Friday, March 22

Eve Woman – Sarah Aduwari

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Sarah Aduwari is a Bayelsa woman in her early 50’s. She is a mother of 5, a teacher and the owner of Spring Valley School. She is also the founder of TAAF(The Amina Agbo Foundation).

For International Women’s day, we wanted to tell her story and the TAAF story. Here is the interview;

What is The Amina Agbo Foundation all about?

TAAF is a non-governmental and non-political organization set up with the aim to help the indigent woman. To help the indigent woman come to the full realization of her potential. Because we realized that women, especially the indigent one, struggles day in, day out without really thinking about themselves. And at the end of the day, when it is time to enjoy the fruits of their labour, its either they are down with one ill health and pass down and go. But we feel that with the necessary information, the right skill, the right empowerment, I think the indigent woman will be able to put herself together and make a better life for herself and her family. That in a nutshell is what The Amina Agbo Foundation is all about. 

When did you start the foundation?

The foundation has been in existence for over 10 years now. But then it was known as the spring valley foundation after my school. But 3 years ago, we decided to get bak to the drawing board to get ourselves more organized to reach out to more women. So 3 years we changed it to The Amina Agbo Foundation.

Do you have sponsors or you do it all by yourself?

The issue of sponsors has been a challenging one. But so far its been my effort, the effort of my family and my friends. We hope for sponsors. That’s my hope and prayer so that we would be able to touch more lives. 

Is there a specific age limit to the women you reach?

It’s really open to any woman either married or not, who has a child or children and not able to cope… It’s open to women -at least from 18 – because you have some young ladies that are already mothers. They might not be married but they are already mothers but if they have right information on how to pick up their lives again, they will be on the right path of achieving their God-given potential. 

What motivated you to start up this?

I will say my own life and the life of my mother. My mother passed through a lot of difficulty growing up and the point where she is supposed to enjoy the fruit of her labour, she died and I felt that if she had the right information, she would have been able to make better choices and live a better and healthy life. Yes, no one has control over life or death but there are things one can do to live a healthy and fulfilled life. And my own life too. Over the years – before where I am now. It’s been one hurdle to another and I feel that if women can tap into the experiences that some of us – women like me have passed through over the years, it will help them to do better. Because when a woman is sound and stable, her family benefits from it.  

How do you handle challenges on a daily basis considering the role you play, in the church, the school and a mentor to a large population of women?

Challenges abound every day, everywhere, but, if you have a calling, a passion, a vision moves you when this challenges come up. Sometimes I go into my room and I begin to ask myself do I really need to do this? But then, the woman behind me stands up with her head held high.

what has been your driving force over the years? Are the people you reach out to responsive? Do you get a positive feedback?

oh yes!
Sometimes I am embarrassed by the way these women show appreciation. The number of calls I get from them is another story all together.
When I see the women we have reached out to put what little we teach them into practice, it encourages me and drives me to do more.

As the leader of CWO, what’s that extra thing that has made you stand out over the years; following your service record?

Contrary to popular opinion, I believe that you must blossom where ever you are. A gold fish has no hiding place. I joined the CWO early in life as a young wife. I delivered in whatever assignment I was given, I go the extra mile and then I give it my best shot-to the best of my ability. This is what has qualified me.

How do you balance being a mother, a professional and a mentor?

First, you must plan. You must set the record straight if not you will have problems with organisation. So you must plan, put everything in its place. When my kids were young, I remember planning the meal for the whole day before going out. Because sometimes you plan to stay out for two hours and then you end up staying for the whole day so without proper planning, a lot of things will go wrong. Then you make sacrifices, for yourself and for everyone. That gold that you want to buy can wait, so that you can give the other person that look of love

In the next 2-3years, where do you see TAAF?

In the next 2-3years, I see TAAF empowering more women with the right skills, information, empowering them according to their area of interest.

The TAAF out reach, is it yearly? Is it National or limited to a particular region?

TAAF goes everywhere. As long as there are women in that place, the vision is to reach out to them. By the end of this year, we are planning on going to Bayelsa for an out reach. We have activities lined up through out the year.
In Benue last year, we paid visits to the IDP camp, had four days seminar with the women on health checkups and treatment, skills acquisition and retreat for indigent women and a little brand to support their business, for the four days they took out and it was so so fulfilling I tell you.

As the CEO of spring valley, what precautions do you take to make sure you don’t disappoint your teachers, students and even parents?

When you are true to yourself, you have nothing to fear. As the CEO, you cannot give out what you don’t have, so I try to develop myself to have the right kind of direction and mentorship qualities.

How do you handle difficult parents because we know that some of them can be very difficult?

The human being generally can be difficult. In handling them, you apply wisdom and diplomacy.

What do you know for Sure?.

Can any human really say what they know for sure?
What I know for sure!!!
First, you must be sure of life.
So long as I am alive, I will touch lives the right kind of education will be given to any child that comes to spring valley school.
And for my life-what I know for sure is
that, I will be at peace with my God and all men.

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Editor at Eve Afrique. “Writing is my satisfaction point...I do a lot of crazy things when the spirit comes upon me.”

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