Families are the corner stone of society. Happy families make happy societies. Broken families make broken societies. The importance of family life cannot be emphasized enough. And while average age in western society is relatively old and getting older, developing nations typically have younger populations. This also presents very different challenges when wanting to empower people.

Our talent program in Nigeria focusses on young women. Many of them are single mother. This raises a variety of practical issues but also fundamental questions that cannot look away from the harsh reality many are living in. Small business in Nigeria is first and foremost a way to survive. But we want it to be more than that, beyond survival and into a comfort zone that provides stability and perspective. Our approach is intergenerational, including the development of the child. After all, when mom is doing well this reflects on the wellbeing of the child and vice versa. Peace of mind and a sense of security are essential to making progress. It also allows the child to grow up with hope and confidence.

some intercultural reflections

Combining motherhood and work already is quite a challenge, but even more so when struggling to live the day and pay the rent. Simple things we too often take for granted in western society can be an ordeal for parents in Nigeria, such as getting the kids to school and paying for the bus. It can become a vicious circle that causes people to lose perspective on what can be done to escape it. Our program wants to break that circle. Becoming a self-sufficient and independent woman already makes a huge difference for both mother and child.

A working mom

Small business in Nigeria often is considerably more informal, allowing for family and other private responsibilities to blend in during working hours. It is not unusual for working mothers to take their children with them, simply because there isn’t another choice. Of course this has a profound impact on the development of the child that is leaning from a young age how to survive. How to combine work with parenthood is definitely an important issue to address, also related to other aspects of the child’s development such as school attendance, playing, stimulating talents, health and nutrition.

A stable & safe home

Nothing is more important for a child than to live in a stable and safe environment. It all depends on the parent(s), able to provide financial and emotional stability. But also, a working mother is an important role model for the child as it learns to understand how to survive in a world where nothing is for free. Our program guides young mothers in learning how to combine motherhood with running a small business. It can also contribute to a positive and inspiring atmosphere at home from which both the parent(s) and child prosper as they start feeling confident about the future.

Enjoying childhood

The situation at home can be quite depressing when parents are struggling to pay the bills. Average salaries in Nigeria hardly cover the costs of living. The constant stress affects the child’s development from a very early age. Our program wants to help young mothers to break the spiral and move on in life. It will have a positive influence on the wellbeing and development of the child. Our program helps young mothers to find a renewed balance between work and parental responsibilities, allowing the child to enjoy its childhood, making new friends and discover it talents.

The program in Nigeria is offered on a non-profit basis.