The Gazelle Studio

Start by doing what’s necessary; then what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

– Francis of Assisi

The Gazelle studio is our vocational arm of Patrick’s Speech and Language Centre (PSLC). It opened to families on the 16th May, 2018. The caregivers and staff of PSLC worked tirelessly to help individuals reduce the effects of living with autism while discovering the big things they are capable of accomplishing. For many years, the need to elevate them to another level was paramount in the mind of the team. The reality of working with special children showed that, it is one thing to help people embrace their unique abilities and another to teach them how to put the same to use. Overcoming the “what next” question felt like a hard nut to crack.

 After pondering on how to bridge this glaring gap, a vivid thought paved the way for the hitherto elusive answer “if what we need is not available, why not create it?” This question grew into a new one; “what can these gifted individuals do?” The answer followed immediately; “work with their hands” and that was how the Gazelle studio initiative came to life.

Our mission is to empower individuals living with special needs, give them the ability to earn a living, and also affect the Nigerian economy positively by building a business out of the skills acquired. This will also improve their sense of self-worth and give them a level playground to express their unique abilities in the society. The individual’s lofty dreams will come to life through the provision of the right tools and stimulation of unshakeable confidence which will help inspire others to fulfill their dreams.

The first set of people trained under this initiative was the IDP girls who were trained and evaluated for a period of 6 months. After which, they were empowered with sewing machines to go into their community to pay the kind gesture forward.

Eight young adults from our Centre were introduced to this training and were placed on different skills such as: sewing of souvenir bags, nose masks, weighted- vest, stoning/dying of t-shirts and packaging of finished products. We recorded great improvements in all of them. They acquired skills in the different levels of the value chain, some excelled in cutting different patterns of fabric neatly, ironing the fabric before and after sewing, another started sewing on a straight line, another sieving and measuring of weight for weighted vest, sealing of weight by the others. While one of them excelled in all the levels and now interning in Ruff & tumble (A leading fashion company in Nigeria). The adolescents and young adults now have a group session with a new product introduced (sewing of medical cap) in the Gazelle studio. Two of our parents are supporting us by ensuring quality control.

We also have 4 young adults undergoing training as support staff in the classroom. The Gazelle studio will not only elevate individuals with special needs; it will also change the name and face of disability in Nigeria.

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