In continuation of its empowerment programme to the society, the Rotary Club of Ikeja on Monday brought smiles to trading clusters and artisans in Isolo, Agidingbi, Ikorodu and the Nigerian Air Force Officers Wives Association (NAFOWA) with interest-free loans and trade tools worth millions of naira.
The donations included a quarterly N500,000 interest-free loan to the Isolo Market Men/Women Association, which is spread at N25,000 to each of 20 beneficiaries.
The others were such vocational tools as sewing machines, hair driers and washing stands, grinding machines and oven for the artisans from Agidingbi Village, Laara Village in Ikorodu and NAFOWA respectively.
Presenting the items at a programme to mark his first official visit to Ikeja Rotary Club, the Governor, Rotary International District 9110, Kola Shodipo, explained that the micro credit scheme is a poverty alleviation package to help the beneficiaries meet their trading needs and expand their businesses.
According to Shodipo, “one good thing about the loan scheme is that it is interest-free and is returned every three months, after which it goes to another batch of 20 persons to complete the target of 80 persons each year.
“This has been run for 10 years on behalf of the Rotary Club of Ikeja, others have theirs.We have a management team that helps monitor these beneficiaries and it includes the executives and past leaders of the associations.
“They identify theirmembers and help to ensure that they remain focused, while our team pays periodic visits to monitor and counsel them on how to keep their businesses profitable and able to return the loan on schedule.
“We also help in the area of health and education by partnering government in rehabilitating and equipping schools with laboratories and other teaching aids.”
Also speaking, former District Governor, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, noted that wherever there are rotarians, they look around to see how they could assist the community, and“those in Nigeria will continue to ensure that those in their communities feel better, feed better and have better health.
“We don’t just do things for the beneficiaries, we monitor and ask them what they want,what we can do together; they tell us and we helpto satisfy their needs. We have been doing this year in year out and are encouraged by the sustainability of the programme.”
He urged people of goodwill in different callings to “look at the usefulness of rotary as a means of doing good in this kind of environment. The more the number of persons they can assist, the better forthey themselves. We also raise funds from non-members, and it is quite significant.”
Similarly, President of the Rotary Club of Ikeja, Niyi Adelaja, described the loan scheme as the club’s signature programme through which 20 beneficiaries per quarter and 80 persons per year get assistance, stating that the club has adopted the Isolo community for the scheme.
On behalf of her group,leader of the Isolo trading community, Wosilat Yusuf, commended the organisation for sustaining the programme for over a decade, during which many of them have had life-changingbusiness experiences.
Likewise, leader of Agidingbi artisans, who were given five sewing machines and five hair driers, commended therotary’s consistency with the programme, stating that some of former beneficiaries have acquired two or more tools from proceedsfrom the tool they got from the club some years ago.