Abolarin College was established to provide free quality education to underprivileged children from deprived families that cannot afford to send their children to standard schools. The school provides full tuition and boarding facilities in the serene environment of Oke-Ila, Osun State. Grooming Centre has donated toward the upkeep of the students of Abolarin College and, till date, is committed to contributing to the development of a conducive learning atmosphere and provision of learning materials in the college.
Saturday 17th March 2018 – 91 children of Grooming Centre’s clients, across the 23 states of Nigeria where the Centre operates, were awarded scholarships toward the continuation of their secondary school studies in the second edition of the Lady Kate Okafor Scholarship Scheme [LKOSS II]. In the Lagos award ceremony, four winners all smartly dressed in their school uniforms, were accompanied by their proud mothers as they arrived for the prize-giving ceremony that took place at the Grooming Splash event on March 17, 2018.
Master Babatunde Idowu, a recipient of the award, said he always wanted to make his mum proud and was happy that he could do so through the LKOSS. He said, “I told my mum that I would make her happy this year and I am happy that Grooming Centre helped me keep my promise to her”. Beaming with smiles, the other awardees from Lagos, Oyelaja Oyenike, Oladotun Mercy and Onifade Abdulazeez thanked the Centre for the awards and promised to work harder in their studies.
The Lady Kate Okafor Scholarship Scheme is a corporate social responsibility initiative of Grooming Centre that addresses the educational welfare of the children of its clients, and is open to students seeking admission into the senior secondary school class. The second edition of the scholarship will enable this year’s recipients selected from across Nigeria to have access to sustained quality education. Last year, 78 awardees emerged in the maiden edition of the LKOSS. Each awardee will receive prize money for the scholarship awards running for three (3) consecutive years.
For Owoyemi James Oluwafemi, Lazarus Miracle Chidera, Idris Garuba Olashile and Okoroafor Chinelo, Saturday March 11th 2017 will remain an unforgettable day in their lives and their proud parents. It was the day the 2016 Grooming Splash edition was held and it featured a maiden event – the Lady Kate Okafor Scholarship Scheme awards [LKOSS] – where they were rewarded for their academic excellence.
The Lady Kate Okafor Scholarship Scheme is an initiative of Grooming Centre that seeks to address the educational welfare of the children of its clients, particularly those seeking admission into the senior secondary school class. Candidates for the awards were drawn across the country [Nigeria] and shortlisted after notice of the scholarship was advertised in local and electronic media in November 2016. The LKOSS is inspired by the exemplary life and character of late Lady Kate Okafor, a former member of the Governing Council of Grooming Centre.
Each of the awardees received the prize money for the scholarship awards. Expressing joy, one of the awardees Miss Okoroafor Chinelo was full of praise to Grooming Centre, adding that she was excited to be able to continue her secondary school education through the benevolence extended by the Centre. She also thanked the Centre for making her weekend a truly memorable one. See pictures below.
Friday, 10th of August 2018, was an important day as Grooming People for Better Livelihood Centre renewed its partnership support to Sesor Empowerment Foundation (Sesor) by donating ₦10.2 million toward the development of a Safe Day Space Centre and the continuing work of rehabilitating and reintegrating Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Lagos and Benue States.
The focus of Sesor Empowerment Foundation (Sesor) has progressed from highlighting the displacement issues present in the country to seeking ways to provide basic needs and skills acquisition to empower internally displaced women. This partnership, now in its fifth year, is targeted at creating a safe place where displaced women and children can access social support, receive trauma counseling, skill acquisition and adequate health-care as they are nurtured back into the society.
Speaking at the event, which held at Grooming Centre’s Conference Room in the Head Office Complex, the Executive Director of Sesor Foundation, Ier Jonathan-Ichaver, expressed her appreciation for the “life-changing and humbling partnership” with Grooming Centre. She stated that the support given by Grooming Centre to the Sesor Empowerment Foundation helped Sesor create more awareness of the situation of displaced women and children in Nigeria, which created a catalyst for other partners to come onboard. She further added that the Safe Day Space Centre will help displaced women earn a living, feed better, live better, provide the opportunity to send their children to school, and ultimately, give them a sense of dignity.
While signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the CEO of Grooming Centre, Dr. Godwin Nwabunka expressed his gratitude for the work done by Sesor and pointed out the need for a joint study on the journey so far with Sesor.
Read more about this on the Guardian.
I am Mrs. Bolanle Ishola, the secretary of Temidire Union, Abeokuta 2 Branch, Elega, Abeokuta, Ogun State. I reside at Iberekodo Area of Abeokuta. I got to know about Grooming Centre around March 2010, when Grooming Centre came to Abeokuta. Before I obtained loans from Grooming Centre, I experienced financial constraints in running my provision business and was unable to replenish my stock regularly. The first loan I received from Grooming Centre was NGN20,000 and I am presently on the 5th [Small] loan stage (NGN70,000). I am also on the 3rd stage of the Festival loan (NGN50,000). The current profit from my business makes payment of children’s school fees easy. I have also been able to buy a piece of land on which I am currently erecting a house. The good thing about Grooming’s loans is that the repayment is well spread, making it easy to pay back. Also, the encouragement to save enables me to have personal savings for various needs. I am so grateful because my life and those of my family has changed for better since the day Grooming Centre came to Abeokuta.
I am Mrs. Omolara Oyewole, the leader of Ifesowapo Union in Ijoko branch, Ogun State. I sell baby products. My friend invited me to join Ifesowapo union in early 2010. Since I joined, I have had no cause to regret my action. The first loan I took was NGN20,000 and I am presently on the 5th stage. From the gains of my business, I have been able to sponsor my son through polytechnic education without owing anyone. Also, the shop I use presently was built from the proceeds of my business. Grooming Centre loans are very good compared to other microloans that I have tried before because of the simplicity in repaying them.
My Name is Mrs Adewale Olanike, member of Orelayo Union at Alpha Branch, Ede, Osun State. I sell raw food items. My husband is a civil servant with the Osun State Water Corporation. His salary could barely sustain our family needs. Before I joined Grooming, life was difficult – we could not eat three square meals, the children’s needs were not adequately met, their school uniforms were torn with several stitches and patches, and paying their school fees was a daunting task. My shop could best be described as empty; the little profit I made from sales went back to the people I purchased the goods from on credit. I knew where to get the goods on wholesale and make more profit but I lacked needed capital. A friend introduced me to Grooming Centre but I was reluctant because I had heard tales of some microfinance institutions absconding with people’s money. She encouraged me to give it a try, as she confided in me that she felt the same way when she wanted to join.
The following week I decided to visit the meeting place and observe. To my surprise, I met happy people. I realized that somehow I had subconsciously detached myself from the community. I could not remember the last time I was at a gathering of people. They told me the name of the group “Orelayo” which means “friendship is fun”. I joined that day. Now, I am presently on the fifth stage which is NGN70,000. I have also obtained the Festival loan. The repayment style is very encouraging and the extension of the Festival loan repayment period, from three months to four months, shows that the Centre listens to their members. My business has taken a new dimension as I now buy my goods directly from wholesalers. The era of my children wearing tattered uniforms to school has passed. Grooming Centre has put a new song in my mouth. Grooming is synonymous to PROSPERITY!!!
My Name is Mrs Odunola Busari, a member of Iderade Union, I sell clothes and shoes. I joined Grooming Centre in 2010. Before I joined, I was a full time house wife solely depending on my husband for money. Things were a bit rough and I knew I had to engage in something to complement my husband’s income. We acquired a shop with the hope of starting my own business but we had very little money. One day, a staff of Grooming Centre came to our area to tell us about how they empower women. I showed some interest and they promised to give us a loan after four weeks. A group was formed and we [women] named it Iderade. I was selected to become the Secretary of the group. I am happy not only because I am financially empowered, but that many women’s lives are being positively touched by Grooming Centre through our union. My business is on track and I have been able to fulfill my lifelong wish, which is to send my children to private schools as education is the best legacy I can give my children. I pray that God will continue to strengthen the Management and Staff of the Centre in their quest to eradicate poverty and promote better livelihood.
Grooming Centre joined a coalition of 16 partners including multilateral agencies, credit unions, banks, credit card companies, telecommunications companies and microfinance institutions by making commitments to reach 1 billion adults and achieve the World Bank Group’s Universal Financial Access objectives by 2020. This commitment was endorsed on behalf of the Centre by the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Godwin Nwabunka.
In the Centre’s commitment statement, the CEO stated:
“Grooming Centre is strongly committed to promoting financial inclusion in Ngeria, expanding its outreach, and positively impacting the lives of its clients, the economically active poor, who remain the focus of its operations. Grooming Centre believes that its collaboration with the World Bank Group under the Universal Financial Access initiative provides a unique opportunity to achieve this mission. The Centre has provided over 4 million loans to the excluded since its inception in 2006, and has set a target of reaching an additional 4 million credit clients by 2020.”
Worldwide, an estimated 2 billion working-age adults have no access to formal financial services delivered by regulated financial systems [Global Findex 2014].
In West Africa, only 35% of adults have a bank savings account that is not fully utilized due to the inefficiency of public banking and payment services (AfDB 2013).
Grooming Centre, in partnership with the World Bank Group (WBG), plans to bring safe access to transaction accounts and electronic instruments that store, send and receive payments for over 2 million unbanked individuals in Nigeria. The Centre’s commitment to the World Bank Universal Financial Access by 2020 initiative aims to the promote the positive experience of refined financial inclusion in Nigeria.
The UFA2020 envisions that adults worldwide — women and men alike — will be able to have access to a transaction account or an electronic instrument to store money, send payments and receive deposits as the basic building block to manage their financial lives.
The UFA2020 initiative is focusing on 25 countries where 73% of all financially excluded people live. These countries include Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, Vietnam, Tanzania, Turkey, and Zambia.
Visit the World Bank Group’s financial inclusion page here
Mr. Enyinnah (Right) was elected during the General Assembly of the Association held at the King Fahd Presidential Hotel, Senegal from the 29th of June to 3rd July 2015. The General Assembly along with the African Microfinance Week (AMW) was sponsored by the Government of Senegal, the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, African Development Bank and a handful of notable stakeholders including Citi Foundation, United Nations Capital Development Fund, European Investment Bank, Proparco and Ecobank.
According to Mr. Enyinnah, his appointment is significant because this is the first time a Nigerian is elected to such an exalted position which has largely been dominated by Franco-phone countries based on their earlier involvement in the microfinance renascence movement.
Mr. Enyinnah stressed that his appointment will further encourage the large pool of Microfinance Banks and Institutions in Nigeria to join the AMTwhich has become the flag ship institution for the promotion of best practice and knowledge in Africa on microfinance. It will further link them to international networks, funding vehicles, rating standards and technical resources.
Created in 2003, the African Microfinance Transparency Forum (AMT) with over 60 foremost Microfinance Banks and Institutions in Africa as members is a nonprofit organization. Its objective is to promote transparency and efficiency among African MFIs by encouraging and preparing them for external performance evaluations(ratings).
The organization is dedicated to bringing together key players in the industry to discuss the future of microfinance, the financing of microfinance institutions and partnerships between regional and continental networks. The AMT’s main ambition is to become the major African organization for microfinance professionals where members can exchange ideas, reflect on the challenges facing the industry, promote and accelerate financial inclusion and economic growth on the continent.
The African Microfinance Week (an annual event of the AMT, AFMIN, AFRACA and MAIN) brings together stakeholders in Africa and the world over to share their experience on the core emerging issues in the industry.
The theme for 2015 AMW is “Accelerating Innovative Rural Finance in Africa” and the event brought together a total of 363 delegates representing practitioners, funding vehicles, major networks, rating agencies, technology and innovation providers and multilateral agencies. Only 4 Microfinance Institutions, the Central Bank of Nigeria and Ecobank attended from Nigeria.