The Catalyst for Change 2.0 programme, funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation and implemented in Nigeria by local NGO, Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, with support from Nigerian Bottling Company on Thursday, March 3rd 2022, saw another tranche of 1000 women successfully graduate from the programme in Ijora, Lagos State.

Director, Public Affairs, Communications, and Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, during the event, disclosed that the Ijora community brings the number of empowered communities to eight impacting over 8,000 women under the Catalyst for Change initiative since the programme started in 2020.

Onyemelukwe further explained that this project is one of the signature projects under its newly launched sustainability platform “JAMII”, contributing to the company’s commitment to promoting women’s economic empowerment as a key to bridging the poverty gap across the African continent.

She stated, “Our desire is to continue to economically uplift as many women as possible in Nigeria as we recognize their critical roles in society, in keeping with our “JAMII” sustainability focus on driving change across the world through activities around waste management, women empowerment, water stewardship, youth development and wealth creation for communities”.

Following a successful one-month vocational training programme, the women of the Ijora community were also presented with startup kits to help kickstart their small-scale businesses.

Founder, Karis & Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, Bukola Bamiduro, said empowering women and girls across the rural demographic remained their objective as the skills acquired by the women would enable them and their families to escape extreme poverty.

Bamiduro urged the women to be professional in all their business dealings and to use the startup kits effectively. She also advised that as ambassadors of the initiative, they should be open to transferring knowledge to other women in their communities.

A beneficiary, Adaobi Abeng, who was enrolled in the baking stream, lauded the organisers of the programme as she said she came to the training without any substantial knowledge of baking but was leaving fully equipped with skills and kits to uplift her economically.

The Apapa Iganmu LCDA Chairman, Funmilayo Akande Muhammed, represented by the Vice-Chairman, Femi Bamidele, thanked The Coca-Cola Foundation and Karis & Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, for bringing the empowerment initiative to the Ijora community. He encouraged the women to take advantage of the startup kits provided, using them to improve their economic status.

The Baale of Ijora Kingdom, Chief Tajudeen Igbalaye extolled The Coca-Cola Foundation and Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation as he said that prior to the commencement of the training, some community residents had initially doubted the possibility of the programme coming to life.

Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation is a non-profit established in 2017, with a vision to empower women and girls across the rural demographic.

The catalyst for Change 2.0 is said to adopt two training models, which includes hands-on training classes (such as baking, bagmaking, shoemaking, hairstyling, makeup artistry, tie & dye design and production of household cleaning items), and business classes, which provides training around the foundations of running a successful business; personal and product branding; accounting; bookkeeping and finance management; recruiting customers; leveraging social media; accessing loans and grants; gender-based violence and recycling.

Published on Brandfit.