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The Butterfly Women’s Fellowship Programme

As a child, one of my favourite adults was Mummy Tolu. While growing up, she was a neighbour and what you could refer to as a ‘second mummy’. She asked all the important questions like “Is your mum back?” when my mum travelled and “have you eaten?’ when the answer was no.

When I got into the boarding house as a student in Junior Secondary School 1, it became a thing that Mummy Tolu would give me rolls of milk, milo and some detergents at the beginning of every term up until my last year in secondary school. If it didn’t happen, then resumption was incomplete. It always happened.

I was a teenager when she lost her husband, and to this day, I am in awe of just how deftly she filled the shoes of being a mother and father to her 3 children. A business woman, she kept a roof over her children’s heads, kept them in school and kept their bellies fed.

Today, writing this, she is a grandmother of 1 and I can’t help but think of how life sometimes takes us on journeys we didn’t sign up for.

Financial Independence is an important part of having control over numerous aspects of one’s life, an area in which women are often more vulnerable in our society. Being financially independent does not mean one’s life is suddenly perfect, but at least there will be the space to make important life decisions without the threat of sustenance.

Butterfly Women’s Fellowship (BWF) is the official flagship project of The Butterfly Project. Under BWF, in conjunction with SkillNG, we will train married women resident in Ibadan, Oyo State, in Graphics Design. The world of work is changing, and there is so much that can be done across borders and nationality.

As we grow, it is my hope that we can deepen our impact, expose some of these women to work opportunities (if that’s a path they want to explore), and businesses for others.

No matter what we do, the goal is this: to empower women and girls, so that they can explore their capabilities, earn an income and work towards a financially free future.

This is the first of many projects. I want to thank SkillNG, our first official partner. We will do many great things together.

I am exceedingly excited about The Butterfly Project, and look forward to its future.

Thank you.

Tawakalit Kareem,

Founder, The Butterfly Project

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