Stories by Stanley Onyekwere
A non governmental organisation, Helpline Foundation for the Needy has scaled up advocacy for the empowerment of vulnerable children, with the successful hosting of her second edition of “Girl Realize your Potentials 2018 Summit.”
Our correspondent reports that the summit had no fewer than 150 female students drawn from both public and private schools in the nation’s capital, Abuja.The event featured mentorship session Girls parliament Sitting, public presentation of the smart Girls Guide and lots more.
The organisers of the summit, on the heels of the 2018 Children’s Day celebration, said the event was to provide a platform for young Nigerian girls to realize their potentials in a male dominated society.
Speaking to journalists at the end of the event, the founder of Helpline Foundation, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, revealed that the “Girl Realize your Potentials Project”, is an initiative aimed at bringing young school age girls in the Federal Capital Territory in contact with older women who have braved the odds and challenges posed by the society and become successful in their chosen fields of endeavor.
Ahmadu, stressed that female students need mentorship in their chosen careers to avoid pitfalls, noting that the era of ignorance where teenage girls were betrothed have gone.
“Today’s event is very instructive because of the caliber of women that share their experiences with the girls and provide guidance, motivation, emotional support and mentorship to the girls.
“At the end of this summit, they will realized that every girl has the power and potential to transform her life regardless of where she was born, challenges she has faced and those she is currently facing. And with the right environment, the girl child can reach her potentials and rise above all issues,” Ahmadu affirmed.
Speaking on the benefit of the maiden edition, she revealed that the 1st edition exposed the foundation to the plight of some of these young girls in their quest for a better future and the need for individuals, corporate organizations and government to collaborate and provide the much needed socio-economic support for the advancement of the cause of the girl-child.
According to her, “the maiden edition exposed us to the plight of some of these young girls. We discovered a girl who started masturbation at the tender age of 8 years and how she was stigmatized by her school.
“There are more or worse cases of such vices among our female students who are more vulnerable in the society. Therefore, there is urgent need to educate young girls on their rights and opportunities available to them for growth and to provide a platform for interaction among the girls for a better society.”
She, therefore, called on corporate and humanitarian organizations with interest in issues of the girl child, top government functionaries from across Nigeria, female innovators, wives of heads of government agencies and parastatals and members of the diplomatic communities to support the initiative.
Earlier, the guest speaker and Director, Human Resource Development in FCT Administration, Hajiya Amina Abubakar, charged students to guard against drug abuse and emulates genuine mentors in society.
Abubakar, who told participants of her life experience, also enjoined them to be hardworking and dedicated to their studies in their chosen career.
“Keep away from drugs abuse, as once one starts, the person cannot control it
Study and read hard, in order to be successful in life..
“Don’t allow anyone to influence you negatively, but always look out for persons with impeccable character for mentorship,” she stressed.