According to the United Nations, when more women work, economies grow and as the saying goes, “there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women”.
Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited in partnership with Karis and Eleos Foundation is on a journey to empowering 5,000 women in Nigeria. With over 2,600 women trained and empowered so far, the Ogijo community in Ikorodu was not left out of the success story of the Catalyst for Change programme.
The graduation ceremony for this event was held on Friday, November 6, 2020, and here are the highlights.
The Ogijo Women
One cannot deny the high spirits from the unique Ogijo women, as they turned up and turned out in high numbers. At the start of the event, they chanted “Coca-Cola!” with energy that could have brought the building down.
In the words of the valedictorian, Ibironke Towalawi, “I am thankful for Coca-Cola, as the generosity restored hope, and has put light and life in the lives of women in Ogijo”.
Free Training and Start-up Kits
Throughout October, 1,000 of these amazing women were trained for four weeks. In the closing ceremony, 200 of them who performed excellently were gifted with start-up kits. From sewing machines to baking tools, the women were provided with the right tools to further their enterprises, all thanks to Coca-Cola.
Presence of the Oba and Support Of Royalty
As the King of Ogijo graced the event, there was an aura of royalty and excitement immediately he arrived.
The King of Ogijo, Oba Kazeem Kashimawo Olaonipekun Gbadamosi, expressed gratitude to the Coca-Cola Foundation. In his words, he said, “I cannot believe the impact and turnout from this event. Our women have been empowered and I look forward to what is to come”. He also mentioned that the palace will monitor their progress for six months and will readily give further support to the women.
The Works Displayed
The participants of the programme had their works on display and also for sale at the graduation ceremony. There were freshly baked snacks, adire, leather slippers, bags, and many more items. Some of the participants proudly spoke about the items as they showcased them.
For 36 years, the Coca-Cola Foundation has contributed more than $1 billion to help empower women, protect the environment, and enhance communities, socially and economically, around the world.