Group trains indigent Nigerian girls


Girl Engineers

Educating Nigeria Girls In New Enterprise (ENGINE), a Non-Governmental Organisation, has embarked on the training of young Nigerian girls between the ages of 16-19 with a view to empowering them to be self-employed, be useful to themselves and the society.

The programme manager of the organisation for Lagos State, Mrs. Ayodele Fajemibola, said ENGINE discovered that girls, especially those in the northern parts of the country, do not stay in school to successfully complete their education to obtain their certificate.

According to her, the reasons for the high rate of dropout could be traced to lack of qualified teachers in some very important subjects like English, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Biology.

She said ENGINE, which is funded by DFID (Department for International Development) and Coca Cola in collaboration with Nike Foundation and awarded to Mercy Corps Nigeria for implementation, is currently focusing on four states in the country namely: – Kano, Kaduna, FCT and Lagos.

She said the training had been on since the past nine months and the girls that successfully completed the exercise graduated on July 29. “They were taught so many things like business education, sex education, home-keeping and how to save money,” she said, adding that, the organisation enrolled 4,350 girls, but that out of these, 1,450 dropped out and the remaining 2,900 that completed the training were empowered.

An official of the Agency for Mass Education, Mr. Kemi Odusanya, said they were ready to give a second chance to the successful participants that are still interested in furthering their education up to secondary school level.

Also, it was disclosed that Coca Cola was willing to assist in empowering 1,100 of the girls. The remaining girls, who are below 18 years of age that wish to learn a vocation had been taken to some specialists in the fields of their interest to serve as their mentors even including WAPA (Women Affairs for Poverty Alleviation).

Some of the girls, who testified that they have gained so much from the training, said it enabled them to know a lot of things, including the boosting of their self-esteem, enhancement of their confidence that they can, with boldness, come out of their shell to say what they want even in good English.

They said they had been empowered through the provision of businesses that have made them now to be independent. Even some parents of the participants were not left out in expressing gratitude to the programme facilitators.

There was this pathetic story of a widow, whose first daughter is physically challenged. She said she was always sad seeing her in that condition, so much so that she doesn’t always allow her to go out because of the way people always look at her somehow.

According to her, she, at first, objected when they came to her that her daughter should join the programme but they insisted and she is happy now that the girl has improved a lot and she is ready to face any challenge.

To crown it all, the girl is the one providing money for her to feed now. Many other people also expressed their appreciation for the programme because it is very good and beneficial for young girls.

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