As the 2021 edition of BeMore Summer Bootcamp for Girls Naija ends on Saturday, September 25th, 368 participating girls return to their various communities, fully equipped with knowledge, Laptops, Solar home kits and cash prizes.
At the closing ceremony held at the main auditorium of the Federal University of Technology (FUTA), the graduands showcased all they learned within the two weeks Bootcamp to the guests, ranging from installation of solar panel, Artwork, ICT, bead making, among others.
Some outstanding girls were rewarded with cash prizes and scholarships, including the overall best student who emerged as the 2021 Valedictorian, Miss Olaniyi Abisola.
The prizes included N100,000 worth of scholarship each for five best girls who performed excellently well in the renewable energy training, to be trained at ASHDAM Solar Academy.
Other partners of the BeMore Empowered Initiative, including the CSI Media, announced a cash prize of #50,000 for the best performing girl in essay writing, while the Matrix Lab Technology gave a maximum of N100,000 cash prize to three best-performing girls in ICT Computer-Based Test.
Activities for the closing ceremony featured Art Auditioning where 10 girls crafted the portrait of the First Lady of Ondo State and Founder of the Initiative, Chief (Mrs) Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu; five focused on Screwded artwork, while the other five did a pencil work. They were all motivated with cash prizes by the Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu Foundation (BAAF) and supported by other guests.
Some guests at the event, after inspecting the exhibition stand, watched the girls’ staged performances, commended the Founder for transforming the lives of girls.
The Federal Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, said the Founder deserves applause by equipping the girls with training that covered all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Bothered by the issue of sustaining the initiative beyond Akeredolu-led administration, since it’s not a government-driven project, the Minister who was represented by Dr Yemi Gbadegesin, expressed the readiness of FUTA Engineering departments to take up the training of the girls in some areas of STEM in collaboration with the office of the First Lady.
On her part, the President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Bwari Branch Abuja, Engr Halimat Adediran, who described the initiative as magnanimous and life-transforming, noted that having followed the Bootcamp’s activities keenly, she had realised that Nigeria is missing a lot by not giving girls chance to explore their potential despite the fact the female population is more than that of the male.
Appreciating Ondo First Lady for initiating a programme that promotes girls’ interest in Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics ( STEM), the NSE’s President affirmed that they would grow to become future amazons due to the numerous impact of the programme on them.
According to her, a knowledge-based economy is the best way to equip any youth with skills to confront the challenges facing Nigerian Society, which the BeMore Empowered Initiative stands to achieve.
She, therefore, encouraged the girls to take a clue from the gesture of Her Excellency by extending the knowledge they’ve acquired to their fellow girls and others that would come across them in life, saying, “Be always willing to invest in others”.
In her valedictory speech, the overall best student, Miss Olaniyi Abisola, thanked the initiator for rising for the help of a girl-child; she was elated with the skills they acquired, especially the Taekwondo self-defence skill, which she affirmed would definitely help them to combat molestation.
She hinted that the Facilitators handled the learning processes with ease, while the bootcamp served as an avenue to enjoy mutual love and showcase their potential for maximisation.
The SunKing Solar home system that was given to the girls can be used to charge laptops and phones and bright up three rooms apartments.
They all received certificates of participation in the boot camp and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (World Largest Lesson).
Other highlight of the closing ceremony was “Health Talk on Cervical Cancer Prevention: The Mother-Daughter Collaboration”. Dr Isiaka Lawal, who handled the session, noted that if girls are well-grounded in the cancer awareness, it would be easy to reduce the scourge.
He stressed the need for the Forum of Wives of Ondo State Officials and Female Political Appointees, FOWOSO, and BeMore Empowered Initiative to integrate cervical cancer awareness into their activities since the two are about women and girls’ related issues.
Credit: Mary Agidi