Guests at the closing ceremony of the 2019 edition of the BEMORE Summer Bootcamp programme were stunned at the performance and skills displayed by the 250 girls who graduated from the two weeks training in the University of life camp held at the Federal University of Technology auditorium today.
The girls demonstrated to the audience that they have really become new breeds of change agents, by showcasing the skills they acquired during the Summer bootcamp, some of which are artworks, detergents, beads, talents display through composed songs and dancing, Taekwondo practice, among others.
In her address, the initiator of BEMORE Empowered programme and wife of the Ondo State governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu said it is high time a stop was put to an imbalance society, and BEMORE girls had been empowered to champion the change.
According to her, the 1000 girls who have passed through the Summer training camp were groomed to become selfless women without greed, who would be advocates of causes of their choice and also the issues related to the upliftment of women.
Preparing them ahead of the gender-related challenges awaiting them in their quest to champion positive cause in the male-dominated society, Mrs. Akeredolu encouraged them not to relent, saying their voice is their powerful weapon to make the needed changes in Nigeria.
” My BEMORE girls, let me quickly warn you, all that you have learnt here will be tested. You will go back to your various communities to initiate positive change but you will be confronted by high and mighty. They will tell you to keep shut, they will say you are a woman and are limited in every way. But I make bold to say to you today that you are limitless.
“Never stand down when they try to keep you out, never keep shut when they try to intimidate you. You must speak. And if you are not heard, I charge you to speak yet again. Never go silent even when you feel your voice isn’t heard, for I assure you, in due time your voice will echo through our ears and steer up our hearts to take action”, she tells them.
Mrs. Akeredolu who lamented the imbalance society which Nigerian women have endured for too long due to gender disparity, expressed optimism that society can be changed being a man-made institution.
She noted that to have a better society, there is a need to transform individuals’ personality to align with the 21st century trend, and charged the girls to replicate the opportunity and be good to others.
She added that the BEMORE Empowered initiative was aimed to provide Nigerian girls with opportunities they lack like their counterparts in foreign countries, noting that the effects would be seen when the girls begin to attain leadership positions in the nearest future.
The Chairman of the occasion, Director General, Institute for National Transformation, INT, Prof. Vincent Anigbogu noted that Mrs. Akeredolu is leaving a legacy, which would not be enjoyed by Ondo state alone, but also Nigeria as a whole.
Represented by Prince Tunde Akindele, the INT boss said that Nigeria needs passionate leaders who will strive to ensure that we have a nation to be proud of as ours, and therefore commended Mrs. Akeredolu for the initiative, described her as a visioner.
Prof. Anigbogu who expressed unbelief that girls could be able to build and install solar panels, declared that definitely, Mrs. Akeredolu has set a fire of development that would burn throughout the nation.
The deputy Vice Chancellor of FUTA, Prof. Deji Ogunseni who represented the Vice-Chancellor at the ceremony emphasised on the need to sustain the initiative beyond the tenure of governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led administration.
Also speaking, the Ekiti state Commissioner for Education, Mr. Foluso Daramola commended the initiator for the BEMORE programme, which he described as a beginning of better change in Nigeria.
The 250 newly trained girls went home with laptop computer each, while five girls who made artwork of Mrs. Akeredolu’s image were encouraged financially by the initiator.