Making women economically secure is key to achieving stronger, happier, healthier, and more
importantly, prouder womanhood.
The aforementioned statement was that of the First Lady of Ondo State, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, while declaring open the second edition of Ondo State Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Programme (OSSA-EP), for women in Ondo South Senatorial district, held in Ile-Oluji local government secretariat.
According to her, empowering women with profitable skills to be financially secured, was the motive behind OSSA-EP which she initiated to augment the women empowerment strides of the Foundation for Wives of Ondo State Officials and Female Political Appointees, FOWOSO.
Represented by the State’s Commissioner for women Affairs and Social Development, Dr(Mrs) Olubunmi Osadahun, the OSSA-EP Founder, affirmed that women were endowed with strength to succeed, if given the right opportunity and enough motivation; and avowed the readiness and commitment of Akeredolu-led government to provide women with such wings to fly economically, through this programme.
Her words: “This is one very dear initiative to my
heart because it gives me a clear and emphatic expression of my belief in women’s economic fortification
as a precondition for women’s emancipation.
“As you all know, I am an unrepentant proponent of women’s economic security, and justifiably so.
“Women have to be empowered for families and, by extension, communities to be empowered and
“The first edition was an experiment that turned out very successful in spite of the fact that we had no
ready and comprehensive template for its execution. “However, the inspiring thing about the first edition
is that its success was not so much in the programme execution but in the abilities of beneficiaries to
translate the training received into economic advantage for themselves, families, and immediate
communities. That, for me, must be the goal for us as government actors and beneficiaries.
Addressing the Trainees, the Ondo First Lady charged them to judiciously utilise the opportunity, translate the skills acquired to wealth and become employers of labour so as to justify government’s investment on them.
“You must make yourselves trainable by taking good
advantage of the programme and be ready to excel with the right skill-set; you must develop the right
mental attitude that is needed for entrepreneurial success as you acquire the skills, so that you begin to
make mental plans as to how to gain a share of the market available for your skills, even right here in
Citing the Biblical parable of servants who were given different numbers of talents by their masters, the OSSA-EP Founder described the investment as a waste, if they fail to maximise the skills and startups they would be given
at the end of the training.
“The consequences of the parable extend far beyond religious essence but also attract dire
financial implications. Hence, as we instill in you a wide variety of skills, we expect you to translate them
Giving an overview of the programme, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Gender Research and Documentation, Mrs Temitope Daniyan, had earlier explained that the initiative was a confirmation of the First Lady’s desire of a better living for Ondo women by teaching them how to fish.
She highlighted skills to cover for the one month period to include fashion design, baking and confectionaries, hairdressing, makeup and Gele tying, ICT, homemade detergents and disinfectants, amongst others.
According to her, every trainee would be entitled to startups tools and a certificate of completion at the end of the training, in addition to free accomodation and feeding, throughout.
In her goodwill message, the Head of Administration of Ile-Oluji local government, Mrs. Omoloja, represented by Mrs. Gbemisola Iyantan, commended the founder of OSSA-EP for birthing such opportunity, which she described as a lifetime one.
She implored beneficiaries not to take it for granted but utilise it to secure their financial future.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Gender, Mrs Olamide Falana, enjoined the Trainees not to disappoint the initiator of the programme, but to rather take advantage of it to rewrite their destinies, economic-wise.
In attendance included members of the Foundation for Wives of Ondo State Officials and Female Political Appointees, FOWOSO, Female and male Directors at Ile-Oluji local government.
The climax of the opening ceremony was a talk on mental health given by Nurse Oluwapelumi Dada to prepare them mentally and motivate them for the programme; they were also evaluated by team of the Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu Foundation, BAAF, to have their database.
Special Assistant to the Governor on Media (Office of the First Lady)