My name is Kechi and I’m from a small fishing village in southern Nigeria. Growing up I always thought there was nothing to do in my village. I always had dreams of escaping to another place. Somewhere with more opportunities for me… Somewhere I could have a better life and make a difference.
One day, a charity focused on helping girls learn new skills ran a competition in my area. The winner would be enrolled in a vocational course to learn about websites and coding. How cool!? I thought not going to school would limit me but it didn’t. Vocational courses teach you everything from the beginning. I had to win this competition!
The challenge was to come up with an idea to help boost the community. The most creative idea would win! For a moment I felt stuck because I always thought there was no hope for my village but the challenge changed my thinking and the way I saw things. I went out and started speaking to people about their problems. I asked my mum to accompany me to be extra safe since I would be talking to people I didn’t know.
After all my interviews I began to notice one common problem. There was so much talent in my village but people in the rest of Nigeria had no idea. We produced so much, from food to clothes to wooden baskets, but there was no one to buy it. Aha! If I could build a website for the traders it would give them a platform to sell their goods and that would generate money for our village. I presented my idea to the charity and I won! I was so happy and proud of myself.
It’s funny how I didn’t need to escape somewhere else. I could make my dreams come true just where I was. Sometimes you need to leave home to make your dreams come true, but if you can’t, don’t underestimate all the opportunities you have right where you are!
Also never underestimate the power of your dream. I thought I was building a website for just the traders but it became something bigger. After the vocational course I also started teaching other girls about websites and coding. The extra money from the traders has been used to build a new hospital for the village. All of these great things just from one girl with a dream.
So Springsters, believe in yourself, believe in your dreams and anything is possible!