A story from Nigeria

Training for Transformation (TfT) had an everlasting impact on my life. I am the founder of an NGO called Stop the Abuse of Rights (STAR). It was founded in 2009 after I was selected as a correspondent for World Pulse Voices of our Future. Our work was basically to train children in the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse. The training is organized for children in churches, schools and social gatherings.
Fortunately, I was selected as a participant for TfT 2011. The visa application process with the South African embassy in Nigeria was discouraging but I persisted, knowing that there is light at the end of the dark tunnel.It was no surprise that at the end of my first phase training I was injected with ‘transfomartionycin’ in Kleinmond. I was burning with a new vision, courage and never-say- die spirit, to do more. The acquired knowledge inspired me, it filled my whole existence and I was hell bent on returning to Nigeria to make a difference.
We worked vigorously on the registration of our organization. The former name, Stop the Abuse of Rights (STAR), was changed to Society for the Transformation of Women and Children (STWC).
The first change was to instill the lessons learned into our organization’s projects. It was not easy working with the needs of the people, carrying them along and listening to them before taking any action. This is new as we are used to drafting our plans and implementing it at the community level. The communities are never invited to the planning meetings. Now it is the other way round, they must participate from the beginning to the end of each project.
This ‘step down’ training made it easier for all the workers in our organization. Our project activities increased and improved, we began to work with women and children in 4 communities at the riverine area.  I have caught the TfTvirus. I have become more and more eager to help my people to transform their existence and community.
TfT facilitates our organizational transformative efforts in the community where we work and we have been able to extend our work to Ibeshe, Imore and Okun riversides in Lagos. The experience makes our work more effective. Now we can say ‘we are doing it how it ought to be done.’
During a Needs Analysis with 100 children that we have been working with on the prevention of child sexual abuse community we distributed our questionnaire in order to actually understand the needs of the children and it was found that 68% of the children wanted story books. We met with the board members and decided to start a Transformation Library. It was a miracle on July 17 when we launched the library with 100 new books and the children borrowed 88 books that day. As at August 15, we have 404 new books in the Children Transformation Library.
 Working with women has become more exciting too. In July we had a community meeting with 150 women present! We were able to conduct a Needs Analysis with each of the woman present. It took time and the relationship became more trusting and it became easier to work with them. The meeting made us move into 3 more communities in the riverside and for the first time we believe that we are successful and our work has become result oriented and has more impact.
The meeting with women was the birth of our Tailoring programme. Presently, we have 5 students in the section, 3 sewing machines as well as materials. Our first group of women has attended classes for a month. The classes are free and we have been able to start our tie and dye clothing line too!
Transformation indeed! Oh, the cooking bag! We were introduced to the Cooking bag during the 3rd phase of our Diploma 2011 training. It is another miracle happening to us now; we began the production of our cooking early this year.
TfT should be a prerequisite for any world changing venture. It is one of the paths to follow, if we are ever going to do it right in the social developmental work. It is life and world changing.
Nigeria shall forever have representation on TfT.  TfT is what is needed to rebuild the wall of honesty that has broken down in our nation. The transformation agenda going on in Nigeria is a mock of what we learned in TfT. The true transformation must be experienced by Nigerians and this can be achieved if Nigerians create opportunities to attend such life transformative training presented by TfT.
Long live TfT
Long live world changers.
By Ruth Tosin Oladosu

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