Charity launches to help people in poverty

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A poverty relief charity that plans to offer employment and training opportunities to disadvantaged people in Bedford has launched this month.

A poverty relief charity that plans to offer employment and training opportunities to disadvanted people in Bedford has launched this month.

Charity Mastroe, based in Kempston. is looking for people who are struggling financially and are unable to find employment to come forward to joing the programme.

Chief executive officer Mast Aladewolu founded the charity after year he dreamt of being able to help people living in poverty since he was 14 years old.

Mast said: “It was when I was growing up that I noticed the problem. Not so much myself as my parents were quite well off, but a lot of my friends were more disadvantaged.

“I vowed to come to the UK to learn all about business and set the charity up in one of the most poverty-stricken places I found, which was Haiti between Cuba and Porta Rica.

“You think that poverty doesn’t exist in the UK, but after living here for a few years, I noticed that is here.

“So I decided to start the project here with aim of moving it to Nigeria eventually, they say charity starts at home.”

The charity was officially launched earlier this month with mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson officially opening the building.

It aims to out people who have been unbale to hold down a steady job through a three-month training programme, and then offer employment opportunities through a social enterprise poject.

The initiative is called Cost and Product Manufacturing (CPM) that will see Mastroe open an online shop where customers can buy and customise their own clothes.

Mast added: “I am already working with some people who will benefit from the prgramme, and they tell me they would commit suicide if it wasn’t a sin and that there isn’t any hope for people like them.

“I want to change that. It is my dream to touch a million lives by the time I’m 70, and this is just the start of that. Our programme will not only train people how in CPM, but we also plan work with them to change their attitudes and behaviours that have prevented them from holding down a job.

“We will then give some jobs and everyone we cant give a job to we’ll help to find a job. We plan to not send out CVs, but to invite compnaies to see what we do and the people we have on the programme.”

The charity has had help with funding and support from CVS, Bedford African and Carribean Forum, MHO, Jobcentreplus, people making donations, the Bishop of Bedford Richard Inwood and the mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson.

To get involved call 01234 860011.