PROJECT UPDATE FOR NOVEMBER 2011
The beneficiaries are reinvesting the money earned during the previous harvest, and identifying areas for improvement. Up until now they have been maintaining the concrete tanks, but they are hoping to make the shift to plastic tanks soon. They haven’t yet determined whether the money earned will be used to purchase the plastic tanks, so the concrete tanks will be used for the upcoming harvest, after which the final decision will be made. They continue to enjoy working together as a team, but are also looking forward to the possibility of expanding so that each beneficiary can run his or her own farm.
The beneficiaries have also been working in their farm planting crops and are currently preparing to harvest the crops. They plan to proceed with the fish farming immediately after crops have been harvested.
The computer training for physically challenged persons has brought significant opportunities to the students, and has encouraged them to become independent, successful members of the community while successfully reducing the number of people who resort to begging on the streets. The new graduates are continuing to work on expanding and developing their computer skills. Some of the more advanced students were able to use their skills and the machines given to them to invest into a business, like a computer center or a photo studio. One of the students elected to become an instructor and to teach individuals who are in need of computer skills.
Still others are applying for admission into tertiary institutions with the goal of establishing a career in IT, and LI-CGLAO is willing to assist those who are interested in learning new computer skills like Hardware Maintenance, Local Area Network and Graphics Design etc.
Welding business: the beneficiaries are highly committed to the business and were eager to approach and learn any type of metal work, no matter how technical it could be. Many of them have become experienced enough to train others as well, and are looking forward to developing these opportunities.
Tailoring: What started with just a sewing machine and its accessories has turned into several established businesses. Many beneficiaries have rented shops and purchased additional equipment in order to handle expanding business, while others are learning more about the art of designing clothing.
Motorcycle Repairs: the beneficiaries have worked harder in learning how to repair new modern motorcycles, which has opened new doors of opportunity as motorcycle vendors seek their assistance in coupling and assembling new motorcycles for sale.
NEW SKILLS ACQUISITION PROJECTS
Leadership Initiatives – The Next Generation is Here!
With the launch of the 2011 Poultry Farm program, it’s official - the next generation of leaders have stepped forward to establish a poultry farm - thanks to the inspiration, leadership, and financial investment of those who first completed the Leadership Initiative program and launched successful businesses.
Please look at the attachments below to the chicken farm program thriving and egg production underway, providing a vehicle for subsistence farmers to produce a valued product for the entire community while affording their families with opportunities for education and medical care.
Equally exciting - the leaders of this new enterprise are mostly family members of previous Leadership Initiatives programs! These “next generation” leaders have been inspired by the positive impact of the fish farming program and by their leaders, members of their families, who made it happen. The fish farming program has helped alleviate malnutrition and provided seed capital for new projects such as the poultry farms.
Ultimately, the vision of Leadership Initiatives is to enable an ever-expanding base of leadership and economic investment that builds from within the community. In the case of the poultry farmers, it’s exhilarating to see how this model of sustainable growth is working.
Leadership Initiatives businesses are creating new businesses and giving one another work, they are building a new core of leadership in Bauchi, and are a testament to what Leadership Initiatives and the leaders of the community can achieve.
While the resources for the fish farming program came from Leadership Initiatives, we are excited to see that our next generation of new businesses and new leaders are supported by resources largely from the first generation of leaders who were trained and empowered by Leadership Initiatives. The dream is now a reality!
Please visit our website at Leadershipinitiatives.org to read more about our programs. We look forward to hearing from you! If you would like to speak directly to our program directors and business owners, please send us an email at email@example.com and we can set up an opportunity to connect!
Last week I visited the Leadership Initiatives team in Bauchi. Marshall Bailly, the organization's founder, has assembled an amazing team of local leaders who have a knack for bringing folks together to start up small businesses. From disabled men starting Internet cafes, to subsistence farmers starting to raise catfish, to tailors, to welders, the LI team finds community leaders and helps them start business.
LI provides training and in some cases a piece of equipment, but the model relies on community investment in the new enterprise. They seek local people to take a financial stake in the new business, and they keep scrupulous records of each investor's return. In this way, business are much more likely to succeed and grow. They work very closely with other organizations in the community to find and train key people.
While I was there, I had the honor of tagging along with Marshall and Khalifa's audience with the Emir of Bauchi, who wanted to thank Marshall and Khalifa (the program director) for their work in the community. Marshall will soon receive a title, which is a really, really big deal in Nigeria. I'm not exactly sure what title it will be, but it might be "Protector of Bauchi."
I also owe special thanks to Khalifa, who helped me with a variety of logistics in Nigeria. Without his assistance, my two-week trip would have been a lot less smooth.
The photo below is of one of LI's first leaders in Bauchi. He had the vision to create a fish farm in his compound. It's the large concrete structure in the background. The community agreed and invested, and now all of his many children are in school. He diversified, and now he owns and operates a BBQ stand as well. The farm was so successful that the community invested in a much larger farm. By the way, many of the kids in the photo are orphans, also helped by the proceeds of the farm and the BBQ. This man is a hero in the community.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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