Motunrayo Monsurat lives in Oro Ago community in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, Nigeria. When she was 7 years old, she woke up crying one day and realized that she couldn’t lift her legs. Her legs have been paralyzed to date. All efforts made by her parents to find a cure; ranging from spiritual, traditional, and orthodox medicine failed. This challenge delayed her enrolment into school. A few years later, while in primary school, she discovered that she had limitations in learning compared to her classmates, due to disability. She then decided to learn tailoring as a skill while still pursuing her education. Motunrayo combined schooling in the morning and apprenticeship (tailoring) after school in the evening. This was how she struggled to complete her primary school education.
In 2018, The Leprosy Mission Nigeria(TLMN) organized a project for income generation targeted at empowering people affected by leprosy and disabilities through skill acquisition training on soap making. Motunrayo attended the training in Oro Ago and subsequently, based on the recommendation of the local arm of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) from the community, she was given some materials to commence the production of soap in the state.
“I thank God for using TLMN to fight poverty out of my life for the benefit of my family members by empowering me and providing the set-up materials needed for my soap making business”
The proceeds from the soap-making business increased her finances and enabled her to start a nylon production business for additional income. She supports her family with these streams of income and is currently building a house. Motunrayo says her future goals are to expand her soap and nylon making businesses. She is currently married with 6 children.