Name: Awu Maria Elam
Origin: Obudu, Cross River State
I came to Calabar in 2012. Before then, I was in the village with my parents. My dad is a retired headmaster and my mom does not work. I had finished my secondary school and I was going nothing. There was no money for me to go to school and we are much – 11 children.
One day, my elder sister who was working as a cleaner in Calabar called my dad and told him that a lady in her office needed a house help. My dad asked me if I was interested and I decided to go. I left because I wanted a better life. If I was still in the village, I may have been married by now. All my mates were getting married. I needed guidance and if not for that I would not be where I am now.
When I first came to Calabar, I was happy because it was my first time in the city. It was my first time outside my village. But, it was tough because I did not know a lot of things but I just kept paying attention and taking corrections. Coming to Calabar was a good decision because it has given me many opportunities like this training. As a child, I wanted to go to school, learn a skill and act. I have completed my diploma and I am currently waiting for my admission into University, I am learning a skill, but I have not done anything about the acting.
I like clothes and when I see people wearing nice clothes, I admire them. I would be thinking of how I can get material and sew it for myself. I know that if I can sew very well people would patronize me. I can also get employed if am good enough and I will like to be paid at least N15,000. If I make money I would be able to send some home to take care of my younger ones.
The program has met my expectation so far and it has been educating and interesting. The instructors are good and are very helpful. The training has been tough but I am picking up. If I am to get any additional support, I will want a sewing machine so I can practice and improve my sewing.