Sunday, 6 March 2022

Girls Leading Africa Empowers 28 Rural Girls with Vocational Skills and Starter Kits

Ukorebi Esien | 6th March 2022

With a definite vision of developing girls and young mothers in rural communities, Girls Leading Africa (GLA) has after one year of intensive training, graduated the first batch of young girls trained in various vocational and interpersonal skills, setting them up with starter kits to take responsibility for their lives and community.  

Speaking during the graduation ceremony held in Akpap Okoyong, in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State, Nigeria, where 28 girls and young mothers were presented with certificate of training and starter kits, Giftie Umo, the Founder and Executive Director, Girls Leading Africa, Nigeria said GLA was set up to reduce the challenges faced by many girls in accessing and completing education as well as create economic opportunities and resources for girls and women, especially those in rural communities.

Umo who was represented by Funlola Ojo, a member the Board of Trustees of Girls Leading Africa admonished the twenty eight graduands to be good ambassadors of GLA while ensuring they positively impact their immediate community with the skills and knowledge acquired. 

Speaking with newsmen, Ojo disclosed that GLA is intentionally empowering the girl child to reduce over dependency.

Her words: "...Most organizations will just come and all they do is motivational talks. So we're looking for a different way where the children will go back and say ok, I'm self-employed and also create a ripple effect to other girls.

 "...most of them depend on their male counterparts to feed and to clothe them; the reason behind the teenage pregnancy. But look at it today, if I am able to have something to do for myself, there will be no need depending on a man. Even if you will have reason to, but it will be minimal because you know what you're asking a man for. The mentality we are creating for the girls is that: if you're making money you won't be thinking of sleeping with a man for money."

In her keynote speech, Mrs Margaret Udo, the Human Resources Officer of Girls Power Initiative admonished parents, guardians, the church and even the community to always endeavour to give equal opportunities to their children be it male or female, in education, job placement, leadership roles etc. Stating that this will make the society a better place. She also advised the graduands to maximally utilize the skills and knowledge gained in the course of their training and endeavour to pass same down to other girls within their various communities.

Chief Ekpo Okon, a community leader who was in company of other chiefs to grace the event, expressed satisfaction at the level of work carried out by Girls Leading Africa, stating that there is so much transformation in the girls, and admonished the girls to be good ambassadors of the organization and the Akpap Okoyong community.

"So far, I am encouraged by what I have seen. If we continue with this kind of program we will help raise a future for our younger ones. The graduates should find commitment in what they are doing and once they do, they can excel". He expressed.

The event featured presentation of certificates, presentation of start-up equipment for best graduating students, cultural display, and group photographs.

About Girls Leading Africa

Girls Leading Africa is a non-profit organization that has a twofold purpose. It seeks to accelerate the development of communities by providing girls and young mothers access to quality education and equipping them with vocational and interpersonal skills to take responsibility for their lives and community. 

Our vision is to be a lens that diminishes stereotypes, preparing girls to become Nation-builders and a mission to equip them with the skills and educational support necessary for personal growth and community development through Afterschool and vocational training programs.

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