Being the address of the First Lady of Ondo State and Founder of Bemore Empowered Girls’ Foundation, Her Excellency, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, at the Closing Ceremony of Bemore Ondo 2023, holding at Mabest Academy, Oke-Ijebu, Akure, Ondo State.
Distinguished Guests from far and near. The Bemore Family. Ladies and Gentlemen. Permit me to stand on a well established protocol.
It feels great to welcome you all to the valedictory ceremony for #BemoreOndo2023.
The last two weeks have been truly eventful. These freshly-minted Bemore champions are the beautiful products of our rigour in the last two weeks. They have been carefully moulded in line with Bemore Standard and I can tell you for free that this is another BREED WITHOUT GREED.
Having given them the best in the various spheres, it is time to formally release them to take on the world.
While all Bemore girls are very dear to me, let me note that the 2023 set occupies a peculiar place in my heart for personal reasons, and as such, I look forward to seeing them achieve special wins.
It may interest you all to know that, since the founding of Bemore Summer Boot Camp, six years ago, this is the only edition, in the series, that I was not physically part of its making. And, perhaps, this explains why I consider the set as unique in a way.
Let me say, however, to my new Bemore Techy Girls, that, you may have missed grandma’s physical warmth on your arrival in the camp; you may have missed bonding with me on the Yoga mat or missed having to watch and cheer you on the day you played friendly football match with the Sunshine Queens. And you won!
Bemore is increasingly becoming a breeding ground for future female footballers. Ondo State Sports Council should take note. You may even be missing me on this day, your graduation day, to share the dance stage with you for the valedictory dance; but be assured that I am greatly celebrating you right here in Germany, thanks to digital technology. Nevertheless, you will all dance with grandma again.
Reiterating the good job Bemore was set out to do, we have built another batch of builders. Our primary business has been about giving a head start. Bemore thrives on building capacities as well as building lives. We have since built sturdy bridges across ethnic, religious and economic boundaries by turning lives around and yearly enlarging our empire of female champions. Over the years, we have built incredible talents in solar technology, ICT and nurtured a culture of entrepreneurial adventure. And as we build, we give them out as bricks for building a virile, fair and gender balanced society. Having built over three thousand vibrant young women who are making waves on different fronts around the world, it is only ideal to build for these geniuses a place they all can call a home; a befitting edifice where the generations of Bemore girls would freely meet, interact and make things happen.
We are therefore calling on all well meaning citizens, government, corporate bodies, donor agencies to join us in building a home, our own Jerusalem, for these problem solvers; to join us in securing a lustrous legacy that will outlive us all and last for generations.
It will interest you to note that land has been acquired at Emure-Ile, along Owo road, and the designs are ready. Please, check out the designs, well displayed on the bill boards for you to appreciate and make commitments. I, therefore call on you, my friends, associates and political enthusiasts, to join hands with me in erecting enduring halls, hostels etc that would stand as a memorabilia in your honour when we have all gone; to donate structures in your names that would remind the world into the far future of what roles you played in the struggle for the emancipation of the girl child in this nation and the continent even when we are no longer here.
This is the clarion call we all need to heed to help the girl children to soar above primordial limitations, to restore abundant pride to the female folk; to give girls renewed sense of self and a worthier future, and to build a gender-fair country that we all can be proud of.
As I crave your sincere support and commitment towards the success of this illustrious project, individually, as government and corporate bodies, I would like to mention that we have a goal to hold the next Bemore boot camp at the permanent site, and we believe that this is achievable with your kind support.
As I thank all persons and bodies who have variously contributed to the success of the 2023 Bemore Summer Boot Camp, may I appreciate in a special way, Mabest Academy, our host for Bemore Summer Bootcamp for two consecutive editions that facilitated a hitch free stay on their premises. As we plan to build a permanent site for Bemore, the role Mabest Academy played in the success of Bemore Summer Bootcamp will remain unforgettable and evergreen.
May I add, that the last two weeks have been a show of love by our technical partners – Ashdam solar and Matrix Technologies, matrons, assistant matrons and facilitators for the development of the Nigerian girl-child.
Though the training was designed to be intensive and can sometimes be stressful like waking up at 5am for jogging and exercise, we also made learning to be fun and the outcome has been positive and remarkable.
I am yet to receive any expression of regret from Bemore girls, parents or sponors for participating in Bemore Summer Bootcamp since its inception in 2017! So na carry go be dat!
Lastly, I join the Bemore family to remind my brand new Bemore Techy Girls of the need to keep your heads high up; of the beauty of being women on your own terms; of the primacy of deploying the skills acquired to live above board and help humanity and of the special joy in giving back to your community like the Bemore Sister’s Network is doing. Go ye to the world and conquer! Grandma loves you all.
Thank you for listening!