By Mary Agidi

The wife of the Ondo State Governor and Founder of BEMORE Empowered Initiative, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu has described the initiative as the only way to foster a new era of gender equality, equity, in order to combat feminized poverty.

According to her, the two weeks BEMORE Summer Bootcamp for Girls naija was aimed at catching the girls young to change unfavourable gender perceptions that relegate women to the background as mere second-class humans in almost every sphere of life.

Mrs. Akeredolu who said this at an event tagged: “Keeping up with BEMORE Girls in the COVID-19 Era”, held at the Government house Ground Alagbaka Akure the state capital, reiterated her commitment to empower girl-child in all spheres of life in order to engender self-awareness of womenfolks and equip them to fight feminized poverty.

She reemphasised the advantage of training a girl child, while describing women as natural caregivers who must be empowered if a nation must defeat poverty.

She explained that the three years old BEMORE programme through which over 1000 girls had been trained is a seed sown to bring positive revolution and change about the societal position about a female child.

She said: “The BEMORE Academy is a school of life. Our girls receive training on many diverse life enhancing themes such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), health and environment, taekwondo (self-defence), and several entrepreneurial and vocational skills like bead making, shoe making, gele and make-over, tailoring and fashion designing, confectionary, and lots more.

“The STEM training focuses on basic renewable energy modules (solar panel construction and installation) and Information and communication technology (basic computer appreciation, coding, gaming, etc.).

“Every BEMORE girl leaves training camp with a brand new ideology and perspective to life as a girl child, and is now ready to confront and overcome societal limitations and leapfrog all gender related obstacles to the development of the girl child. This is the BEMORE legacy”.

Mrs Akeredolu who said she was delighted to hear from the girls during the lockdown via zoom expressed joy to hear how they utilised the Covid-19 break by putting into use, all the trainings they acquired at the BEMORE Summer Bootcamp.

The BEMORE Girls shared testimonies of their achievements during the COVID-19 lockdown as they put into use the skills they acquired at the bootcamp.

The event featured demonstration of Taekwondo knockouts, one of the skills they acquired at the bootcamp as a self-defence against rape.