Young girl practicalising lessons on hairdressing during workshop
By Hope Nda
Some thirty women comprised of internally displaced persons, IDPs, widows and single mothers in Buea Subdivision have gained baking and hairdressing skills which could help them become self-employed, thereby reducing poverty in their families.
This was during a three-day training session held at Bonduma, Buea, from June 28-30. The training was initiated by N. David Global Association for Cultural and Social Development, a Buea-based non-governmental organisation working to alleviate poverty, promote education and cultural development.
Participants at the workshop came from Buea subdivision’s rural communities of Mile 16 and Tole that host several IPDs.
The training was in two folds: baking, which was coordinated by professional baker, Abongjoh Sandra Noella, and hairdressing coordinated by professional hairdresser, Ewundu Kusita Lonje.
For three days, both trainers practically taught the participants braiding, hair installation, hair styling, as well as how to make chin-chin, fish pie, puff-puff and cake.
“From the very first start it wasn’t very easy because most of them did not know what hairdressing is all about. But as they proceeded up till date, I can testify we already have big hair dressers coming out,” said Ewundu Kusita on the last day of her training on hairdressing.
She furthered: “From the first day we had to learn how to do “Bakala”… We did Rasta, we did butterfly locks and we did installation. I can testify that they are doing excessively well. In fact they proved us wrong, us the trainers because it’s very, very difficult for someone to take just three days and learn a whole lot.”
The baking sessions were also intensive, said Abongjoh Sandra, and the participants were eager to learn how to transform flour into various delicacies.
“They learned and most of them have mastered some basics like puff-puff, doughnuts, chin-chin, fish pie and cake. I believe that most of them, grading it on a hundred percent, most of them are on the rank of 80 percent,” she said at the end of the training.
Both trainers advised their trainees to not let their skills die, but to practice what they have learned.
“Carry your business on your head. Don’t be ashamed of your business. Do it with so much pride and also don’t give up,” Abongjoh Noella told the participants.
The Manager of N. Global Association for Cultural and Social Development, Ntungwe Evan-Wealth Ndelle, said the training endeavours to reduce poverty by empowering young and vulnerable women with income generating skills.
“We understand the present situation we are facing in the country and, in as much as there are other NGOs around, who are there to see how to help the community, we realised that it will be good if you skill somebody, like if you give somebody a skill and this skill can help this person today or tomorrow, because if you give somebody food now, after today, the person might still want food,” Evan Ndelle said.
Participants praised the NGO for offering free opportunities to learn income generating skills. In a speech at the closing ceremony of the workshop, one of the trainees, Abigwuh Florence, an internally displaced woman resident in Tole, said they could have paid hundreds of thousands to learn hairdressing or baking, but they got it for free.
Another participant, Munang Hilda, a young girl from Mile 16, said she was transformed by the three-day training.
“I’ve really learned a lot during this three-day training and it really transformed me in an out. I thought it was something like an orientation, but actually, I came to realise myself doing my work with my hands… I’m out to learn more and I was really transformed,” Hilda said at the end of the training.