By Patrick Ochei
The 2022 International Day of the Girl Child has received a boost just as a Non Governmental Organisation under the aegis of Courageous Girls, Women and Children Initiative convened about 100 girls in Asaba, Delta State with a view to train, certify, equip and productively engage them in Solar Technology.
The programme which was tagged “The Girl Child Tech Project – Energize Naija” was launched in commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child with an orientation on how girls should refocus their attention from the belief that they are the weaker vessels to a special breed of humans that are aggressively intelligent and energetic to achieve excellent results in life.
In her address of welcome, the Convener and CEO of the Courageous Girls, Women and Children Initiative, Ayovuata Courage Uyoyou welcomed guests and participants, thereby giving the history of the group as dated back to 2019 when the first edition of such programme was launched.
She affirmed that the Girl Child Tech Project is an initiative of the CGWCI, designed to support and connect the next generation of African Girls to become experts in technology and engineering by equipping them with relevant knowledge and technical skills to become Solar Energy Installation/Maintenance Technicians.
Ayovuata stated that the programme is a masterclass for the African Girl, designed to run from October 2022 – April 2023, maintaining that it is an empowerment which puts the Girl Child in the forefront of becoming renowned in technology.
The Convener further posited that at the end of the training session, the earmarked 100 beneficiaries would be empowered with business start-ups to successfully begin their careers as Solar Energy Technicians, including other benefits such as becoming certified renewable energy experts, empowered with business start-up kits, become partners with MitchelEE Engineering Integrated Services for a period of one year to master the skills and earn in the process.
Spelling out the goals of the programme, Ayovuata stressed that it is aimed to empower the Nigerian girls to enable them achieve their individual potentials and contribute to the economy while also reducing vices in our society; and of course, to join the Federal Government of Nigeria in the energy transition drive of zero emission by 2060.
In a nutshell, Ayovuata urged the girls to “become everything you are capable of, being the best version of yourself revolves around identifying the specifics of who you are, and what you are wired for, in order to harness your innate abilities and reach your full potential. It is about purpose and fulfillment which are the pillars for socioeconomic sustainability and survival”.
In her goodwill message as the Royal Mother of the Day, the Omu Anioma, HRM Obi Martha Dunkwu sang the ‘buga’ song for the girls before defining the Girl Child as the female child that is full of potentials just as she is created to fulfill her purpose on earth.
She equally told them her life’s story, how she was born poor and how she was determined to change the narrative surrounding her with the courage to redefine her birth story and family lineage.
Her words, “I sacrificed my life to lift my family out of poverty. It’s a man’s world, but we must find our purpose in creation. You must take seriously what you have come here to learn today, because in the long run, it will give you the power and self esteem that you need to face the world”.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Fight Against Desert Encroachment (FADE), otherwise known as the Desert Warrior, Chief Newton Jibunoh who was represented by Mr. Okeze Odugala, praised the courage of the organisers of the programme and the will power on the part of the participants to undertake such venture, promising to support them to achieve success in the end.
The Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Flora Alatan who was represented also, stated that such initiative would help to curb vulnerability of the Girl Child to human trafficking and other social vices, thereby urging well meaning individuals to ensure that the girl child is properly developed to achieve her full potentials.
The Accountant General of the State, Mrs. Joy Enwa encouraged the participating girls to endeavour to lift the banner of hardwork and zeal to accomplish success through the platform provided by the Girl Child Tech Project.
However, to properly equip them with the knowledge of what they stand to benefit if they applied the right attitude to the training, the Delta State Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Chris Uche Anyabuine first educated them on the statutory mandate of NOA.
He said, “Our duty as National Orientation Agency is to sensitize the citizens on the policies and programmes of government in line with our values, towards changing attitudes to help achieve positive lifestyle. Our attitudes and values matter in life and our country has set them out as core values in our Constitution, to guide our daily conducts and obligations to our society. Such include Discipline, Integrity, Dignity of Labour, Self Reliance and Social Justice.
“You are not second fiddle being girls, so don’t play second fiddle because your role is to nurture humanity to become better. The country needs you and all you can contribute as mothers to make it better for the entire humanity that lives in it”, Anyabuine posited.
Other personalities who graced the occasion also included a Catholic Reverend Sister, Rev. Mother Lauretta Elechukwu, the Secretary of Delta State Council of NUJ, Comrade Patrick Ochei, the Delta State NAWOJ Chairman, Comrade Sonia Unobunjo, the Vice Chairman of NAWOJ, Comrade Ruth Omigie and many others.