#BEMOREImoClosing: I’ve done the right thing for choosing girls’ empowerment- Ondo First Lady

.. girls commend initiative, go home with cash prizes, laptops, solar devices

The Founder of the BEMORE EMPOWERED FOUNDATION and First Lady of Ondo State, Chief Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has expressed satisfaction about her conviction to train girls, saying she has done the right thing.

Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, the Ada OWERE 1, who noted that training a girl child is never a waste of resources, affirmed that investing in human capital development is unquantifiable, and sees her commitment to invest in the initiative, (despite not profitable to her, financial-wise), as a right thing to do; quoting Maya Angelou: ‘Just do right’.

She said this today at the closing ceremony of the Imo State 2021 edition of the BEMORE Summer Bootcamp for Girls Naija, held at the Goshen Anglican Retreat center, Owerri.

Her words: “Right may not be expedient, it may not be profitable, but it will satisfy your soul. Although I had wished more girls registered, I am comforted by Maya Angelou’s quote that I am right in investing in these lovely girls despite not being profitable in immediate monetary terms.

“Usually, the gains of social investments, in this case, human capital development, can’t be quantified in Naira and Kobo. However, the impact will surely be felt in the future with their inputs in their various life endeavours, causing a sustainable societal development. Social investments are long term projects that require sincerity of purpose, patience and commitment”.

The Ondo State First Lady asserted that she had demonstrated in a profound way that training girl children is not a waste, considering all her numerous accomplishments in her immediate society as a woman.

She added that her vision is to groom girls to stand firm and defeat the social norms, beliefs and patriarchal tendency fashioned against female gender.

“Our quest to position the girl children to be self-reliant is the right thing to do, working to ensure gender equality is the right thing to do, so whatever the cost, whatever the loss, whatever the discomfort, I have chosen to do the right thing. You are all seated here today, regardless of your age and social status, you do have the ability to do the right thing even when it is unpopular”, says the Ondo First Lady.

She, therefore, called on every individual to join the gender parity advocacy, by empowering a girl child, saying: “Indeed, we have for too long endured an imbalanced society, an unprosperous community, and an environment inimical to our person as women. It’s about time we changed the narrative”.

Congratulating the new BEMORE graduands, Chief Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu reminded them that “the baton has been placed on your hands; your race begins now. I must warn you that there will be challenging times, but you should know that this boot camp has equipped you with all that you need to overcome them all.

“Although Nigeria sails on uncharted waters; you are the twinkle little stars we hope will align our voyage; you are the soothing wind we hope will clear this cloudy sky and glide us to a glorious shore; you are indeed the hope of many generations that were and many that will be.

“Girls, to rise up to the task ahead, you must put all you’ve learnt here to practice, mentor many more girl children, and build a formidable network of change agents”.

Highlights of the ceremony included breast cancer awareness talk and demonstration of Breast Self Examination, Taekwondo, Dance, and Music presentations by the girls to entertain guests; Arts Auction and announcement of the 2021 Valedictorian, Adaeze Ezinwa-Mbalewe.

Three best Artists emerged for the Arts Auction and won cash prizes from Her Excellency, in support of Hon. Dele Ologun. They are Chigozirim Favour (1st), Belia Chukwu (2nd), and Adaeze Ezinwa-Mbalewe (3rd); and went home with N40,000, N30,000, and N20,000 respectively.

Laptops were officially presented to them by the First Lady, including certificates in SDGs training and home-lightening Sun King solar device.

Sun King Solar

The CSI Media presented a winning prize of N50,000 cash to an overall student in essay competition, who doubles as the Valedictorian.

Also, some partners of the initiative, Ashdam Solar Energy and Matrix Lab Technology, announced scholarship opportunities for five girls each, for advanced training in renewable energy, and ICT, respectively.

The Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri,(FUTO) Professor (Mrs) Nnenna N. Oti who was the Chairman of the occasion, commended Ondo First Lady for helping girls to realize their full potential and for extending the gesture to Imo State.

L-R: FUTO VC, Prof (Mrs) Nnenna Oti, Ondo First Lady, and a guest, Mrs Nwanyawu

She urged the girls to internalize and practice the skills they acquired, to be resolute, and ready to be counted among women of virtues.

Speaking on behalf of the girls, the Valedictorian, Adaeze Ezinwa-Mbalewe expressed their readiness to be advocates of gender equality, climate protection through campaign for renewable energy, and work towards becoming future female technological leaders.

Mary Agidi
Special Assistant on Media to the Governor (Office of the First Lady)

August 28th, 2021

Published by WonderLady

Journalist, Educationist, Writer, Human Rights Advocate

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