I have always had fear for heavy machinery like generators, escalators, some lifts and even bicycles! Yes, I said bicycles. I used to think that heavy machines could develop a sense and turn against humans (weird? I know). I remember having a tricycle as a little girl. When I was about 6 years old, my mum felt I was old enough to ride a bicycle. She took out one of the tyres of the tricycle and on my first attempt at riding my “new” bicycle, I fell off. I would not step on a bicycle again until the 1st of September 2018, over 17 years after!
ACE Charity in partnership with Rydefit organised a spinathon on the 1st of September 2018, to raise funds to procure 500 Shoes That Grow™ for children in a local primary school. The event was planned for over 8 weeks and finally the day came. I walked into Jabi Lake Mall at 6am on September 1st 2018 and there were Bikes! The 24-hour spinathon had begun and the energy was great. The tutors, the staff, the volunteers, the riders, the SMILES, the sweat, all present to spin for a cause. One word? Remarkable!
High on energy, I decided to join the spinners (to be honest I didn’t want to be left out). I sat on the bike, followed the instructions from the instructors and I thought to myself ‘this isn’t so bad after all. Few minutes into the spinning we raised the gear and it seemed like fun until I felt I had no control of my legs. Instead of my legs spinning the wheels, the wheels were spinning my legs! [···]
Community outreaches are integral to what we do as a charity because they create opportunities for us to provide services to people in communities who need them the most. In July, we collaborated with Transcorp Hilton to mark their Global Week of Service and I was delegated the task of finding a community that would truly benefit from the service we were going to offer.
I started off by checking Google to find reports on communities in Abuja and their conditions; the search did not yield much, I wanted more information than I was getting. So, I went on to ask people who I know have lived in Abuja for a while and with their knowledge of local communities, I was able to gather some vital information. Waru was described as located in the suburbs of Abuja with apparent deprivations, but a small enough community that could benefit from our intervention. Based on these findings, I finally decided to visit Waru community for a survey.
On arrival to the community, my first port of call was the palace of the Chief who warmly received the ACE Charity team, I informed him of what we do as a charity and the reason for our visit. We enquired about the most prevalent issues that plagued the community and amongst several other issues, the chief complained bitterly about the lack of government support. He mentioned the prevalence of malaria and typhoid as key issues in the community. The frequent occurrence of these illnesses place a heavy demand on out-of-pocket health expenditures. Waru community is home to [···]
On my first day of resumption at ACE Charity, the first thing I saw was a wall inscription which read “Work for a CAUSE not for APPLAUSE”. These words struck a chord with me and confirmed my observations from the interview process that ACE Charity was all about impact! At that moment, I felt right at home. After all, my career path and purpose has always been to add value not for accolades, but to make a substantial difference in the lives of others. My interview for the position of Junior Administrator is one I will not forget anytime soon.
The interviews were scheduled to start at 12 noon and 3pm respectively; mine was scheduled for 3pm but I arrived much earlier. I met over fifty (50) young men and ladies in the waiting room, most of them very quiet and looking tensed. This possibly had to do with the fact that the verdict of the interview was immediate, you are either asked to wait behind or leave which meant that those asked to wait stood a chance to be hired while those asked to leave were unsuccessful. I pulled myself together and established an intellectual conversation with some of the applicants (this measure was to calm my nerves and also rate the intellectual ability of the applicants). I was able to spot my competitors from the conversation and simply asked God to help me. And lo! It was my turn, my name was called, my heart was racing, and nonetheless, I encouraged myself as I confidently walked into the interview room. I was just about to take a sit when I was asked “why should we hire you?” [···]
I was raised by extraordinary women who taught me quiet strength. First my mother, a very strong woman with a rather fragile demeanour, very kind and caring, but also very firm and highly opinionated. Then, my aunties during occasional long and short holidays. All working class women that seemed to perfectly balance career, home and everything in between. Going on to those I’ve met in my career journey; all fierce, relentless and driven women who seem to have their lives together. From these phenomenal women, I learned that I had a right in this world, I have a voice and an opinion. From these women I gained the confidence that I could do anything I set my mind to do. One thing is common about all of them; they are all EMPOWERED!
Unfortunately, not all girls have the opportunity to be raised by such women or even become one. I have been privileged to meet a lot of girls and young women during the course of my work. These girls have big dreams and desire the best lives for themselves and their families but the society has in one way or the other hindered them. Nigeria is a patriarchal society. Men are seen as leaders in almost all circles and women are raised to assume subordinate positions. For most women in Nigeria, poverty begins from the denial of basic education and equal economic opportunities that are readily available to men.
ACE Charity in partnership with Transcorp Hilton Abuja through the Business Empowerment Program for Women (BEPW); bi-annually empowers four (4) sets of young women with basic sewing skills and basic business, accounting and management skills which will enable them gain necessary knowledge for establishing and managing their own businesses independently. [···]