My name is Ricky Toh, and I am a volunteer that is part of Leadership Initiative's International Business Alliance Program, a program that helps high school students connect with Nigerian businesses to help solve business and technical solutions. Throughout my time with this program, Leadership Initiatives has really encouraged me to take a stand in fundraising and researching solutions for my business partners. In addition, Leadership Initiatives works hard to make sure our solutions and progress is consistent through online Skype calls with Leadership Initiatives and regular calls with our business partner in Nigeria. They are committed to their cause and working with others, especially since they had to set aside special times for my team, which is located in Indonesia, because of time differences. I really appreciate the work Leadership Initiatives is doing and know that it will change the lives of the Nigerian communities it partners with.
Leadership Initiatives (LI) is inspirational in its work empowering local leaders to start businesses in their communities to address a problem that they see. It has been a pleasure working for Leadership Initiatives and I am consistently impressed by the training that LI provides, but more importantly by its focus on "the local" to ensure that everything comes from within the community from ideas to leaders to funding. The more I learn about the leaders themselves and hear their stories, the more I am inspired by the work they are doing and the positive impact they are having on their communities.
My name is Ismaila Adamu, I was born in 1990 at Yelwa makaranta, Bauchi. I have eight (8) siblings. Just as I began my final year in secondary school, I had to drop out because my father couldn’t afford to pay for my education any longer, this was very painful. But then LI came along and gave me the opportunity to go on. Today I earn about N300 – N600 daily; my desire to complete my education was my drive and I am glad I met with LI.
I am Abdurahaman Aminu, one of the beneficiaries of the LI welding program. Before I met LI, my story was just like most of my colleagues, I was broke and unable to take care of myself or my siblings, I had no education but just over the space of a short time. My welding business has grown. I now operate from Katsina state, where my business skill caught the attention of a Chinese company that I also now work for on a contract bases. This has helped widen my knowledge base and built me up financially. All thanks to LI.
My name is Muhammad Ali, I am the first child in my family with 10 siblings, my father works as a labourer, doing menial jobs and my mum is late. Because of the size of my family and the little income that comes in I barely finished my secondary school education with a lot of challenges and difficulties along the way. After which I stayed at home doing nothing. When LI empowered me through training on motorcycle repairs, I moved from a idle young man who could not help his family to one who had a full time employment and could now help with some money at home to take care of my siblings.
I am Ibrahim Hussaini, though I am disabled, I always strived not to allow my condition limit me. So despite my disability, I obtained my Diploma in 2006, yet was without an employment until my paths met with LI. LI saw beyond my disability and still reached out to help me, by empowering me and some of my colleagues with computer skills. Now with the help of the training I received from LI, I got a job at a business centre here in Bauchi, after which I earned enough to establish my own business. And now I not only own my own business but I am an employer of labour and also I have built a house in my village- Jama’are all thanks to my encounter with LI.
All I did was wait till the raining season to plant my crops in my little farm and harvest it to feed my family. But after LI’s intervention, I, Sani can now provide much more for my family and even for my community. We no longer just eat majorly carbohydrates, but we also have some protein from the fish to go with it. Our finances have improved and even our health too. I am now respected within my community for bringing such help through the fish farm to my people, with the help of LI.
I am Salamatu Mohammed, born in 1991 at Yelwa makaranta, Bauchi state. I have eighteen (18) siblings; my father is a retired civil servant. I completed my secondary education in 2008 but could not continue because my father could not afford to sponsor me any longer. Until I met LI I had no source of income. But after my skill acquisition training with LI, I now earn at least N200-N400 daily. I became a part of LI so I could help my parents with my siblings and also cater for myself, now because of my tailoring skill; I have been able to help her parents send some of my siblings to school. Also I got married and was able to finance what I needed to. LI has helped me build my world and reach greater heights, I never thought possible.
I am Uzairu Salisu, a 16 year old who is currently undergoing my post-primary education at Bakari Dukku secondary school in the JSS (junior secondary school) class. My father Mallam Salisu a peasant farmer, has two (2) wives and twenty two (22) children. He could only afford to send just three (3) of us to school, of which I was not a part of these three (3).
Life has thrown its challenges at me since I was only four (4), daily survival was next to impossible for me and my 21 siblings, as my mum and step mum are both house wives and my father’s income was too small to cater for the large family. All these and much more did not drown out my drive in life; rather they served as the thrust I needed to strive harder.
The Leadership initiatives cobbling business program was an answered prayer for me. Because of my dedication and determination coupled with my mentor’s patience (the LI allocated trainer), I was able to learn the cobbling skill well, not only that, but I became one of the highly skilled apprentice on the business having the ability to design and create fantastic shoes for both men and women of various styles and sizes.
I plan to start my own business soon, so this could help me make a living and also employ other youths in my community. Because of LI, I, my family and even my community will never be the same again.
I am 14 years old; my name is Yahuza, both of my parents are still alive. My father is a tailor with three (3) wives and fourteen (14) children; I am the sixth child and though I was privileged to complete my primary education at Jahun primary school in 2011; but due to financial insufficiency, I have not been able to further my education beyond that level. Therefore, I chose to learn a skill in order to help me raise enough finances to complete my education. That’s when I met with LI and I was given the opportunity of a life time to be trained as a carpenter. And today my desire to fund my education and also support my parent as well as my siblings is gradually becoming a reality with LI.
I joined the LI business program at age 21 as one of the car mechanics apprentice; I am the eldest son in my family with nine (9) siblings and my father- Mallam Lawan is a low income earner who cannot afford to send his children to school. I, Haruna have never attended school before. But after LI’s intervention, I raised enough money to finance my own education at an adult education class, which was the starting point for my education pursuit. This was one of the greatest longing that drew me to the LI business alliance program, to further my education with the proceeds from this business skill.