"I learned from Women for Women International training that it is good to have more than one source of income,” says Patience.
Patience, who recently joined WfWI-Nigeria’s yearlong training program, has already put this lesson into action. She owns a small stall at the local market where she sews and mends clothes, and she farms vegetables and rears chickens for sale in Ndiagu Umuigbo Mbu Akpoti, Nigeria. For the first time in her life, she is economically self-sufficient, and she lives happily with her husband and two children in a two-room apartment.
Throughout her life, Patience has overcome many obstacles with resilience. Growing up, Patience was one of six children, and her family struggled with poverty. When her parents were no longer able to afford her school fees, Patience was forced to drop out and become a child laborer doing odd jobs in her neighborhood. As a teenager, Patience was raped and became pregnant as a result.
With her five other children to care for, Patience’s widowed mother was unable to support her and her newborn girl. She asked Patience to leave her childhood home. Desperate to provide for her child, Patience met a man who promised to help her. She moved in with him, but soon after she became pregnant with his child, he too abandoned her.
Alone and facing poverty, Patience struggled to provide for her two children, but she did not give up.
Patience believed in her own strength and potential, and in 2010, she met a man who finally believed in her too. Jude married Patience, and has been supporting her dreams ever since. With his support, Patience was able to learn sewing and buy a sewing machine to earn money. Her tailoring stall at the market helped her contribute to the family, but she was able to bring big changes in their lives after going through WfWI’s program.
Improving Her Income with New Skills
Through WfWI’s one-year training program, Patience learned poultry rearing and business skills. She also learned about her health and her rights.Photo credit: Women for Women International
“I have improved financially, and I now know my rights and I am also outspoken,” Patience says.
Today, Patience is proud to provide for her children’s education and her family’s needs along with her husband who is a mason. She owns more than two dozen chickens that she is raising to sell this month. She also uses the chicken manure to fertilize her farm and yield more crops for her family.
“Poultry rearing gives me great joy and watching these birds grow inspires me to do more,” Patience says.
In the coming year, Patience hopes to expand her poultry farm and tailoring business and help her husband build a house of their own. Patience is also passing her skills to her children and other women in her area.
“I am equally happy that I can now give valuable advice on poultry rearing and feed formulation to other women in the community who did not participate in the program,” she says.
Helping Her Children Lead Healthier Lives
Health classes at WfWI trainings have helped Patience learn more about her own and her family’s health. She now knows how to prepare nutritious and balanced meals for her children, and she takes better care of herself.
“I am now pregnant after five years of marrying my husband and the trainings on health and wellness have helped me a lot,” Patience says.
For the first time, Patience receives prenatal check-ups to ensure her own and her baby’s health. She not only knows the importance of doing so, but can also afford such services because she is earning an income.
It is because of her strength in the face of great difficulties and her determination to build a better life for herself and her family that Patience is an inspiring young woman.
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