The programme started at 11:30 am with a tour round the studio to inspect the works of the trainees in the last six months. After the tour was an opening prayer by AVM Gbadebo, the director of Benola Initiative which is a centre for individuals with Cerebral Palsy.
Mrs.Aanu Senbanjo then did the opening of the programme by welcoming all the participants and acknowledging the presence of the invited guests some of which are;(The Special adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Social Development) Mrs. Joyce Onafowokan, (The Executive Director of Diamond Development Initiative) Mr. Adamu Garba, Mrs Delphine Misan-Arenyeka, AVM Femi Gbadebo to mention but a few.
The history of Gazelle Studio and how the whole idea came into being was illustrated by Mrs. Dotun Akande.She mentioned in her speech that as a result of influx of young adults that have lived without therapy for many years that we see at the centre on daily basis, we decided to open a skills acquisition centre (The Gazelle Studio)for individuals with developmental challenges.
With the support of our international donor ( USADF) and their partner here in Nigeria (DDI),we were able to kick start the operations at our skills acquisition centre in 2018 and got the first set of trainees (IDPS) that underwent the training programme (production of table and chair covers and event napkins) for a period of six months.
She expressed her happiness at the completion of the training programme and at last we all live to witness their graduation.
Mrs.Adekanmbi who is the design consultant also talked about how the girls had moved from knowing nothing about tailoring to becoming masters at what they have been trained to do. She further stated that when the project started, all that she saw in them was passion and willingness to learn as well as their patience in training the young adults with developmental challenges from the centre while implementing project “Train the trainer”.She then introduced the graduants to the participants one after the other.
The executive Director of DDI was then invited to give his speech. He gave a brief introduction of DDI and what they do. He stated DDIhas been in existence in the past 17 years, it is a non profitable Organization that provides technical assistance to communities and organizations and serves as a conduit through which developing agencies and other donors channel development assistance to organizations that would have otherwise been unable to access or effectively manage such development assistance funds.
He advised Puresouls Learning Foundation to improve on her Organizational/Management capacity; financial management capacity as well as technical (machine and personnel) capacity. He capped it off by imploring Puresouls to take her next step which is reaching out for higher level.
The trainees were thereafter issued their certificates of completion and Mrs.Delphine Misan-Arenyeka admonished them to stay focused and that they should not limit themselves to just production of chairs and table covers alone.
There was a feedback from 4 of the girls as they all talked about their experiences while in training at the studio and how happy they are now for them to have completed the training.
The programme came to a close as Mrs. Senbanjo Aanu gave the vote of thanks and AVM Gbadebo said the closing prayer.