Gazelle vocation academy graduates 30, urges finacially responsible
With the desire to affect the lives of young people by empowering them with skills to become financially independent, Gazelle academy vocational centre, a multi-skilled industrial Training Fund (ITF) approved centre have recently graduated 30 students from its school.
The ceremony, which holds bi-annually, graduated students in its fashion and makeup section. According to the founder of the academy, Muna Onuzo who is also regarded as a startup doctor, “Students apply from different parts of the country and run their courses in three batches of three months. They take a break and come back and so in all we can say the programme lasts for about a year.”
Onuzo, who has been involvement in youth empowerment since 2009, says running the social enterprise is quite stressful but in all fulfilling. “It is not easy to run a vocational centre in Lagos, it is capital intensive and unstructured; informal education and so you have to keep running a cyclical system, admitting students whenever they come. That in itself present its own problem and issues and so we rely on sponsorships and partnerships to keep the centre running.”
She added that even though the students pay for the skill they acquire, it is not commensurate to what they get since the targeted audience are not so buoyant to afford it hence it is highly subsidized. “At the end of the day, our aim is to help them become financially responsible.”
On testimonials from past students, Onuzo stressed that they are doing very well with a particular student, who is making waves in the beauty industry. “We also have a group where we monitor and follow up with the activities of our past students; we mentor them on business, life, issues that come up with running their businesses. So in Gazelle we don’t train and let you go, we stay with you till you become relevant and a mentor to others.
“The passion and commitment to mentor and empower young people keeps me and so for anyone who desire to have a better life is all you need to come on board, in Gazelle we don’t discriminate.”