OHP : Empowering Girls through Skill Acquisition



The term empowerment refers to measures designed to increase the degree of autonomy and self-determination in people and in communities in order to enable them to represent their interests in a responsible and self-determined way, acting on their own authority. It is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's rights. Empowerment as action refers both to the process of self-empowerment and to professional support of people, which enables them to overcome their sense of powerlessness and lack of influence, and to recognize and use their resources.

With concerted efforts being made on a global scale to empower the girl child, Urban Craft chose to shine a light on one of the organisations leading the fight for this cause. We are talking about Nigeria's Orange Humanity Project (OHP), of course.

The founder of this initiative, one Doyinmola Olajoye, was more than happy to answer a few of our questions and in -so - doing gave us an insight into this unique project.
"The Orange Humanity Project is a sustainable venture that empowers teenage girls through skill acquisition in Ankara crafts. We are passionate about the unskilled teenage girls, and the promotion of culture.
"We've been on a mission to build young Nigerians and Africans at large in handmade Ankara products and we're training girls at a young stage, so they can grow up being productive and self sustainable*", she said.

Doyinmola said that it was the need to equip the girls with the right knowledge and skills that led to the formation of this organization.
"My wish is to exist in a world where can show and be shown true love, with the aim to teach so that others learn, to create and to build, to give adequate vocational and entrepreneurial training to final year secondary school students; equipping them with necessary skills and knowledge to be self-sufficient, to inspire and to educate", said Olajoye.



She delved a little deeper into what exactly goes on behind the scenes and how they've managed to make it work thus far.
"Well, the Orange Humanity Project is not a day to day training center, so we usually just pick any particular day of the week to give adequate training and practicals to the young girls, involve youth volunteers, speakers and culture promoters.
"In a day of learning, the students get to design several sets of accessories. Beautiful and unique accessories can be birthed with time and constant practice. This is only but the beginning and I'm certain that OHP is going to touch lives in a beautiful way", explained the OHP founder.

Despite a shortage of partners and sponsors for the project, she said they were hopeful the situation would change in time and that all they can do for now is carry on doing their work.
"Regarding sponsorship and partnership there's been no adequate source of income yet but we are hopeful, it obviously disturbs our development programs but we're not going to let that stop us, we're keeping up", she said.

Through OHP, Olajoye hopes to not only provide the knowledge and skills but also play their part in promoting the rich African culture and its various craft.
"In a society where we have a lot of people unemployed and the children alienated from elements that form part of our culture; it has become extremely important to find a way for us to combine our culture and contemporary elements in a way that is financially sustainable.
"We would want to try our best to drive a narrative that showcases the beauty of the cultural element—Ankara—in contemporary accessories. See how we can help people build competency in building crafts valuable enough that they can bring in cash.
"To build a society of skilled Nigerians in Ankara crafts we need to catch them young. This is exactly what our mission is", said Doyinmola.









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