STAR MOBILE SKILL CENTRE
STAR idea to train women on vocational skill is not unconnected with my experience in India, I learnt that if poor women's needs are not met, there may not be an end to sexual slavery. We will work in vain if we focus on life skills at the expense of living skill. It is whosoever that lives well that will be able to understand life skill. Our society must come to the full realization that African women are fertile, it is not a crime to give birth to eight children, but it is a crime to sell just one out of the eight in order to cater for the rest. That is why women will send their children to hawk, ware or sexuality in order to feed. therefore, we began our Mobile Skill Centre (MSC), this caters for both Life and Living Skills.
The women training began on the 10th of January, we started with Tie and Dye, which ran from Monday-Wednesday and it was followed by hat making, beading and hand and machine knitting. Olowoyeye Taiwo Tosin and Gbemisola Oke, both of Worldpulse are part of our facilitating team but the Tie and Dye master is the Chairman of their association in Surulere Local Government.
Our class was made up of forty women, and we deliberately selected poor women, who could not really afford the needed materials adn we supported them all. The training was really and eye opener yet llife changing and touching.
Before the commencement of the training, Jensine Larsen the Founder of Worldpulse sent a mail to me, that she is with us, we should take care of our health and well being, even if the training is not successful, if it a pilot program, but she hoped that it would be a success.
The online family wished us well and thhose who could participate, came as volunteers, Gbemisola Oke and Olowoyeye Tosin from Worldpulse volunteered their professionalism, both young women refused salaries. This is the power of our PULSE. I have never met Olowoyeye Tosin before now, we only met on Worldpulse online here, so when she was alighting from the boat, I had to describe myself, I held my daughters too, so a woman holding two girls is the Olutosin of Worldpulse!
Olowoyeye Tosin was afraid of river, Gbemisola Oke was afraid of River, I am no longer afraid, so I assusred them that all will be well.
We held each other for so long when we met at the riverside.
The first week of the training was going on smoothly at the riverrine area but suddenly, every one began to fall sick and we had to change location because of our health. And Jensine caution began to ring bell in my ears.
we took ourselves to learning, even hte facilitators too were interested in learning from one another, and our Tie and dye began to take shape. We started with tracing, folding and dyeing. At the end of the second week, I am already a professional in the making. The second week was strictly on Eleko, a paste made from baking flour was rubbed on the guinea brocage to producce beautiful patterns and the third week was for Batik, the fourth week was on color seperation, mixture and material selection.
At the end of the Tie and Dye training, all the women refused to leave. And we have decided to start STAR Friendship Network, where trained women are on ground to protect children and to train other unemployed women in their locality. in the same vein, the Tie and Dye teacher agreed to volunteer meeting our women twice a month. It was a training I will never forget. We produced more than 400 yards of Guinea Brocade and we were able to trainforty women free on Life and Living skills too.
I have a saying that poverty has grades and as long as there are jobless women, there are women who beleive thatthere must be food on the table at all cost, whatever it takes and whosoever, there will be sexual abuse. Our society has come to the realization that an empowered women is the one who can lead.
We have rounded off the beading and hat making classes but the hand and machine knitting classes would be rounded off by next week. The machines are new to our students and above all, they are insufficient, we have one machine to about 7 women.
Last week, we received further invitations from three Faith based organisations that we should hole a month training each for their women. The first has 200 women, the other is 80 women and the last one is 40 women. We have agreed to train these women, we believe that no matter how little we are contributing, women's lives are changing and we are sure that there will be food on the table and less girls to be sent out for sexual slavery.
We have trainings already for February, March and Apri 2011l, I will be busy from April ending to July, in case you want to book us for trainings in your countries, please let it be after July.
I will seize this opportunity to thank all my family members here, to also thank Jensine Larsen, Jade Frank, Jennifer Ruwart, Aimee Knight, Sarvina, Olowoyeye, Gbemi Oke, sister Funke Olatayo, Celine Nsokwu, Vivian, Janice Wong, Ma Starland and Natalie Safir, and those too numerous to mention but all on Worldpulse, you all have pushed me this far.
Attached are some of our finished products. And the best you can do for us is to share our products for advertisement and buy too.
I love you all as always.