- It Has Justified Its Charge, Founder Says
Bemore Summer Boot Camp for Naija girls has been described as the most potent machinery ever deployed in Ondo State by a First Lady to impact on the totality of the girl child.
The Acting Governor of Ondo State, Hon Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, gave this stance while delivering his address during the Opening Ceremony of the 2023 Bemore Summer Boot Camp, held at Mabest Academy, Oke-Ijebu, Akure, Ondo State Capital.
He said: “From all indications, this appears to be the most potent machinery ever
deployed in Ondo State by a First Lady to impact on the totality of the girl child. This is a bold and impactful initiative focusing on transforming the girl child and promoting the principle of gender balancing.
Aiyedatiwa, who chaired the Opening Ceremony, said the girl child in Nigeria has been confronted with sundry challenges, including sexual abuse, lack of education, gender-based violence, religious and cultural biases, child marriage, discrimination, under-nourishment and genital mutilation. He however noted that Bemore initiative has turned out as one of the most successful ideas that have conquered the whole culture of ‘boys preference’ and ‘girl aversion’.
Meanwhile, the wife of Ondo State Governor and founder of Bemore Empowered Girls’ Foundation, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has averred that Bemore has justified its charge with the performances its products over the years.
In her address titled “Consolidating the Bemore Achievements” which she delivered virtually, Mrs Akeredolu said: “We have justified our charge with the Bemore performances over the years. The strides of our ambassadors are living testimonies of what Bemore has done and what Bemore can do. Thus far, we have convincingly demonstrated the fact that educating the girl child is not a waste.
“In these last six, fulfilling years, I have taught the Bemore girls how to do it. I have given depictive examples of what it means to have the courage of one’s conviction. I have proven to them the wonders of imagination and the beauty of being a woman on one’s own terms; of achieving one’s hearty goals and of holding up one’s head amidst storms.”
According to the governor’s wife, Bemore set out in 2017 to close the widened gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Entrepreneurship (STEM+E) by empowering young Nigerian girls in critical areas of science and technology while creating opportunities to help them improve on their lives and make meaningful contribution to the socio-economic development of their respective communities.
“We have had five outstanding editions of Bemore boot camps, with great successes. We have given to the world rare gifts of female champions who are making waves as solar energy queens, ICT experts and sought-after young entrepreneurs. Through Bemore, we have successfully raised about three thousand girls as ‘special breed without greed’. The First Lady said.
Mrs Akeredolu who appreciated citizens, corporate organisations and government representatives for their continued show of support,
appealed to parents, critical stakeholders and the Bemore family to continue to work heartily towards sustaining the enviable standard that Bemore represents to the society.
She charged the new Bemore girls to be up and doing, saying: “You are in every way lucky to have been chosen to be part of this unique platform which ultimately gives you the opportunity to join the league of problem solvers that the world direly awaits.
“Those who came ahead of you have proven that it is possible to change your trajectory of life for good and also move ahead to become change agents within the two weeks of your training in the Bemore boot camp. I am confident that you can equally do well here in the camp and proceed to the larger society to do exploits.”
The Guest Lecturer, Dr Mbang Kooffreh-Ada, who spoke on the topic: ‘Addressing Nutrition and Food Security in Nigeria: A Call for Action’, noted that a healthy population is a precondition for meaningful economic development.
In her words, “A healthy population is essential for economic development, as it increases productivity and reduces healthcare costs. Malnutrition, on the other hand, hinders economic development by reducing productivity, increasing healthcare burden, and perpetuating poverty. Hence, there is an urgent need to stem the negative impact of malnutrition in Nigeria among relevant stakeholders.”
story by Debo Akinbami