Dinoba Austine, is 33 years old and hails from Ovia N/East of Edo State in Nigeria. After her Primary School education, she decided not to proceed to Secondary (High School) but began the business of petty trading, to enable her support her family, whose financial background was really poor.
In 2018, Dinoba was convinced by some friends that she could get a better life if she is able to travel overseas. So, she decided to travel to Libya in a bid to migrate to Europe through the Libya route, with the hope of searching for greener pasture overseas, to better her life and those of her loved ones back in Nigeria.
However, Dinoba returned back to Nigeria in 2019, with no money, no job. As a result, she had difficulty feeding herself and was also unable to afford her basic needs. Life became really difficult for her and especially because she was also saddled with the responsibility of fending for her younger ones and the rest of her immediate family.
Dinoba had always silently nursed the ambition of becoming a Fashion Designer but never had the opportunity to pursue her dream because she couldn’t afford to pay the fees for the training, neither did she see any hope of her being able to set up the business after acquiring the skills. Nonetheless, her story changed when she was referred to Caritas Nigeria by other returnees who were already receiving support from Caritas Nigeria as beneficiaries of the Stable Trained and Empowered Migrant (STEM) project.
In March, 2020, Dinoba began her training in fashion and designing which lasted for a period of 3 months. At the end of her training, she was provided with a start-up pack which included; an industrial sewing machine, a generator set, sewing kit and a shop with the rent paid for a period of up to 6 months. Her tailoring shop is located at No. 22, Textile Mill Road, off Chrismerry Stores, Benin City (Oredo Local Government Area).
In her own words she has this to say, “I can now work at my pace, as my own boss. I can take care of my brothers and sisters with the proceeds from my business. If not for Caritas, I would still be on the streets. Thank you GIZ, thank you Caritas Nigeria.” As for Dinoba, this is a dream come because she is now able to actualize her dream of becoming a fashion designer, who is able to provide for herself and family.