The African Volunteers for Women Empowerment is a pet project of a feminist, author of the novel Awero You are a Woman(2014) and Lecturer of Portuguese language, Department of Foreign Languages, Obafemi Awolowo University, Dr AnikeAde Omidire Ruth.
Founded in 2015 in conjunction with professionally and vocationally skilled members, hers is a non-profit organisation dedicated to imparting positive values in young women, making them better, diligent people, empowering them to fulfil present followership and future leadership obligations responsibly, as well as promoting women rights, ultimately, gender equality.
During an interactive session with the seasoned polyglot, she emphasised that the foundation had achieved the proper harnessing of talents, energies of beneficiaries, their effective training to accommodate multitasking and adequately acquire concrete, empowering artistic and entrepreneurial skills, including fashion designing, hairdressing, hairbarbing, bead, necklace and wristband making, shoemaking, headgear or “gele” tying, catering and decoration, given the dismal poverty level, in addition to limited white collar job opportunities available in Africa, most especially, Nigeria. Seventeen youths, she added, mostly undergraduates, had benefitted from the scheme.
According to the literary icon, the foundation had organised successful career talks and round table discussions with youths. Its 3rd annual convention was held on 14th July, 2018, at the Institute of Cultural Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife, with the theme, “Harnessing the Youth Potentials: A Key to National Development”. Even as a celebration of exhibitions of impressive creative skills, the event was duly attended by members, guests and participants from various parts of Nigeria: Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan, Ogun and Osun states.
A Lecturer of Literature-of-English, Department of English language, Obafemi Awolowo University, Dr Kemi Wale-Olaitan, a guest speaker at the function, shed light on its theme and sowed the seeds of morality, entrepreneurship and transformation in the minds of young participants, including secondary and tertiary school students.
Asked about her future intentions for her cause, Dr Omidire declared plans were already in place to add makeup artistry, tie-and-dye skills, weavings of all sorts, aso-oke weaving inclusive, as well as bag making to the foundation’s list of available vocational skills. Inspired by her good background, training to be active, hardworking and selfless, as well as being a beneficiary of the goodwill of some people in the past, she hoped to invest everything resourceful towards advancing the developmental cause of the foundation to a continental and global level, thus, help the world dissuade the youth from engaging in vices, becoming threats and encourage them to be innovative, inventive and assets in the process.
Look at a cross session of pictures from the event.