The Justice and Peace Initiative (JPI) of Religious is under the auspices of the major superiors of Nigeria, in line with the social teachings of the church. JPI is making every effort to identify and alleviate the sufferings of the people of God (Constitution of Justice and Peace in Nigeria).
In Nigeria each congregation (male and female) religious sends a representative from their various congregations to attend the JPI meeting which is held once in a year. The JPI group visits prison during the meeting period and charge each member congregation to carry out tasks back home based on the theme decided at the meeting for that period of one year until the next meeting. The theme for the 2017/2018 activity is on youth and women empowerment.
For the Religious Sisters of Charity, various activities were carried out including a Seminar on Entrepreneurship/Business Plan and Human Relationship Sessions, both of which took place in St. Anne’s Youth and Women Development Centre, Satellite-Town, Lagos. These were part of the JPI youth and women empowerment program. The session on Entrepreneurship/Business plan was done with the group of women and youth numbering 135 prior to their graduation in December, 2017. It was done in a simple and practical manner that everyone present understood and was ready to implement after their graduation.
They learnt who is an entrepreneur, characteristics of an entrepreneur and various things to consider when they want to set up their own businesses. It was put to them that an entrepreneur is someone who believes in themselves, is hardworking and is dedicated to their project. They were reminded that some of qualities of an entrepreneur are creativity, risk taking, having initiative, problem solving, vision, being passionate about learning, a team player, confident, leadership and optimistic. It was pointed out that they have these qualities, all they need is to put them to use together with the skills they had already learnt from the Centre such as fashion designing, bag making, bead making, hair styling, catering and adult literacy programs. The group were very happy and enthusiastic to be learning, they asked several questions.
In addition to that was a brief business plan to enable them understood the basic things needed when venturing into business. The business plan was introduced to enable them evaluate the practicality of a new business idea in an objective and critical way. They must ask certain questions such as: Is there market? How much can one sell out of this business? Those with whom you wish to do the business with, do they have the skill? Can this business make a profit?
The new intake for the year 2018 in St. Anne’s Youth and Development Centre got an opportunity to have session on relationships, this seminar was organised by the centre co-ordinator Sr. Ngozi Monye. The session was done in a creative and simple way that enabled the participants to openly discuss their view on relationships and how it affects their family and work life. Emphasis was laid on healthy relationships and ways of building good human relationships in the work place. After the session a good number of the students arranged for individual consultations and got help on how to build good relationship with their husbands, relatives and co-students.
In conclusion the seminar was an added package to the skills acquisition the women and youth are being trained for in St. Anne’s Youth and Women Development Centre.
Gloria Ozuluoke RSC