GWAGWALADA, Nigeria—When Ayomide's husband died in 2007, the loss was devastating on her family. Although she tried to support her family through a job at a local primary school, after three months of work, she had only earned $13.00. Her meager salary was not enough to provide the most basic of necessities for her five children.
To sustain the family, Ayomide started small-scale farming, but access to enough water was always a concern. On days when water was scarce, they struggled alongside their community to get water from privately owned boreholes. Conflict over resources and the increased incidences of destruction of farmland by herdsmen made farming difficult for Ayomide’s family. She could not even manage to provide enough food for her children, let alone send them to school or receive any medical treatments.
After two years of struggling to make ends meet, Ayomide was referred to a family strengthening program at SOS Children’s Villages.
The SOS team supported her and her children with food items, payment of school fees and payment of medical bills. With the SOS team’s assistance, Ayomide got access to a community-based savings and loans group, training in basic bookkeeping and entrepreneurship, as well as supplies to turn her farm into a productive income-generating agricultural project.
The family, also in need of emotional care, received counseling, childcare, parenting and life skills training from SOS Children’s Villages.
Ayomide now helps train other women in her community in basic bookkeeping.
“These efforts helped me and my children to cope emotionally and strengthened our determination to succeed in life. I learned about the importance of hygiene for myself and my family and the importance of their education,” says Ayomide.
Apart from the income Ayomide gets from her farm, she also works as a poultry keeper, receiving a monthly salary whilst learning the trade in the process.
Ayomide’s family now lives in a comfortable house, has access to health care and adequate nutrition.
Her oldest son has graduated from the University of Abuja and her only daughter started training to become a tailor. Another son has completed his secondary education with good grades and hopes to study geography or social studies. Her two youngest boys are also doing well at school and love to play community sports.
Today, Ayomide is a role model for others in her community. Many members of the community are encouraged by her success and determination to pull herself and her family out of poverty through education and hard work. Her children’s behavior and performance both at school and in social settings have inspired other women in her community to follow her steps.