Our Social Development Programme addresses the non-credit causes and manifestations of poverty such as ignorance, illiteracy, too large family size, low self-esteem and inability to participate effectively in the informal sector of the economy. LAPO strives for equality, social inclusiveness, improved gender relations and empowers women to take their rightful place in society. The organization promotes women’s capacity to bring about positive changes in their own lives by increasing their human, social and political assets so that they know their rights and can claim their entitlements, resist exploitation, and play an active role in public life.
i. Create awareness on gender issues/ build the capacity of beneficiaries especially women to act in the interest of justice and equity.
ii. Build the self-esteem of women
iii. To redress gender-based violence among women including clients of LAPO Microfinance Bank (MfB).
· Community Sensitization and Mobilization
LAPO TRAINED LAPO MICRO-FINANCE BANK CLIENTS ON BUSINESS MANAGEMENT TRAINING
The training aims at strengthening the capacity of small and medium scales business owners who are clients under SUFEN (Supporting Female Entrepreneurs) Project of the LAPO MfB.
The Project implementation commenced with data collation of SUFEN clients in target zones South-South, South-west, South-east, North-central and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The Project trained a total of 655 persons across target states of Edo, Lagos, Kogi, Abia, Rivers, Imo, Oyo and FCT.
Across the zones where the project was implemented, there was overwhelming appreciation by beneficiaries to both LAPO; Project implementation team and the donor; LAPO MfB Ltd for building their capacities to be able to take their businesses to the next level even in the current realities of economic recession.
The Project Team is excited at the results of the training. There are tremendous testimonies from participants of the training who made commitment to use training outputs to change the face of their business games. Majority of the Participants confirmed that;
– They do not have their business records kept as expected
– Lacked the capacity to keep the business records
– Ignorance of the value of business records, it was a waste of time and energy.
– Inasmuch as they know that they need customers to achieve the purpose of business but pride and ignorance sometimes deprive them from maximizing this opportunity.
They said the training is apt and has the ability if properly utilized to cause positive changed in their business lives.
Testimonies by the Participants:
• With this book, I will use it to keep proper records of my business; Constance Odufa (08130236442)
• I will be attending to my customers politely henceforth in order to not lose them; Mrs Urughu Margaret – (08027731140)
• Taking inventory and cashbook is kind of new but now I believe I can now manage to move around it; Ojisemi Funmilayo (07060695370)
• I have learnt to keep proper record of my transactions such as my credit book, cash book, expenses and other record books; Orsu Esther (08060091796)
• From today I will keep record of stock every day; O.E Onisco Nig Venture (080055507942)
• With what I learnt on day one about records keeping I will start right away; Mrs Gladys E Emuophe (08025707678)
• I think I was transformed these times around especially in the area of accounting and finances. These also will make me restructure my business and put my account in place; MRS IBUKUN HANNAH (08059374053)
• I learn many things from the training and am also happy to attend it and from today it will add more sense to my business; MRS ESTHER SAMUEL (08094329974)
• I don’t record my goods but I learnt that to improve the level of the business, recording is very important; MRS OLUWOLE (0803239524, 09039137523)
• I have really learnt the importance of keeping records, the sales book precisely. Human relations aspect was well emphasized on which I know I will surely improve on; MRS F.B. OLOWOOKERE (08023206279)
• When next you come back, I will improve more in business and transaction and I gain more and more in this training; ALAHAYA MUNIRU- LADIYAT (08034059333)
• I must do my account every month and everyday; MRS OBAFEMI (08185109321)
The following are report of activities carried out from January – March 2019
A. ENTREPRENEURIAL DEVELOPMENT
i. Micro Business Management Training
Upgrading the skills of small and medium Entrepreneurs is central to their business performance. The quality of management is particularly important for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which must be able to adapt quickly to evolving markets and changing circumstances. There is preliminary evidence that formal management training can reduce the failure rates of small business which are far more likely to fail than larger firms. LAPO do not take for granted the training of her clients on business management best practices since there is a positive correlation between the degree of management training and the bottom-line performance of any SMEs. In the period under review, target clients under credit program and communities in target locations were exposed to customers’ relations, book keeping, financial management best practices, etc. 455 persons benefited from the training in this first quarter.
ii. Financial Literacy Training
The goal of the Financial Literacy programme is to enhance beneficiaries understanding of how money works. -The programme is not only about knowing where the money comes from and where it goes. It is about understanding how money works, and being able to see how to spend money in a profitable manner, and make decisions that are likely to affect their businesses profitability. A total of 475 persons benefited from the training programme while 153,000 benefited through indirect service using technology (bulk short messages) to pass messages to clients.
B. GENDER MAINSTREAMING
i. LAPO Outstanding Women Leadership Award (LOWLA)
The 7th LAPO OUTSTANDING WOMEN LEADERSHIP AWARD (LOWLA) with the objectives of increasing the visibility of women, promoting their contributions to societal development and encourage upcoming women to maximize their potentials to archive their status in the society. The event held on Friday March 8, 2019 with the theme ‘BALANCE FOR PEACE’. The lead Paper was Presented by Prof Kingsley U. Omoyibo (Ph.D) of the department of Sociology, University of Benin, Benin City. Mrs Otasowie Adefunke Oshodin, the incumbent Registrar of the University of Benin, Benin City chaired the occasion . Three women received awards at the event; Dame Professor Christiana Ehimen Edenomen Okojie (PhD, KSM, FNES) won the Professional category for human capital development, Mrs Eucharia Asikaralu Okafor got the Public life category for community development services while Mrs Oserhebhen Ehehiremen won the business category of the award for steady transformation in the mixt of daunting challenges. The Programme drew participants across government, civil society, academia, health, legal, journalists, business – public and private sectors. Participants commended LAPO for the steady giant stride in ensuring women occupy their space in the society. The event was adjudged successful, colorful and fun-filled. A total of 231 persons were in attendance.
ii. International Women’s Day (IWD)
March 8 marks International Women’s Day, an annual platform for global unification and a drive for action towards gender parity. LAPO being a gender sensitive and friendly organization, joins the world to mark this day. This year, the programme was celebrated across LAPO regions of Lagos, Edo and Oyo states including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with the theme; ‘Balance for Peace’. A total of 273 persons attended the event sessions.
iii. Integration of Social Microcredit Programme
The programme aims at deepening engagement with issues of gender and social equality in the context of development, foster collaborations, and strengthen capacities of vulnerable women. In the period under review, LAPO MfB clients were educated on the consequences of political disenfranchisement, widowhood rites, male preference, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, bad leadership & governance, rape, divorce/separation, child defilement, low self-esteem, deprivation of women’s rights, etc and way forward proffered. A total of 8,496 persons as against 6,600 set target were reached during the period.
iv. Social Community Intervention Project
The community intervention project intends to replicate the training programme being implemented with the clients of LAPO in target communities. The project is carried out directly with community members outside LAPO MfB clients. A total of 9,496 persons were sensitized on gender-related messages, financial literacy and business management respectively.
Micro Credit Product
LARDI grants credit facilities ranging from group loan, asset loan and individual loan to enable farmers in rural communities scale up their farm enterprises towards making them self-sufficient in food production. LARDI has consistently recorded excellent performance in its credit operations.
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