Hi, my name is Stella Omakinwa a passionate volunteer for Iranwo Foundation. I am privileged to be a volunteer with this wonderful foundation who has a passion for empowering women and providing education for vulnerable children within Makoko area of Lagos State. I was happy and thrilled seeing not just women but girls coming out in their numbers to participate in our soap making training. This shows how much they are willing to live above their economic status and environment they found themselves.
On Saturday happens to be my first time of visiting Makoko community and I was captivated by the peculiar nature of the community, everything within the community seems to be surprising and thrilling at the same time. For example, on that very Saturday, there happens to be a light shower before I got to the community and the route to our meeting point was flooded and the water was black, I saw children walking inside the water barefooted and I was like wow, people living in wooden houses built on water not properly covered against adverse weather conditions, unhygienic toilet practices. What comes to mind was the health implication of the ignorant action of this children and people living within the community. What could be done to improve the quality of life index of this people? And how can I make a difference?
My other experience was the boat ride to the training location, seeing their inland waterways risky practices with community people navigating the waterways without life jackets… hmm, God knows I was scared because if the boat happens to capsize I don’t know what could have happened.
At the end of the training, my volunteering adventure was worth it seeing women and girls willing and ready to learn, actively participating in the soap making process and been able to achieve something at the end of the day. Two women out of the trainees got seed capital to start on their own which was realized from the first sales of the product sales.
Stella Omakinwa is a change agent, public health specialist, a researcher and a volunteer for Iranwo Foundation.