For seven years, Rosemary Ngozi, 33, a graduate of Public Administration from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, tried so hard to secure a job but to no avail.
Ngozi combed everywhere she heard that there was vacancy in her quest for white collar job, yet never for once achieved a desired result.
The mother of two children who had lost her husband said life became unbearable, as there was nothing to rely on to meet her financial needs.
Last year however, fortune smiled on her when she heard of the Tanimu Foundation Vocational Institute as well as its plan to train indigent apprentices free on different trades of their choice.
Ngozi seized the opportunity to enroll for one-year training in fashion designing alongside few others from the North Bank community in Makurdi for the session.
Though the training was not without hitches, the 2008 UNN graduate added that she was glad that the opportunity came for her as already she has began to utilise the knowledge gained positively.
She said, “I can make dresses for both sexes; I specialised in both male and female fashion. I hope to open my shop soonest with the sewing machine given to me free of charge by Tanimu foundation.”
Ngozi, who was head of students of the Fashion and Designing class, noted that of the 10 beneficiaries of her chosen field, who graduated as the first set of that particular unit of the centre, she was happy that poverty would never again catch up with her.
Like others who graduated from the centre penultimate weekend, the 33-year-old woman thanked the founder of the centre, Dr. Sabo Tanimu, a gastroenterologist based in Wisconsin, USA, for setting up the Foundation.
Another beneficiary, Hannah Bull, a mother of two children, said she was a peasant farmer before the opportunity came her way, adding that the empowerment garnered from the centre would help her set up her own shop without any delay to enable her contribute to the upkeep of her family.
Apart from the responsibility of making life worth living for the less-privileged people in the society, Tanimu Foundation operates a triplicate mandate that includes education and health with closer ties to the communities where it works in order to foster positive change and growth.
The foundation graduated and empowered its first trainees from the fashion and designing unit and donated free sewing machines to the beneficiaries.
In his remark at the graduation ceremony, the founder, Dr. Sabo, expressed gratitude to God for making it possible for the first set of beneficiaries to complete their free training after spending one successful year at the centre.
“We are always delighted in creating a favourable platform for improving education and growth of our youths. As some of you may be aware, Tanimu Foundation is a non-governmental and a non-profit organisation, primarily targeting the development of our community in the following areas: Health and Education, Scholarship Awards, Vocational Training and Water supply.
“We are particularly excited with the flourishing components of our Vocational Training Center, namely the Fashion and Design Unit, the Computer Training Unit and the Science Training Unit. We can all make a positive contribution to our community in kind or cash, small or large. No one but you and I can make the difference in our society no matter how insignificant it may appear,” Sabo said.
Represented by the Foundation’s Director of Finance and Administration, Kalid Yusuf Omeje, the medical practitioner added that his gesture to the North Bank community, where he had his formative years, was motivated by the high rate of unemployment, poor literacy, gang activities, drug usage, unwanted pregnancies and such menaces ravaging the area.
The foundation currently has its scholarship beneficiaries in many secondary and tertiary institutions across the country just as it has carried out several free health care activities and dug boreholes in some communities including North Bank.
A lecturer at the centre, Eric Bassey Okoi, said the experience had been wonderful, with gender equality being focused on, and no religious undertone or discrimination against beneficiaries.
“The programme has affected North Bank youths positively; those idle ones are now engaged positively while criminal activities have been curtailed. Activities like this would sure curb social crimes in the environment,” Okoi posited.