Category

AbaLIFE

Simon Faith: I have all it takes to rule my world.

By | AbaLIFE, Echoes From Life, ICTs, L.I.F.E.

“Confident and polished” were the words Faith used in describing herself, seeing the impact the LIFE program had had on her.

In 2019, Faith had just graduated from secondary school, she really wanted to get the right job that would keep her engaged but she had no skill that could place her on the path.
Faith knew about the LIFE program from her sister, whose life was proof of the transformative power of the program. With this, she was convinced that the knowledge of ICT is the right tool for her journey of being employable.

“Getting into the LIFE program was the easiest part, staying focused and committed are the attitudes required if anyone wants to get the best of the 10 weeks program. Also, coming from Ajegunle where most people have to do some sort of manual labour to survive, I was happy to know that I have a shot at living a life where my intellectual strength would be needed”, said Faith.


After the program, she had a stint with Gina Consulting, where she was placed on the “Dress For Success Program” in order to improve her skills for the workplace. Presently, Faith works as a receptionist in one of the reputable Hotels in Lagos where she uses ICT skills from the training to carry out her daily tasks. She also has a dream of becoming a fashion stylist.

“I am proud to say that I am a much more confident young lady with a positive outlook for the future. Having being able to overcome the challenge of Digital Illiteracy, I have all it takes to rule my world” – Faith Simon

OBIAKOR PECULIAR CHUKWUEBUKA: “The knowledge of ICT has made and is making a difference in my life and around me” 

By | AbaLIFE, AjegunleLIFE, Echoes From Life, ICTs, L.I.F.E.

Life was a bit different from what I used to think it would be after Secondary School because I had this belief that one would go straight to University. It didn’t happen that way to me, while waiting for things to work out, I was introduced to Paradigm Initiative by Kelechi Obioma who shared with me how I could learn more about computers with just N500, not to compare to the amount paid to acquire this knowledge from other ICT centers. Going through the flyer I saw graphic design which has been an aspect I love too well in computers, not just that, also other enticing packages that I have never seen added to any computer training were included. There must be something different I said to myself, which I told my parents and filled the form. On returning it, I couldn’t believe that such a beautiful learning center was located in Aba talk more of Ngwa Rd. Such center being in this place is like asking “can anything good come out of Nazareth” the environment was too beautiful to be free! On completing the process before the interview when we shared it with our Pastor he was delighted and said we would be chosen.

Quitting was never on my mind despite the difficulties, I had to trek from home to the center a few times and back home too. My thoughts on technology/Internet were old-fashioned. I didn’t even know much about it, if, at all I did, it would be the much I learned from basic and computer science class during my secondary school and some from the computer training I previously had in 2015. Just as my thought was on technology/internet so was it on business before joining Paradigm Initiative. I never knew one could do business without the business dying off, the idea of having a problem to solve or a solution to people’s needs or wants before venturing into any business got stuck to me. The mindset of business as a way just to escape hunger was silenced.

It wasn’t difficult to learn, just that there were new things to learn and more advancement to the ones I knew from the Life skill to the ICT class. Entrepreneurship may be one big word I didn’t understand before joining the AbaLIFE program. I thought it was for some people, somehow like a title you don’t just attain or that easy to get. It was easy to learn that just solving problems or rendering solutions is one simple way to know one.

In all ramifications, I will say that the knowledge of ICT has made and is making a difference in my life and around me. Learning is much easier and better now as I can easily Google out what I want, do online courses and even get YouTube tutorials on any topic I desire especially on graphic design. Not waiting until I get to the four walls of the university or paying someone to help me start up my career. These skills are helping me broaden my horizon, helping me in branding and packaging of my work, and writing good business plans. It has also helped in educating my family on the use of ICT and even rebranding my Aunty’s catering services.

In 2017, I successfully worked with the Glorious Life Gospel Teens in hosting two major events for young people, MAD (Making a Difference) and SoCinema (Stand Out Cinema) the events had young people gathered in a venue where they were imparted. We achieved that by applying the skills we acquired at AbaLIFE these included; writing, branding, and packaging of proposals, social media, and networking that helped us pull great minds to these events without anything including sponsorship.

Currently, I am building a dancing team in our teenage church with the help of YouTube tutorials and the little skills we know. I have been able to seek out opportunities for scholarships and doing online free courses. I also volunteer at AbaLIFE in my spare time.

Not only that, but I won’t fail to add this. Not just the completion of the training got me this far and going I shared only but a few things. Staying close to AbaLIFE center even after my completion of the program has helped me achieve most of the things I shared. I got to meet another designer Chima David who is also an alumnus after my completion and others too with who I have synergy.

The privilege of having gone through this training has helped me a lot in standing strong and bold before congregations and in passing my message at ease. I have grown to become a creative thinker and my communication skills have been improved to help me function better as a youth executive and also at evangelism.
After the training, I wanted more, and I still do now. I will love to improve my graphic design skills.

 

Roselyn Ifeoma Micheal: The skills I acquired from L.I.F.E has set me on the path to success

By | AbaLIFE, Advocacy, AjegunleLIFE, Digital Rights, Echoes From Life, ICTs, L.I.F.E., Uncategorized

I got to hear about the training through a friend who graduated from the training earlier. The change I saw in her was what motivated me to join the training. I had my fears as I hadn’t touched a computer before, but she assured me that it would not be a problem as the instructors will guide me through the steps and processes. Based on her encouragement, I picked the form and passed through the selection process, and was among the selected few.

During the training, I was nervous when it came to handling the mouse or practicing what was taught. But thankfully, the trainers and officers at the center were so understanding and they helped me overcome my phobia which made the learning process easy.

I was impacted by the training in so many ways. Before the training, I believed acquiring digital skills was meant for extraordinary minds, but all those perceptions were changed during the training as I saw myself doing things I couldn’t have imagined doing before joining the training.

This was not only in digital skills, even the entrepreneurship skills classes exposed me to things I did not know about. Like generating ideas that can change my community, and then my social and communication skills were not left out as I have moved from a timid girl that I used to be to a bold person that can address any gathering comfortably now.

I am so grateful that the skills I acquired from this training have set me on the path to success since I left the training. I will proudly say that with the help of the skills I got, I now work as a secretary in a law chamber and the salary has helped me in contributing to the upkeep of my house making my family more proud of me.

Whitney Tony: My life is looking sharp; The L.I.F.E Program Enhanced my Knowledge to Identify New Opportunities

By | AbaLIFE, AjegunleLIFE, Digital Rights, Echoes From Life, ICTs, L.I.F.E.

Whitney Tony is a 22year old girl, the last child from a family of 5. According to her, growing up in Ajegunle was a tough one because of the notorious lifestyle of many young people within the slum. 

After she graduated from secondary school in 2015, Whitney joined the rat race to support her family financially. However, almost all of her salary could only cover transportation and feeding. This she did for 4 years after her graduation.

In 2019 she heard about the LIFE program from a friend, Moses Oghene, a graduate of the program. Whitney knew she had to benefit from the LIFE experience to gain the right skills if she wanted to pursue new opportunities.

At the AjegunleLIFE training center, “I equipped myself with digital skills, the facilitators encouraged us to push hard, my eyes were opened to lots of opportunities and I learned how to set realistic goals”, said Whitney.

After the program, Whitney volunteered to train secondary school students at Paradigm Initiative’s LIFE@School Program. Presently, Whitney runs two jobs as a digital marketer for The Choice Sanitary Wares LTD and Deluxe catering and event school.

According to her, “my life is looking sharp, I see myself ahead of most of my peers within my community because they do not know the things I know. Also, the skills received at the LIFE program help daily with my current job.”

Whitney aspires to further her education by studying Accountancy, she also plans to start a catering business. See

Asma’u Mu’azu: I am now Running my Business without Losing Money but Making a Profit.

By | AbaLIFE, AjegunleLIFE, Digital Rights, Echoes From Life, ICTs, L.I.F.E., Uncategorized

After secondary school, I attended vocational training where I learned how to make handbags. I had been making the bags for some time but I later realized that I was not making a profit. This was because I didn’t know how to properly run my business.

My sister advised me to join the DakataLIFE program at Paradigm Initiative. I joined the 2017C class where I learned how to use the computer. I liked the graphic design classes because I learned how to design logos and letterheads. The part of the training that really helped me in running my business was the Build Your Business (BYB) entrepreneurship classes.

Since finishing the program, I have continued with my bag-making business, and with the help of the knowledge I got from the program I am now running my business without losing money but making a profit. I now know how to advertise my bags online through WhatsApp groups. I used to think WhatsApp was only for Chatting but now I know how to use it to grow my business. The training has really made an impact on my life because I am now more self-confident to advertise my product. I am also making money so I can be self-reliant.

With the experience, I got during the training I can say “Always believe in yourself because if you don’t, then no one will believe in you”. Thanks to paradigm initiative.

Fatima Saleh Abdulkarim: Thanks to the LIFE Program I Can Now Say I Run a Good Business.

By | AbaLIFE, AjegunleLIFE, Digital Rights, Echoes From Life, ICTs, L.I.F.E.

My name is Fatima Saleh Abdulkarim of Dakata quarters, Nassarawa local government of Kano state. I attended both primary and secondary school in Dakata, and now waiting for admission to further my education.

I joined Paradigm Initiative immediately after my 0 level exams where I started to learn so many things and was encouraged to be self-reliant and to have business skills, with this encouragement I began to think and started to develop ideas on how to develop my own business to help myself, family and my community at large. Coming from a low-income family where my mum is the sole breadwinner in the family looking after my three sisters ad myself since the passing on of our father. So with this initiative, I started having ideas on how to help myself and the family by applying what I was thought in the entrepreneurship class about business plans.

My mum used to bake cakes and petty snacks so I decided to continue baking to make it more successful and bigger by using social media to advertise and showcase my skills. I enrolled in some classes where I learned a lot and work hard to achieve my goal, with the assurance of my mum and countless advice from her, and with her encouragement and support from paradigm Initiative, I got where I’m now. Although I’m still pursuing because each step taken comes with new tactics to be learned.

With the skills acquired at Paradigm initiative during the LIFE program, I opened a business page on WhatsApp, Facebook and I created my logo and flyers without spending a kobo. Thanks to Paradigm Initiative I can now say I run a good business.

Felix Ndidi: L.I.F.E Pushed Me to See Things from the Perspective of Someone Aiming for Success.

By | AbaLIFE, AjegunleLIFE, ICT Policy, ICTs, L.I.F.E.

Felix grew up curious and looking for new ways to improve himself but, procrastination and a care-free attitude were the major hindrances to his growth. But attending the LIFE program changed his orientation on how to manage his life.
In Felix’s words, before the program, I was into graphic design and printing. I also knew little about coding, but procrastination and a stress-free life were part of my routine. The quote “time waits for no man” never really bothered me. Though sometimes, I always wondered how my goals would be actualized and how I could improve my coding and graphic design skills. During the program, answers to my questions started to unveil as I gradually learned some interesting aspects of life.

The skills I had earlier were improved at the program, I learned new graphic design styles and packages, the little knowledge of coding I had back then was transformed to a knowledge of a developer and my stress-free life and procrastination habits diminished every time I attended the LIFE Skill Classes.
According to Felix, the program was an eye-opener, and it gave him the push to start seeing things from the perspective of someone aiming for success and not waiting for it to come by.

I believe I can say I am a step ahead of most people around because the program imparted a certain knowledge and experience in me, you can call it ‘standing on the shoulder of giants’. The future holds marvelous opportunities and presently my aim is to work towards attaining each of them mostly in my field of specialization. I would also aim to be an entrepreneur because no one knows when or where their cheese will be moved.
Felix is presently studying Statistics at the Federal University of Technology Minna. He is an aspiring data scientist, a part-time programmer, and a graphic designer.

CHIGOZIE ISRAEL: I am Now a Better Person in Almost Every Area of My Life Because of the LIFE Program.

By | AbaLIFE, Echoes From Life, ICT Policy, ICTs, L.I.F.E.

It was one of my church members who introduced me to AbaLIFE training after a visit to the photo studio I co-manage with my brother. I did not know the importance of digital skills and how they could be used to grow businesses, but then, my church member went on to explain how the training was going to impact and transform our photography business.

Upon joining the training, I found out that the program was more than what I was told and every aspect of the training was what I needed. The L.I.F.E skill classes helped change my attitude towards conducting my business as I became more enlightened about things I used to pay very little attention to.

The ICT skills I got from the training coupled with the photo editing skills helped me improve the quality of our pictures. The social media skills helped to identify a free platform to advertise our services to reach more people. As of today, I can’t count the number of projects we have got in our business due to the advertisement that we placed online, and I didn’t know that this was possible before joining the training.

My best moments were during the entrepreneurship classes where I was learning and applying everything being taught in our business and I will tell that they were working like magic. One special moment was when we learned about branding and how it affects our business.

Our business name was OLD SCHOOL PHOTOS which I got to know was affecting the quality of customers we were attracting. I got home and shared it with my brother, and he said I should come with the one I think will be better.
I used the brainstorming skill we were taught to talk with a few of my friends, and we came up with YANKEE KREATIONS which caught the attention and admiration of our old customers and brought in a new set of customers.

My social status was also changed by the impact I got from the training as an O’level certificate holder, with everything I had gotten from the program, I was able to give my graduate friends tips on how to prepare for interviews which they used, and it worked for them, and they came back to thank me. Some of them could not believe that I haven’t seen the four walls of a university before.

Part of what was taught was community service, I volunteered to run the secretariat of the youth wing of my church alongside my Photography and video coverage work. Time and space cannot permit me to list all the things that AbaLIFE training has done for me as I am now a better person in almost every area of my life because of the impact the training made on me.

In January 2021, I signed a partnership contract to set up a standard and world-class studio. In all, Paradigm Initiative has impacted my life

#EchoesFromLIFE: PRECIOUS DEDE Shares her Amazing Story 

By | AbaLIFE, AjegunleLIFE, Echoes From Life, ICT Policy, L.I.F.E.

My name is Dede Precious. An alumna of AbaLIFE 2017 Batch A. I heard about AbaLIFE after my secondary school education through a friend of mine in July 2016. When she told me that there is a training center here in Aba where computer courses, skills, and other training could be acquired free without paying a dime, I doubted her. I became so curious that I had to follow her to the center when she wanted to return her application form.

When I got there, I exclaimed, what a nice place. The environment got me amazed and curious as well. I nudged aside and asked my friend again, are you sure you know what you are talking about? will they not demand money along the line? She told me No though I was not confident with her answer. I decided to meet the program officer as he came out and explained everything. I was amazed, and out of my curiosity, I told him to show me the ICT room.

To my greatest surprise, I saw a room fully air-conditioned and equipped with computer sets and projectors. The program officer told me that each enrolled student is entitled to one computer set until he/she would have completed the training. I could not believe my ears because other computer centers I know would provide a computer set quite right but would not be your permanent computer for the training duration.

Having heard this, I was fully convinced because I wanted to acquire ICT skills but could not afford the money at that moment because I was still a fresh school leaver with no capital at hand, my parents could not afford it either due to some financial constraints.

On getting home, I told my parents that I saw a training center where I could learn computer lessons free of charge. I had to cancel my trip to Owerri to attend the program. When I returned a few days later to pick the form, registration has ended for that batch. I was disappointed but did not lose hope. I decided to wait for the next batch.

During my waiting period, I got a teaching job till the end of 2016. At the beginning of 2017, I left the teaching job then applied for the program. I picked up the application form, followed the procedures, and got selected for the training. I had difficulties in transportation because my house was far from the center. At times I had to trek for an hour to the training ground due to lack of transport.  

Though distance could have been a barrier, what I saw, learned, and practiced on my first day kept motivating me. The lessons were very simple and easy and what excited me the most was the practical aspect where you practice alongside the facilitator and also opportunities given to display your work in form of a presentation on a projector screen. I thought earlier ICT was for a particular set of people and that it takes years of training but to my surprise, I acquired the skills within a space of 10 weeks.

After acquiring this knowledge, it changed my mentality and got me more exposed. I got a better teaching job with an attractive salary than the one I got before the training. I also lectured my elder siblings on ICT. I encouraged my elder sister to start up a business and the importance of product branding and packaging. Now I can browse freely on the internet and get information from it. I would also love to learn more about web design and development.

       

         

             

News Brief: Paradigm Initiative Launches a Six-week Virtual Training Program

By | AbaLIFE, AjegunleLIFE, Echoes From Life, ICT Policy, ICTs, L.I.F.E.

Paradigm Initiative launches the first cycle of a six-week L.I.F.E (Life Skills, ICTs, Financial Literacy, and Entrepreneurship) training program for the year 2021. LIFE training is a free program aimed at enhancing ICT and entrepreneurial skills among youth living in under-served communities and lacking access to tertiary education due to poverty. The training program starting on February 22, 2021, will be witnessing a major shift from in-person training at our various centers in Aba, Ajegunle, Dakata, to a completely virtual session this year.

Upon completing LIFE training, the trained youth are matched with companies to complete internships, trained and supported to begin online work (freelancing), or supported to pursue their entrepreneurial ideas. This enables them to improve their livelihoods and become active citizens.

Gabreal Odunsi is The Program Officer, Digital Inclusion at Paradigm Initiative, who answers some pertinent questions about LIFE training program 2021.

Why the needs for ICT training in 2021 and for how long will this training run?

COVID-19 global pandemic has changed the world’s reality. Numerous organizations are moving their work online for a sustainable future; this has led to an increase in demand for digital skills in workplaces worldwide. Therefore, ICT skills are needed to be more productive and employable. The LIFE training will be mostly virtual this year, due to the pandemic. 

Who can attend and is there a registration fee and a course fee?

The L.I.F.E training program is open to any young person between the ages of 15 – 28, who has graduated from secondary/high school and is enthusiastically passionate about learning these skills and willing to connect with opportunities in the digital economy in order to better their livelihood. The training is 100% FREE.

How will the training be conducted given its virtual nature? 

The program will be conducted using a virtual learning platform to deliver the lessons. We will upload the platform with resources and course activities. Also, the student will be evaluated at different stages of the training program.

We understand this program has been going on for some time now, can you tell us how successful it has been over the years?

Between 2016 and 2020, the program has trained 1119 young people in underserved communities across three states in Nigeria with 469 engaged through apprenticeship programs, job placements, running businesses, and internship programs. We are particularly impressed by the interest many young people are showing towards the program and because we know inculcating these life-changing skills in these youth will go a long way to make them sustainable.

en_USEnglish
fr_FRFrench en_USEnglish