Abdulhafeez Ayomide Omotosho
My first contact with LEAP was in 2013 during the UNIDO Entrepreneurship & Career Fair. I had done a little research about the companies billed to be present at the fair and LEAP caught my attention. First for its seemingly selfless role towards the development of youth and for the quality of programs they organized.
Being a volunteer to several non-profits in school, I could relate with the sort of work LEAP was doing. The logistics alone for a programme lasting four hours could make one reconsider his/her options, but from her profile and the manner with which she organized her events with high consistency, orderliness and a great line up of success stories; I knew I wanted to be a part of this organisation. However, I wasn’t able to attend the event in 2013, as I was in my finals and had an exam on the day of the event. The following months saw me being occupied with the other groups I was volunteering with, but LEAP was always in my heart.
Fast forward to 2014, while I was at the NYSC orientation camp; I met Ms. Jennifer Pearse, an employee at LEAP. It didn’t take too long to identify her as an individual with a wealth of experience in volunteering and humanitarian causes.
Months after our three weeks orientation in camp, she invited me to attend the Employability Programme in January 2015, and I made a vow not to miss it for anything.
The Employability Programme really helped me put things into perspective. It gave me the extra push I needed to put my ideas into action as opposed to daydreaming about them. It was much more than I had anticipated. I felt as though the facilitators had done some research on me, noted the places I had issues and had chosen to treat them one after the other.
The highlight of the programme was the networking session. Prior to that, I was someone who rarely shared my ideas with other people. I related poorly and scarcely aired my views. However, Mr Ahmad Alaga, one of the facilitators, kept hammering on the importance of sharing our ideas with relevant people and I decided to take the bait.
I discovered that conversing with people goes beyond listening and giving replies. It helps you connect with them and makes the other person feel good about themselves. All these were not new to me, but I hadn’t taken cognizance of them before. It took the LEAP experience to make me become fully aware of how I could connect better with people.
After the programme, I started thinking from both sides of the divide; as an employer and an employee. I went back to the drawing board and revisited plans for my company, S-B Designs and Consults.
As a Mechanical engineer with a flair for sustainable designs, I had once thought about the idea of producing bio-gas from farm and household waste. The bio-gas would serve as a cooking fuel and can also be used to power electric generators. This would be made available to homes in the rural area, as it would help reduce the alarming rate of deforestation and provide electricity for the house. The project would reduce the dependence on regular fossil fuel, which would in turn reduce the depletion of the ozone layer. Going by the projections and rate of adoption, the project will move to provide cheap, clean and sustainable fuel to low-cost urban areas.
Although the company is in the process of being registered LEAP played a huge role in helping me tap into my skills. For that I am proud to say that #LEAPISPARTOFMYSTORY.
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