The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria had successfully graduated eleven (11) members of the first set of Women Empowerment Scheme beneficiaries.
The graduation ceremony came up at Ahmadiyya Settlement Owode Road, Ilaro Ogun State and had in attendance dignitaries and relatives of the graduands.
It will be recalled that the empowerment scheme was planned and organized by the organization’s Economic Empowerment and Development Committee (EEDC) and the programme runs for three (3) months (19th January to 18th April 2019).
Pioneer beneficiaries were trained on sewing and crafts making within the period. They had successfully produced products such as clothes, teddy bear, bags, beads, window blind, headrest, armrest, bedspread, foot mat, tie and dye.
The Amir (Head) of the organization, Dr. Mashhud Adenrele Fashola while making his remarks, reiterated that the aim of the empowerment scheme was to reduce drastically the rate of poverty in the land.
He stressed that it was the responsibility of the government to provide food, clothing, shelter and safe water to the populace but religious and charitable organizations, as well as well-meaning Nigerians, could take up the duty if the government fails to do the needful.
“The basic amenities expected from the government does not only include food, clothing, and shelter but also provision of safe water. If the government failed in this regards, it is incumbent on us, as a Muslim Community and another well to do Nigerians to come up with the empowerment programme like this. You cannot eradicate poverty without empowerment.”
“There are millions of brains out there that are under-utilized. So many of our youths are very creative. Hence, the formation of EEDC to identify and train those talents and improve their economic status,” Dr. Fashola said.
The Amir urged the graduands to start their operation on a low key and should not be too materialistic while striving to make headway economically. He said while the organization will be assisting the graduands financially to kick-start their business, monitoring mechanism will also be put in place to check their excesses.
He further appreciated the EEDC led by the Naib Amir (Deputy Head) Southwest, Alhaji Abdul Azeez Alatoye for its teamwork and actualization of the dream. He also requested all members of the organization to give support to the Committee in cash or kind. Amir added that the committee is also working on accommodating men empowerment scheme and that members could forward useful information and ideas to the committee.
List of the graduands includes Idrees Nasratul-Azeez, Abdul Hameed Nimotallah, Husseinat Odukola, Bello-Dhunnurain Ruqayyah, Abdul Qadri Nurullah, Adebayo Ghaniyyah, Dada Rofiat, Abdullahi Aminat, Arowosere Sakeenah, Musa Wasilat and Folorunso Shakirat. Dada Rofiat was adjudged the best graduating student. Mrs. Taofeeqah Fagbolade, Head of the female wing, later presented gifts to outstanding graduates and certificates to all of them.
Coordinator of the programme Mrs. Maryam Sanni stated that the committee had plans to include other courses such as catering, photography, and shoemaking into the training programme with effect from next edition.
Not a Worldly Programme:
Alhaji Alatoye re-emphasized that the programme is not intended to make participants become worldly in any way but rather to improve on their economic conditions to be able to serve Almighty God better. He added that training is a national and continuous programme. He said that the second phase will soon commence, and will last for three (3) months as well.
Training Venue and Facility Improvement
Alhaji Alatoye stated that the training hall construction had commenced and may be ready for use before the completion of the second phase.
Commencement of the Second Phase:
The Amir officially commissioned the commencement of the second phase of the empowerment scheme expected to kick-start on the 3rd of August and terminate on November 2, 2019. Applications will be received between now and July 2019 from all over the country.
Mrs. Fagbolade commended the Amir and the coordinator of the programme for the brilliant initiatives and advised all graduands not to throw the knowledge garnered in three (3) months under the carpet. Also, the leader of the Elders Forum (Majlis Ansarullah), Engr. Abdul Waheed Adeoye urged youths to learn the technical aspect of their profession in order to succeed economically in the country.
Alhaji Abbas Iromini, the General Secretary of the organization advised parents to encourage their children including graduates among them to apply for the empowerment scheme. He also requested the management to create a showroom at the National Headquarters where the products of the scheme would be displayed and sold to customers.