A school for social change, Acumen Academy, has equipped its fellows with problem-solving skills to meet challenges through poverty eradication.
The academy, which recently held its fellowship program, asked participants to recount their experiences in their various fields of endeavour.
Program Director, Acumen West Africa Fellowship, Oghenekome Oruade, said the academy, which has around 90 fellows in communities across West Africa and working in 15 different sectors, exists to fight poverty.
He said the goal of the academy was to equip participants by increasing their self-awareness and leadership instinct to bring about change.
To qualify to become a scholar, according to Oghenekome, “you have to work on an issue of fighting injustice and you have to tackle an issue, like access to health care or finance. A lot of people are financially excluded , but they can’t be part of the program until they work in a sector that gives them access.
“Our focus is really broad, we want to support hard working people because we think a lot of people are working but you find they quit or don’t get the support they need. We never hear their stories because they don’t have the support they need to pursue their dream, so we give them the tools and resources and most importantly, we give them a community to support them. In work.
Sharing their experiences, the Managing Director of PadUp Creations, a social enterprise focused on producing washable and reusable pads for women, Olivia Onyemaobi, said that it currently has 307 workers and has empowered around 17,000 women who distribute the products. in microdots. .
Onyemaobi testified that being part of the Acumen family has given her leverage because as a global movement she gets all the connections needed to make things work.
She added: “If I need someone to listen to me, who will understand me, Acumen is there. In terms of funding, they connect you to access to funding and especially when there are opportunities. They also connect you with other fellows. This year in April I was in Vancouver, Canada on an all-expenses-paid trip to attend a conference. So Acumen wants to help and expedite the work social entrepreneurs and anyone trying to solve a social problem.”
In addition, PAN Atlantic University Business Development Center Director Peter Bankole, who is also focused on equipping people with practical tools and innovative mindsets to drive social change, encourage people to start a business that could change the world, said, “You must have a vision that scares you. One thing that engineering gave me was logical thinking, which helped me a lot.
With 36 years of experience in the public and private sectors, Bankole said you can do anything for your community, but “the most important motto is trust. Don’t use it too much, you have to maintain this currency until the end, that’s where the community works.