The Coca-Cola Foundation in partnership with the Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, brought immeasurable joy to the women of Sangotedo on Friday, October 2, 2020 as they graduated a total of 612 women who participated in a free vocational skills acquisition training program called “Catalyst for Change”.
The aim of the one-month intensive training program is to aide economic recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The graduation ceremony which took place at the Sangotedo Primary School witnessed the presence of prominent members of the host community, Coca-Cola and Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation.
Some of those present include; the Baale of Sangotedo, Chief Rafiu Lawal Ajakaiye, represented by Mr. Raman Suleman; Women leader of Eti-Osa East LCDA, Hon Oyedemi Folashade Olarotimi; the NULGE Chairman and HOD Education, Eti Osa East, Comrade Omojole Olabode; the CCO to the head teacher at Sangotedo Primary School, Mr Haruna Abulwakin Public Affairs Communication and sustainability Manager at Coca-Cola Nigeria, Mrs Nwamaka Onyemelukwe; Founder, Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, Mrs Bukola Bamiduro; ED, RecyclePoints, Mr Taiwo Adewole and many others.
The vocational skills that the students learned include; baking, sewing, wig making, tie and dye, shoe and bag making, soap and household items production. 100 students out of the 612 graduates were presented with start-up kits for their different areas of interest.
The Valedictorian, Ekhator Esther Clara, profusely thanked the Coca-Cola Foundation, as well as the Karis and Eleos Foundation for providing them with this invaluable experience. According to her, beyond the vocational skills that were taught, they were also equipped with soft skills like personal branding, use of social media for business, financial literacy and networking, to mention a few. She also encouraged her fellow participants and graduates not to have a limiting mindset.
According to the Public Affairs, Communication and sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, “Women are not only essential to building thriving communities – we truly believe they represent one of the biggest accelerators to economic growth globally”. That is why Coca-Cola has been commitment to economically empowering women over the past 10 years to build sustainable communities. She thanked the leadership of the community profusely for their support in making the vision a reality, while urging the graduating students to ensure that they remain good ambassadors of the Coca-Cola ‘Catalyst for Change’ initiative.
The founder of Karis and Eleos Foundation admonished the students to engage in continuous self-development even as they graduate from the vocational school. She urged them to never compromise on quality and emphasized the importance of saving.
The Women leader of Eti-Osa East LCDA, Hon. Folashade Olarotimi, who was also one of the graduating students, expressed her deep appreciation to Coca-Cola and Karis and Eleos Foundations for their commitment to building human capacity and empowering lives. She advised the graduating students to make great use of all the skills learnt and ensure that they add value to the society.
The Baale of Sangotedo, Chief Rafiu Lawal Ajakaiye, represented by Mr. Raman Suleman expressed the community’s gratitude and joy. He stated that this empowerment program will no doubt go a long way in alleviating the economic hardship caused by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ceremony ended with immense gratitude and joy from the community leaders and graduates who expressed their heartfelt gratitude to Coca-Cola foundation as well as the Karis and Eleos Foundation for their support.