The 8th of March is recognized all over the world as International Women’s Day, and in the true spirit of fostering positive mentorship, Fair Life Africa Foundation took the girls out on a 2-day motivational excursion to Lady Mechanic Initiative and Kinabuti Fashion Initiative on the 6th and 7th of March respectively. As the theme of this year’s celebration goes, “Make It Happen”, our efforts at grooming whole girls who are proficient in both education and other skills, is our little contribution to making the quest for equality happen.
Ahead of the visits, Simran Daryanani, our star volunteer made contact with Kinabuti’s Managing Partner, Francesca Rosset, while our Programme Facilitator, Nishola, sent in our proposal to Lady Mechanics. We are truly grateful to these impactful woman-led initiatives for honoring our proposals to visit with the girls.
Some of the girls, who reside at Jakande and Ikota, came along for the visit to Lady Mechanics in the afternoon of Friday, the 6th of March, accompanied by our staff. The initiative, which has run for 10 years in Nigeria, trains lady mechanics for free and sets them up at the end of their training.
We were welcomed by the admirable and humble founder, Mrs Sandra Aguebor-Ekperuoh, and ushered into the conference room, where the girls watched a CNN featured documentary on the initiative. Drawing from it, Sandra told them how she dreamt of being a mechanic at the age of 14 and how everyone, including her parents mocked her. But she encouraged them from her experience, never to give up on their dreams no matter how odd it sounds as that was what kept her even when she lost friends because of her choice. She encouraged them to also take their studies seriously, because she had and is a graduate with many awards to her credit.
Part of the visit was a tour of the facility and a stop-over at the car garage, where the girls learnt how to service a car and change a tyre, from one of the trained lady mechanics. The girls tried their hands on some maintenance and shared the lessons they learnt from the visit before we said our goodbyes.
The day ended at Chicken Republic, where the girls, their siblings and guardians, were treated to a meal of rice and chicken!
On Saturday, all the girls journeyed to Ikoyi for an amazing visit to Kinabuti, where we were hosted by Francesca Rosset. They were also shown an interesting video, and learnt about the vast world of fashion, and how Francesca and her childhood friend, Caterina Bortolussi (Founder and Creative Director), had followed their dreams to reality. She took the girls around the workshop and briefed them on the processes involved in making clothes. With the various processes of fashion revealed, they learnt that there is more to fashion that meets the eye.
After the tour, everyone sat around in the garden and enjoyed some sandwiches, biscuits, fruit and drinks and good conversation. Several of the girls expressed their desire to learn the Fashion and Tailoring trade. Later, Njay led the party as they danced!
Both outings were a great success, and we are so thankful to Lady Mechanics and Kinabuti for joining us in mentoring the next generation. This is our small way of celebrating women making a difference and inspiring the younger generation that anything is possible if only they set their minds to achieve it.