‘Empowering girl-children way of making them shun waywardness, irrelevances’

Mrs Juliet Keshinro, an educator and influencer recently partnered with Valentine Oluwaseyi Buraimoh (VOB) Foundation and Amuwo Odofin Local Government to empower girl-children to make them desist from waywardness and irrelevances she asserted were galvanising the society.

Keshinro said the event was organised to commemorate this year’s International Day of the Girl-Child with the theme: ‘Changing lives. One Girl at a Time’ which had over 200 secondary school pupils from about seven schools as participants, adding that the teenage girls will be enlightened on the significance of the day and why they should believe in themselves and go after their dreams, irrespective of the obstacles.

According to Mrs Keshinro, the organisation was founded to cater to the need of girls and is committed to empowering, educating and advocating for the girl-children.

“We believe in the girl-children and that every girl has a voice and should be given a chance. We know that there is a lot of subjugation in the society; we know that girls sometimes are limited because of their gender and that they are not given enough opportunity to excel.

“So what we do is to ensure that they get educated; that they have the capacity to do whatever they believe in. We teach them that their belief system is important; that they should believe in themselves that they have the capacity to be whatever they want to be.

“There is no job that is gender-based – whether engineering, architecture or plumbing; so what we say to them is that you can be the best in whatever you want to be.”

“We actually started with community outreach, and we had projects done. What we do is go into the communities; we actually started in Ajegunle in 2011. There, we found that there was the need to educate them; so we did a lot of community outreaches.

“We gathered the schools and taught different things, from skills acquisition, to conferencing. We were training them in catering, hairdressing; anything that could empower them financially. We are very particular about their passion; so what we do is to put energies into their passion, build it, and harness it, so that they can be financially empowered.”

Keshinro added “The more a girl is exposed to information, the better she becomes. That’s why we don’t stop informing them; that’s why we don’t stop talking; that’s why we don’t stop gathering.

“I particularly like this gathering, the International Day of the Girl Child; because it gives us the opportunity to educate and inform them of who they are, what they are and what they can become, irrespective of who gave birth to them, where they find themselves or their experiences in life. No room for excuses.”

Next to this programme, she said is to raise a Young and Pure Club. The club has a platform, where they communicate, send information, have timeout to talk and generally share experiences and look for ways of empowering members.

One of the success stories of the organisation, Keshinro pointed out would be Miracle, a young lady discovered from Ajegunle and empowered with catering skills who now runs a catering establishment, Mires Confectionery in Festac town.

“That’s not all, in January she’ll be graduating from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) with a degree in Business management.” Keshinro beamed.

Other highlights of the day were speeches from Mrs Piboere Okukulabe, a lawyer; Mrs Opeyemi Buraimoh, wife of the Executive Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government, who graced the event with her husband, Engineer Valentine Oluwaseyi Buraimo; Oluseyi Ramon, a former student of Keshinro and Mrs Damilola Banire, a presenter on Silverbird Television.

Okukulabe’s message revolved around the three keywords of ‘Empower, Educate and Advocate’. She told the attentive teenage girls: “Do not let anybody tell you, you cannot do it. Be self-discipline, be focused, believe in yourself and never give up.”

Appreciating the initiator for a well-conceived and well-timed programme, Engr Buraimoh, who spoke on the sideline at the event, said, “God created the girl child specially. Without them, the world is not complete.

“Every government that wants to do well must make sure that our mothers, our sisters; our young girls are given roles as they grow in life.”

To the young girls, he said, “There is no limit to what a girl child can become in life. Discover yourself at a younger age and have the will power to actualise your dream or who you want to be in life. Nobody can stop you; even your gender cannot stop your aspiration in life.”


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