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By: Ade Adeleke
As the World continue to battle coronavirus pandemic with its harsh effects of the lockdown on people globally, the Ondo state First lady, Mrs Betty Anyanwu–Akeredolu at the weekend expressed delight that her vision of training BEMORE Girls in critical areas of life now serving as impetus of tackling the COVID-19 lockdown challenges.
The Digital first lady noted that with everybody lockdown at home without religious, political, academic and social activities, the trainings of the secondary school girls by her office in ICT, solar panel designing and skills in games of teakwondo would help them overcome some of the challenges of the lockdown.
Mrs Anyanwu gave this indication on Saturday when addressing the Virtual Meeting of BEMORE Girls via zoom.
ICT is being used to carry out some activities during this lockdown including online teaching, virtual meetings while solar technology skills are being used to make solar phone charger and solar panel to provide electricity at homes and teakwondo skill was used to prepare the BEMORE GIRLS against rape.
The virtual parley tagged, “An Evening with BEMORE GIRLS”, Mrs. Akeredolu, the founder of the Summer Bootcamp, expressed her happiness, after listening to the progress made by the girls with the skills they acquired through the two weeks intensive training, as most of them have become entrepreneurs, making profits to assist their families while on the COVID-19 unexpected holiday.
She highlighted such challenges as rape, violence against women, sexual health and ICT challenges.
The First Lady counselled the BEMORE girls to brace up to tackle the developmental predicaments of the third world nations like Nigeria.
Mrs Akeredolu who noted that the knowledge acquired by the girls in ICT was a solid foundation and background to get them prepared to addressing various challenges facing underdeveloped countries like Nigeria.
The Governor’s wife noted that she saw a vision without going to the mountain that the world would need some of the trainings she had given the girls, had become very essential to cope with the lockdown.
According to Mrs Akeredolu, she saw the vision coming by initiating the BEMORE ideas where the girls were trained on ICT, saying no one had the clue that there would be a time like this when normal lifestyle would be destabilised.
The first Lady explained that she summoned the online meeting to check on the welfare of the girls and encourage them to be more productive during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Mrs. Akeredolu, who described the girls as the future technological leaders, said, aside being a techy stuff, the Summer Bootcamp also taught them how to live a healthy lifestyle, practice personal hygiene, and taught them that they can become change agents in their environments regardless of the fact that they were females.
She added that the camp served as a discovery ground where most hidden talents were discovered from the girls, most of which were now showcasing extraordinary performances with the skills and talents.
She implored them to observe precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic, saying it’s good to be alive to share the experience.
Earlier, the Matron of the BEMORE initiative, Mrs. Elizabeth Akpan said the camp was a University of Life, noting that the girls had participated in technovation competitions abroad, had created websites, and had been trained to be courageous and admit they could BE MORE than what the society make them.
According to Mrs Akpan, the online meeting had participants from all over the country, most resident in Ondo state, adding that over 1000 secondary school girls had benefited from the initiative of Mrs Akeredolu.
Sharing her experience at home, Prisca Ojukwu appreciated Akeredolu for the opportunity to achieve her dream of becoming an Artist, saying she can now draw the portrait of whoever she wishes.
Another BEMORE girl, Oluwaseun from Okitipupa on her part, said she has been making facemasks, while another BEMORE girl from Ilaje shared how she has been making profit through tying of Gele which they were taught at the Bootcamp.
Another participant in the program, Christiana Madu, displayed the projects she executed by turning waste to wealth and make decoration flower vase; while Fikunmi Fademi explained how she use the laptop received during the Bootcamp to create game Applications through Coding.
The conference video call was the maiden edition that the wife of the Ondo state governor would be having with BEMORE Girls since the lockdown occasioned by the pandemic COVID-19.
Some of the girls also showcased to Mrs Anyanwu- Akeredolu various craft works such as making of facemasks and headgear among others things which they have engaged themselves while home due to the corona virus pandemic.