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BA partners pearl Africa on girl child empowerment


Adetutu Otuyalo, Corporate Sales Manager, British Airways (left); Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin, Founder, Pearl Africa Foundation and Kola Olayinka, Regional Commercial Manager for West Africa during the donation of laptops and desktops to the foundation in Lagos

As part of its commitment to contribute towards the development of the next generation of leaders, British Airways recently supported the Pearl Africa Foundation, a non-profit organisation on its GirlsCoding initiative, by donating laptops and desktops to aide in their training program for young girls.

Speaking at the presentation, BA Regional Commercial Manager for West Africa, Kola Olayinka, remarked that the initiative is in line with the company’s vision to empower the younger generation. “Being in operations globally for a century and in Nigeria for 83 years, British Airways is committed to making an impact in communities where it operates. We see this as an opportunity to empower the girl child and encourage them to follow their passion. We are committed to helping the next generation of Nigerians with access to resources to help them be the best that they can be and be able to give back to their society in future.”

He applauded Pearl Foundation for the initiative and what it has been able to achieve thus far. He went on to encourage the students studying at the centre to remain steadfast in what they do and be open to learning more to achieve a bright future for themselves.

The GirlsCoding is an intense program organised for young girls aged between 10 to 17 years, living in underserved communities in Nigeria. The program aims to train them in computer, robotics and web development skills, with a learning process in basic programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Python.

The Foundation promotes the cause and advancement of vulnerable girls and women through different projects and mentoring opportunities for the purpose of economic independence.While commending BA for the donation, the founder of Pearl Foundation and CNN Hero 2018, Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin, stated, “we want them to have a different life regardless of their background and be able to achieve economic independence.”

“We believe it’s important for young girls to know how to be creators of technology and not just mere users and consumers. Over 400 girls have been successfully trained to gain economic independence through technology and become problem solvers in their different communities,” she added.

Some of the projects solely built by these girls include Makoko Fresh, an ecommerce platform that connects buyers of seafood to the fishermen who live in Makoko; Break the Blade, an advocacy tool which aims to sensitise people on the negativity of the Female Genital Mutilation and Hope Basket, a project built to serve as a middlemen collecting from the more fortunate and giving to the less privileged.

GirlsCoding continues to expand and has brought its initiatives to various communities, some of which include; GirlsCoding Makoko, GirlsCoding IDP Camp and GirlsCoding Jos.BA is currently celebrating its centenary year and is dedicated to the growth and development of the future generation.


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