give them loans to expand their businesses.
Four of the participants who spoke on behalf of their colleagues, thanked the Uba Sani Empowerment Foundation for organizing the training and promised to apply all that they learnt to set up their own businesses. One of them, Amina said with what she learnt so far, she was on her way to becoming a big business owner. She thanked the Chairman for his generosity and wished him victory in the forthcoming general election as a senator representing Kaduna Central Zone.
Malam Uba Sani later presented certificates of attendance to some of the participants. The training was attended by women selected from Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Chukun and Igabi local government areas.
Meanwhile, in a related development, the Uba Sani Empowerment Foundation also donated food stuff and other valuable worth hundreds of thousands naira to two orphanages in Kaduna metropolis on Sunday. The items include 10-50kg bags of rice, 20 cartoons of Indomie Noodles, 2 dozens of mattresses and blankets, 9kg bags of detergent, and eight dozens of pairs of slippers, which were donated to Al-Ihsan Orphanage in Nassarawa and Adonai Orpahange and Widows Home, Kakuri both in Kaduna.
For the moment, the Uba Sani Foundation is one rare example of the relentless war against poverty in a fast-changing world. It is one project capable of firing our imagination about the future of the poor in our midst.
Dambatta wrote from Legislative Quarters, Kaduna
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