The Social Empowerment Programmes of LAPO are designed to address the non-credit causes and manifestations of poverty such as ignorance, illiteracy, too large family size, low self-esteem and inability to participate effectively in the informal sector of the economy. LAPO strives for equality, social inclusiveness, improved gender relations and empowers women to take their rightful place in society. The organization promotes women's capacity to bring about positive changes in their own lives by increasing their human, social and political assets so that they know their rights and can claim their entitlements, resist exploitation, and play an active role in public life.
Enterprise Development Training
LAPO strengthens the managerial capability of micro business owners with her enterprise development training programme. Under the programme, business owners are trained on business planning and management, marketing, customer relations, documentation of business activities, monitoring and evaluation. The training methodologies include plenary session, group work and presentations, role play, question and answer sessions. The programme currently targets clients of LAPO across the country.
Community Dialogue Session (CDS)
Community Dialogue Session (CDS) is a sensitization programme where all segments of the community including opinion, political, traditional and religious leaders participate in discussions to address issues in gender justice and social empowerment such as self-esteem, son preference, widowhood rites, inheritance, discrimination, decision making, leadership, political participation, sex education, teenage pregnancy/marriage. Several community members have been reached with this programme, widely acknowledged to have succeeded in building the capacity of beneficiaries to challenge and resist processes and structures that are detrimental to the advancement of women.
Integration of Social Education with Microfinance Services
LAPO believes rightly that poverty is beyond the lack of funds. Poverty amongst women in Africa is reinforced mainly by gender discrimination, deprivation and exclusion of women from life transforming opportunities, which are entrenched by the observance of obnoxious customs and traditions. These archaic traditional practices manifest in son preference, widowhood rites, forced female trafficking and prostitution, low self-esteem, abuse and violation of women's rights in most part of Africa. Integration project whereby microcredit clients are also provided with social information has therefore been one of LAPO’s measures to address poverty. Under the integration project, programme officers deliver information on gender justice to clients during their branch council and weekly union meetings. Gender Awareness newsletter and other culturally-sensitive IEC materials are displayed in branch offices, branch council and union meeting venues to further educate and enlighten clients on prevailing social issues.
LAPO Literacy Programme
Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for achieving social and human development. Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all, an essential tool for eradicating poverty and child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality, better family health and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy. LAPO perceives illiteracy as both cause and consequence of poverty, deprivation, and under-development and has therefore introduced adult education for women, towards realizing the vision of a literate world for all.
Social Product Marketing
LAPO perceives poverty as an octopus that requires multi-dimensional approach to overcome. For several years, LAPO has been involved in awareness creation on health and social issues. Social marketing is one of the strategies that have now been adopted by LAPO in the fight against poverty. The organization identifies and promotes access of vulnerable community members to essential health-promoting commodities towards the reduction of HIV/AIDS, malaria management as well as achieve improved nutrition, sanitation and hygiene. Social marketing is no doubt contributing effectively to health-seeking behaviour, improved health status and the general wellbeing of community members.
International Women’s Day (IWD)
The International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated yearly across the world on March 8 to present and examine in a hopeful manner the struggle of women as well as recognize and highlight their economic, political and social achievements. Throughout the month of March, Civil Society Organizations including LAPO, government agencies, educational institutions, the media and women groups across the world choose different themes relevant to global and local gender issues to mark the event each year. LAPO celebrated the last three editions of the programme under the following themes:
2010: Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress For All
2011: Equal Access To Education, Training, Science And Technology: Path Way To
2012: Empower Rural Women, End Hunger and Poverty. LAPO clients were trained on Micro Business Management during the programme. Topics treated included business planning, book keeping and good customer relations.
Annual Development Forum
The LAPO Annual Development Forum is a vital component of the organization's strategy for stimulating investigation into the nature and causes of poverty. The forum provides opportunity for individuals, development partners, scholars, professional institutions, LAPO clients, religious and traditional bodies and other stakeholders in development and poverty alleviation to design a realistic roadmap to fast track societal development. Papers on selected topics are usually presented and discussed and ideas exchanged. Ideas generated from previous editions of the Forum have strengthened LAPO programme focus and delivery strategies.
The LAPO Annual Development Forum is held annually as an activity to mark the October 17 International Day for the elimination of poverty and destitution. Millions have overcome extreme poverty and attained better access to financial services, healthcare and social transformation with the support of LAPO over the past two decades.