Mar 6, 2020

Paradigm shift for partners and participants

To our amazing Donors,

In the past two years, TSDI has tried to fulfil our goals to improve communities through supporting volunteer community builders to gain practical leadership and executive skills from implementing community-driven development projects. This goal would have been impossible to accomplish without your help, and we remain grateful.

In this report, I want to share the story of one of the mentees of the SI4DEV Partners Training Program 2018 Class, who went on to complete a pilot project, and then was trained with TSDI support as one of the assistant coaches for the Street Business School by SI4DEV project. Please hear from him directly...

"I joined Strategy Innovation for Development Initiatives sometimes in 2017 (when I registered and began training as part of Bayelsa location group), and graduated as a Partner-member of an organization coming to become a household name and social impacting platform in Nigeria. As I write, SI4DEV now exceed presence more than 27 states of Nigeria.

My sole interest for joining SI4DEV stems from my undying passion and quest to impact my immediate environment with whatever the LORD of gifts has endowed me beginning with my parents strength to that which is intangible up to concrete endowment.

Spanning two decades and counting, I have been involved in active volunteering services from religious circle to social ones; and I have no regrets for the efforts I have been part of. Rather, it swells my gratitude that in one way or the other God who owns my breath has permitted that I be meaningful to some people.

Year 2018 and 2019 were hell for me, filled with troubles, accusations, deprivation. I lost everything I had including my job and was reduced to nothing but a beggar: survived suicide three times. From a comfortable station to a face me and face you apartment (one room) and sharing one bathroom and toilet with more than five (5) persons.

But I am yet grateful to God and to everyone that I called and begged from at that time who responded to me kindly. Thank you all!

Amidst this dilemma of mine, in June/July 2019, SI4DEV advertised a program which although filling frustrated and fed up of life, I filled the form and I received a positive response as I was named among Assistant Coaches Bayelsa location. And in August Coach Trish who doubles as the SI4DEV Operations Manager, Nigeria flew into Yenagoa and conducted and intensive training for the three of us Tonye, Henry, and Monisola.

Without hesitation, our classes began in earnest. God having it with the benevolence of our first Assistant Coach in Bayelsa State, I was encouraged to take the first class, with emphasis on LEAVING YOUR COMFORT ZONE. From teaching others, I started measuring my own advantages, things I could maximize to feed myself in order to be fit to help others. I thought of what I can do which I never acquired from a formal training… And that is it, I can wash, I mean that I really enjoy washing, cleaning.

But how do I put it to work. In Bayelsa, we buy water, and that alone kills me. It was bad that sometimes I couldn’t afford a bucket to even bath not to talk of cooking. Hence, I planned and relieved after an intensive survey.

In the month of February, I finally took the giant stride. I decided to move from Bayelsa State to a neighboring State, Delta. Where God blessed me with the presence of well-water, and there I launched an SME. I started Smiles Laundry and Cleaning Services. I started with #500 hundred naira. And my customer base daily growing. Although I am yet to rent an office because in the present I cannot afford such, I practice happily and successfully from home. I like for this program to continue, it is changing pattern, causing a paradigm shift among unskilled market persons in Nigeria. Thanks to SBS!

I therefore, recommend that any kind heart individual reading me via our website should robustly support SI4DEV to do more. We are here to socially impact our society. Let me say now, SI4DEV through the platform of SBS is giving life and adding meaning to the hopeless and forgotten ones. I am testifying to that."

This is one life out of many that has been uplifted and is thanks to your support and funds raised by you. Your efforts have enabled us to be able to make a difference in the lives of our Nigeria affiliates.

Once again, thank you for your dedication to our cause; the help that you have given us has come a long way in helping TSDI and SI4DEV support our partners and participants.

Here's wishing you, your friends, and your family a great month!


Nkem Akinsoto

Dec 11, 2019

25 New Trainee Partners Graduate!

Hear from one of our Alumni trainees - Aiyekusehin M. at the Bayelsa, yenagoa location.

My journey with SI4DEV has been a memorable one. It gave me an opportunity to explore and get the
fulfillment I had always longed for. I knew there was a gap I needed to fill in my community, but I
needed a platform to operate. The opportunity came when I joined SI4DEV in March and was
opportuned to serve as team lead in my location group.

The first event we were privileged to organize was the global youth-service day which held between
April 20th-22nd. Our experience was huge, we held a hand washing campaign at community secondary
school Kpansia where we reached over 1500 students, that was a great motivation for us. We were able
to visit other schools namely - Ogbopuru community secondary school Korama, for drug abuse
awareness and skills training, Ogboloma secondary school, and Community secondary school Igbogene
for a drug awareness campaign.

We participated in sanitation exercise by cleaning up the market and reached almost 2000 people. I was
also able to attend the YALI onsite course cohort 5 in Lagos, which I got exposed to through SI4DEV. I
also attended a leadership academy in June and the SI4DEV grant writing course.

Being part of this family has been a great blessing to me. SI4DEV has given me the opportunity to
express myself and has brought out the hidden potentials in me. I have learnt to work effectively in a
team, to work under pressure, to adapt to different situations and people.

Above all am always inspired to make a positive social change and I look forward to reaching more
people in my community through si4dev as a partner and making a huge impact even after graduation.

Sep 11, 2019

Street Business School and Life Skills Training

Dear Supporters,

The Spring Development Initiative is excited to embark on a new adventure! In order to strengthen our ongoing commitment to grow human capital and eradicate poverty in the communities where we work, we have sponsored two new training programs for our partners and participants through our affiliate partner in Nigeria. The programs are the Street Business School by SI4DEV project and the Life Skills and Peer Support Groups project. 

1. Life Skills Training - In Nigeria, young people in the 10 – 19 age range are the most numerous and yet most overlooked and underrepresented in programs to improve life skills for employability or other positive life outcomes. This project will use participatory and experiential forums and workshops with local stakeholders to train and support participants to befriend and support each other as they learn how to use life skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, emotional intelligence to achieve positive results. We have developed an educational manual and will use this in addition to supplementary audios, print and videos to highlight and discuss topics relevant to the young people participating.

25 volunteers in total were trained in Abuja, Lokoja, Jos and Makurdi on how to use our in-house manual to facilitate the project. The trained enablers will work with teenagers to establish and grow peer support groups that help inculcate life skills for future employability, self reliance, and community development. The facilitators will be using our tried and validated manual with six weeks curriculum.

The Life Skills and Peer Group coaching enablers will educate and train at least 1000 preteens and teenagers and help them become leaders and innovators so they can have multiplier effects in their communities.

2. Street Business School by SI4DEV: We are currently the only Street Business School (SBS) global catalyst partner in Nigeria! SBS is a six-month, mobile classroom uniquely tailored to meet the needs of those we serve in our local communities. SBS creates transformation for people living in poverty by building confidence and igniting entrepreneurial skills. Those living in this economic group are most likely to lack the skills and confidence to start their own business. We will help them do just that!

SBS has shown to increase income levels by more than 200% within 2 years of graduating. With this added income, those who participate in this project will be able to access these validated results.

So far, SI4DEV has trained 2 master coaches and 14 volunteer assistant coaches on using the SBS curriculum to coach local women and youth to start or grow their business using the SBS model. The volunteer assistant coaches will support regular and on-the-ground upskilling of selected participants of this program. 

Thank you all once again for your support on this journey.

Best Regards,

Nkem Akinsoto

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