Bank partners JAN to empower girl child

Girl-child. PHOTO: voanews

Demonstrating its commitment to empowering the Nigerian girl-child, Union Bank has partnered with Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN), to organise the annual LEAD Camp; a week-long programme designed to identify, convene and coach exceptional female students from across Nigeria.

Head of Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Union Bank, Lolade Awogbade, said the firm’s support for and its focus on women is to ensure inclusive economic growth.

“As a bank, we have not ignored the fact that it is girls who grow up to be women, and so when we talk about leadership, we believe we should catch them young. That is why we started the LEAD Camp programme. The camp brings in young girls who have shown to be exceptionally bright,” she added.

Awogbade noted that the girls are also trained on career skills, and are given the right support system to help them make the right decisions in their personal and professional life.

“Four years ago, we started working with the girls and after the first camp, we realise we can’t just let them go. We then started mentorship programmes to guide the girls through an informal arrangement. The idea is for the girls to always have an older woman as a guidance counsellor,” she added.

Speaking on the programme, Executive Director, JAN Nigeria, Simi Nwogugu, said the LEAD Camp prepares girls to be agents of positive change.

“We now have several LEAD Camp alumni doing amazing things from running businesses to non-profit organisations to make the world a better place. On behalf of our stakeholders and Board of Directors, we wish to extend our sincere gratitude to Union Bank for continuing to partner with us to make this life-changing impact on our outstanding girls,” Nwogugu said.

The mission of LEAD Camp is to inspire and empower young girls to become excellent leaders. To achieve this mission, participants are taken through a series of activities including leadership workshops, panel sessions and media projects administered by HOD Consulting, a global leadership development company that serves Fortune 500 companies in the United States and Nigeria.

The girls have the opportunity to engage in enlightening discussions with Union Bank employees and other leading women from both the private and public sectors in Nigeria. They also participate in conceptualisation and development sessions to discuss critical issues such as career, financial literacy and health, including sexual reproductive health.

For the past 18 years, JAN has curated the event to nurture young girls in Nigeria on their journey to becoming successful women. This year will be no different as fifty girls are expected to be hosted at the camp from the 7th to 13th of July 2019, for the initiative sponsored by Union Bank.

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