In Africa, and particularly in Nigeria, entrepreneurship is a real source of empowerment for women and offers opportunities for sustainable and socially equitable economic growth. The continent has the highest rate of women entrepreneurs in the world (24%), making entrepreneurship a decisive factor in empowerment. But the great paradox remains: while women have the greatest impact on the social and economic life of the communities in which they live, they are often the most vulnerable to poverty and violence and the most excluded from education systems.
It is therefore still necessary to contribute to their promotion, through education and training, for their full integration, for the benefit of all. For this reason, Harambee supports a number of vocational schools in Nigeria, through scholarship programmes for talented young women, which offer vocational training especially to those in greater economic difficulty.
“Women have great initiative because the livelihoods of their families depend on them the most,” says Stephanie Ocheoha, Director of the Lantana College of Hospitality. “Access to skilled jobs still remains a major challenge in our country; a challenge that can only be overcome by investing in skills.”
Harambee’s scholarship programme is for female students of three vocational schools – Lantana College of Hospitality (Enugu city), Orisun College of Hospitality (Ibadan) and The Lagoon Institute of Hospitality Studies (LIHS) based in Lagos. The three schools offer vocational training in the hospitality industry, which is growing rapidly in the country.
“My dream is to go to university and then start a catering business. I would like to involve other young women to help improve the living conditions of those in need,” explains Miracle, a 20-year-old first-year student. Onuh, a Harambee Scholar in her early twenties, has the same ambition. She began her studies at Lantana, but her parents found it difficult to keep up with the costs. “I want to specialise in dietetics to improve people’s health by promoting healthy diets. Once I start work, I will dedicate myself to sponsoring scholarships for girls who are eager to study“.
“Reflecting on the gifts received and cultivating the desire to give back are important aspects of education in our Institutes,” Stephanie explains, which is why contributing to the education of even one girl has significant benefits beyond the individual.
Click here for more information on the scholarship programme; you too can contribute with very little!