..as 388 girls are trained in ICT, solar tech, vocational & skills acquisitions
..each girl went home with a laptop computer, a home solar system she trained with.
..leadership expert Pastor Iyke Onuoha guided girls on career choices
Introduction and Background
History is said to mean oral or documented account or evidence of past events. It is also said that history is of two dimensions; positive and negative.
Humans by nature strive to make and be found on the positive side of history.
In the circumstance of discussion, observers opine that perhaps, should measurable and evidence-based performance be employed as yardsticks in assessment and compilation of a compendium of league of Nigerians making positive history, it would be expected and given that Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu the First Lady of Ondo State who doubles as the occupant of a prestigious traditional chieftaincy stool of Ada Owere 1, should be in the frontline.
Described as a woman of many firsts, Chief Betty Akeredolu is currently in the news, making history through the phenomenal BEMORE Empowered Foundation popularly and simply known as BEMORE.
BEMORE; which was conceived in 2017 and commenced training of girls same year has so far empowered a total of three thousand (3000) girls, selected across states including Ondo, Benue, Akwa-Ibom, Imo, etc.
The 2022 summer boot camp which commenced with arrival of girls to the camp had its opening ceremony on 22nd August 2022, under the distinguished chairmanship of a renowned legal giant and BEMORE sponsor Chief Olusola Oke SAN.
Extolling the BEMORE vision of the founder and the tenacity demonstrated to drive the initiative from 2017, Chief Oke hinted that available evidence confirm that previous editions of the program had tremendous impact on Ondo and other states whose citizens had passed through the training.
Noting that the program offers effective platform for human capacity development, and requires a sustainability model and framework, the legal icon advocated a deliberate plan for support and partnership by international donor agencies, the state and other non state actors.
Arrivals and opening ceremony being over, participating girls accommodated and robustly catered for by the Founder, were engaged in marathon training sessions in ICT, solar technology and in other life-enhancing vocations.
A perusal on BEMORE’s curriculum provides insight on modules in the seventeen (17) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. This is alongside sporting activities designed for fitness and as vocations for possible interest by the girls.
It therefore has not been a surprise that the program is described as a University of Life. This description is on the premise that BEMORE provides the girls with grounded and balanced knowledge delivered to set the foundation for increased awareness, independence and self reliance.
Given that the target group and indeed participants in BEMORE are girls in secondary schools whose next phase in academic pursuits is enrolment into higher institutions of learning, pep talks, guidance and counseling in career choices are integrated as critical component of the two weeks summer boot camp.
Delivering sessions on career choices diligently titled “Girls Can Rule the World”, a resource person led the girls to identify and discuss value for education, devotion to studies, focus, right company, self esteem, confidence, ambition/big picture etc, as requirements to not only rule ones world but the world.
The referenced presentation admonished girls to resist distractions of the phenomenons including slaying on social media, indecent dressing, commoditization of the human body, early involvement in sexual activities erroneously seen as means to an end but to embrace hardwork as a dignifying pathway to enduring success and greatness.
The presentation delivery strategy succeeded to heighten the excitement of girls by providing insights on journey maps to greatness by modern Nigerian women including Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Ibukun Awosika, Amina Mohammed amongst other successful women who the girls were encouraged to emulate as role figures.
Furthermore, guide was provided to participants to write future ambitions and outline steps on actualization which should be driven by imagination identified as power that would propel their efforts to emergence as global giants in critical sectors and endeavors in the ICT, oil and gas, agriculture, food, commerce, fashion, manufacturing, politics, aviation etc.
Guests at the closing ceremony included the Deputy Governor of Ondo State Hon. Lucky Ayedatiwa who represented the State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), Minister for Science and Technology Senator Adeleke Olorunimbe Mamora, a billionaire business mogul Chief Jimoh Ibrahim etc, all took turns to commend the founder for demonstration of exceptional foresight and efforts in human capacity development, while also urging the girls to take advantage of the skills, competencies and the ICT tools they have been empowered with to make difference as they are sent-forth on a journey to positively impact the world.
In a parting remark, an obviously emotion laden Founder Chief Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu fondly called Mama BEMORE, Mama Digital, Mama BRECAN, Mama SOLAYO etc, encouraged the girls to improve on the knowledge and moral standards which they have imbibed in the course of the training. She reteirated that the girls have become forces and agents of positive change, who should not fail to speak up wherever evil is observed in the society.
I would attempt to conclude with the undergoing; Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has proven to be a rare gem, a game changer and a woman of uncommon vision with determination to raise an army of young global citizens equipped with new thinking, innovative approach and high capacity for problem solving, job creation, wealth generation being precursors to guarantee the takeoff and emergence of a more robust, sustainable development and transformation in Nigeria. I call on everyone to be part of this positive history.
Writing from Akure, Ondo State – Nigeria is;
Pst. Iyke Onuoha
Msc, PhD(in view)
Resource Person BEMORE 2022.