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50 graduate from fashion school as LASG partners Betti-O Foundation to empower them

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The Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Empowerment, in collaboration with the Betti-Okuboyejo Foundation Sustainable Development Programme, recently funded a six-month fashion-training programme in Lagos to empower youths, especially women, with the art of fashion designing and entrepreneurial skills so as to make them become financially independent.

The six-month fashion training programme for 50 students, which ended during the week with a runway graduation ceremony, was celebrated in grand style, with guests from all walks of life admiring exclusively designed outfits for by the students.

According to the Special Project Coordinator, Betti-O School of Fashion (BSF), Ebele Iwugo, this year’s training was unique because they trained students between ages 18 to 35 everything they needed to become independent entrepreneurs.

“The aim is to empower people who cannot afford to pay for training and the Lagos Government keyed into our vision for this year’s training.

“Our trainees for this year had little or zero knowledge of cloth-making and designing, but we were able to teach them from the base to finish within a period of six months.

“Before they graduated, they had gone through an indoor screening that checks quality and perfect finish.” she said.

Speaking at the event, Mrs. Adenike Ogunlesi, CEO ‘Ruff n Tumble’ and Founder of Betti-O Foundation said empowerment makes it possible to have the world at one’s feet, so the empowerment attained by the students has made it possible for them to excel anywhere in the world.

“Lagos State had just proved that they are ready to put their money where their mouth is, and they have done that with this investment.

“So for me, this is an opportunity to train people who would create jobs, because the more the jobs we can create in Nigeria, the safer Nigeria will be for all of us.”

Ogunlesi added that it is important for Nigerian youths to be financially independent without leaving out the women, because a woman who has financial independence has choices.

“For the Nigerian economy to grow, I believe the future of Nigeria needs the capacity that is locked in not only men, but women to be released into the economy.

‘Today’s story of Nigeria in Lagos by virtue of this empowerment programme is a triumph” she said.

She advised the students who have been tooled and skilled in the vocation to hold themselves to a high standard of professionalism and value in life.

Ogunlesi who appreciated Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and the Honorable Commissioner for their supports, implored the graduating students to go forth as ambassadors of Lagos State that invested heavily in them.

Also speaking at the event was the Commissioner, Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment Hon. Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf who said one of the visions of the Lagos State Governor is to empower and create jobs for the youths of the state, so the training is a way of keying into his vision through Betti-O Foundation which is the best platform for sustainable success.

“Initially, we had the challenge of getting the best participants admitted into the BSF programme, we didn’t want absentees who wouldn’t show up for the training classes after investing so much on them, so we had to ensure thorough screening for the best candidates.

“We provided everything needed, including training equipment for the programme and have also given them industrial machines to start up their entrepreneurship, so they are settled and good to go.

“The students have all proved with the designed outfits for the runway show that they have indeed learnt and acquired necessary knowledge to excel as one of the best fashion designers in the world.

“We believe the 50 students who have been empowered can also go out and impact their knowledge to others,” she added.

Helen Ameh, a beneficiary of the programme, who is also a graduate of Home Science and Management from the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, said: “I have always had passion for fashion designing and, after my NYSC, I was looking out for a good standard fashion training platform to learn fashion and fortunately I got the opportunity to register online with Betti O.

“If you ask me, I think every youth in Nigeria should have this kind of empowerment opportunity.

“The training went beyond dress making, we were taught entrepreneurship, human relations, customer management, resource management, detailed accounting of cash flow in and out, fashion illustrations, branding, merchandising, packaging and many more.

“I can’t wait to go out there and explore my acquisitions, I feel empowered for excellence” she enthused.


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