IN a bid to enhance its Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, Nigerua’s oil and gas logistics giant, INTELS Nigeria Limited has graduated 34 beneficiaries of the 11th Batch of its flagship women development programme popularly known as the Women Empowerment Programme Scheme Synergy (WEPSS).
The graduation of the 11th Batch brings the total number of beneficiaries in the popular women empowerment scheme to 1,500.
WEPSS was established by INTELS in 2013 to empower 5,000 Nigerian women over a 20-year period through training in fashion design and tailoring. The beneficiaries, drawn from various parts of the country, are trained in two batches every year.
The beneficiaries undergo intensive tuition-free trainings for four months. They also enjoy free transportation to and from the training venue, free medical services and monthly stipends.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony for beneficiaries of the 11th Batch (also known as the 2021 Batch A) at the Federal Lighter Terminal, Onne Port, Rivers State weekend, the Managing Director of INTELS Nigeria Limited, Mr. Pasquale Fiore, said, the scheme symbolizes the collaborative efforts of the trainers, participants and the entire INTELS family.
He commended the WEPSSS trainers and beneficiaries for their “resilience and determination”, while urging the beneficiaries to use their newly acquired skills to “earn a living and contribute to the growth of the Nigerian economy”.
Represented by the company’s Human Resources Manager, Dominic Onwujekwe, the INTELS Managing Director said, “This is one of our many empowerment schemes for the communities around us and we are very happy that over the years, so many people have graduated from this scheme and we are also aware that many of them are doing well.”
Also speaking at the graduation ceremony, WEPSS Project Manager, Nancy Freeborn commended the management of INTELS for its commitment to the empowerment of women, promotion of Nigerian content and support for local communities despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the present economic challenges.
While encouraging the beneficiaries to put their skills to adequate use and build successful businesses that will create employment for others, Freeborn assured them of continuous support from the WEPSS team.
She said, “Anytime we go out for our follow-up exercise, we come back with very exciting stories as some of our trainees are now working in fashion houses while some have set up shops of their own.”
Highlights of the graduation ceremony included the presentation of certificates to the beneficiaries and awards to the Best Graduating Student and other outstanding students.
Praise-Jah Ufot emerged as the Best Graduating Student, while Victoria Bright, Emmanuela Anga, Sheila Elenwo, Ibinabor Ben-Sika and Gift Prince emerged as exceptional trainees. They were all given start-up tailoring equipment and kits donated by INTELS to kick-start their fashion businesses.
An excited Praise-Jah Ufot, who also received an industrial sewing machine in additional to other tailoring items, commended INTELS for “positively changing” her life and the lives of other beneficiaries of the empowerment scheme.