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Every Child Matters Africa mentors schoolgirls in Ibadan

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
19 November 2022   |   4:04 am
A non-governmental organisation, Every Child Matters Africa, which is committed to providing an enabling environment for the African child to thrive and flourish, has hosted the first-ever game-inspired mentorship session in Ibadan, Oyo State.

A non-governmental organisation, Every Child Matters Africa, which is committed to providing an enabling environment for the African child to thrive and flourish, has hosted the first-ever game-inspired mentorship session in Ibadan, Oyo State.

Themed ‘Next Generation Girls – Lean In’, the event, which held recently at The American Corner, Ibadan, hosted 30 schoolgirls and nine female leaders in a five-hour mentorship session.

Speaking at the event, Founder of the organisation, Olamide Akin-Alabi, said: “The mentors at this event were carefully selected. They are phenomenal women who have consistently shaped and contributed to the growth and development of the girl child across Nigeria.

“These mentors have inspirational stories to share with us. And stories have a way of changing our lives, molding our worldview, which invariably affects the decisions we make.”

She described the girls at the event as power girls with talents and gifts that could improve the quality of their lives as well as their communities.

The girls present were a cross-representation of different schools and Homes in Ibadan, including Victorious Bright Star Group of Schools, Oritamefa Baptist Model School, Oba Abass Aleshinloye Grammar School, Deril Academy, His Heritage Home and The Destiny Trust.

Attendees were selected through an essay-application system, which required that they write essays on this year’s theme for the International Day of the Girl-Child, ‘Our Time is Now; Our Rights, Our Future.’

Those who mentored the girls at the session were drawn from all walks of life. Among them were the Founder, Muazu Africa, Tolulope Makinwa; Director, Large Heart Foundation, Dr. Sade Adedoyin; Group General Manager, Academy Suites and Resource, Olajumoke Caxton-Martins; teen advocate, author and radio host, Tolu Adisa; award-winning broadcaster and author, Ronke Giwa-Onafuwa; Lead Coach, Becoming You Academy, Aderonke Ojumu; Director, His Heritage Home, Temiloluwa Moronkeji and Lead Consultant, Purple Bloom Publishers, Adejoke Oyekan.

The mentors generally spoke about the challenges they had faced in their lives and careers and how they were able to overcome them. Some of them also spoke about their childhood experiences and how such experiences influenced their work.

During the board game session, the girls were paired with mentors and had intense conversations as they progressed through the Child’s Right Awareness Game – the novel board game created by Akin-Alabi. Overall, the girls were encouraged to embrace hard work, patience, reading culture, and good self-esteem, among others.

Speaking on their experience at the event, the girls stated that it was inspiring and life changing, adding that they had a renewed conviction that there was no challenge too difficult to overcome.

To wrap up the event, the best three essays were awarded The Mariam Olafuyi Award for Next Generation Leaders.

Poet and founder of The Black’s Girl Dream Initiative, Karimot Odebode, anchored the award session, noting that the award was named after the trailblazer and founder of GetIN Education Consulting, Mariam Olafuyi, for her model of excellence.

Ololade Onigbinde came first in the competition; Tamunobelema Brown came second while Precious Odusola came third.