Lafarge Africa Plc., in collaboration with Truss Empowerment Foundation has trained women from low-income communities in Lagos on tilers and block making in celebration of its 2022 Sustainable Week.
The two-week intensive vocational training program which was held at Nawarudeen High School, Ebute Metta, Lagos, is in line with the strategic objective of Lafarge Africa’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to empower, educate and increase gender equality in a male dominated sector.
The goal of the training program was to train a minimum of 25 women, sourced from low-income communities in Makoko, Lagos on the practical use of Lafarge’s Supafix products in tiling of walls and floors, as well as on how to mould blocks.
During the comprehensive training, expert trainers and professionals took the participants through theoretical and practical aspects of tiling and impacted sufficient skills to get them started in the industry.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony last Friday, Titilope Oguntuga, Head, Sustainable Development and Corporate Brand, Lafarge Africa Plc., noted that the initiative was first of its kind and part of the company’s efforts to address the gender imbalance in the industry and further drive women entrepreneurship and development in the country.
“In a sector in which women can sometimes be under-represented, taking these steps is critical,” explains Oguntuga. “We are making significant strides in building a more sustainable future for all. That includes changing the narrative and fighting the myth that construction work is more appropriate for men, so that young women can aspire for a career in the industry,” she stressed.
Also speaking at the event, Alhaji S.Q Folarin, Director Scale, Lead Trainer, while commending Lafarge Africa for promoting gender equality in a male dominated space also took time to praise the trainees for their willingness and determination to learn.
In the same vein, Mr. Adediran Segun Clement, Chairman, Lagos State Professional Tilers Association (LASPROTAN) while congratulating the graduands also appreciated the leading building solutions company for the initiative.
Clement also introduced the graduands to the doctrines of the association and charged them to take advantage of the benefits and opportunities offered by the association in order to succeed and move forward in their career.
Speaking on behalf of her fellow trainees, Omowunmi O. Alomore, appreciated the building solutions company for the opportunity to be part of the programme.
She also thanked Truss Empowerment Foundation and all the instructors for the partnership and technical support to the project.
At the end of the skill acquisition and entrepreneurship training, the participants were issued certificates from Lafarge and inducted into the Tilers Association. They were also given food items and discount voucher cards with 2.5-3% discount for every Supafix product bought while the three best graduating students received work tools from Lafarge.
Further to the celebration of the 2022 sustainability week’ with the theme ‘Accelerating Collaboration for Sustained Impact’, the building solutions company also launched a carbon compensation programme that will enable all employees of the company to contribute to positive environmental footprints.
The programme called One2Tree meaning One Trip Equals One Tree is coined from the first words of trip and tree and ‘ee’ to come to the final outcome – also sounding like ‘123’- is inspired by the idea that, for carbon emissions made during air travels, which is mostly conspicuously displayed on flight tickets, there must be a compensation intervention.
According to Oguntuga, the initiative is targeted towards every employee who makes an official flight, both local and international in the pilot phase while those who make personal flight in the advanced phase will also be encouraged to make disclosures that will enable them to contribute to compensating the planet.
“It is a credible way for employees irrespective of their function, to get involved in ‘Building Progress for People and the Planet’, making individual contributions to the overall purpose of the organization, while entrenching a sense of responsibility for Nature.
“As we look ahead to 2030, this intervention is in consonance with 5 of the 17 sustainable development goals: SDG 3 (Good health and Wellbeing), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 15 (Life on Land) and SDG 17 (Partnership for the Goals),” she said.