By Emmanuel Okara
Lagos – Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN), an NGO, says the aim of its just-ended 2017 Leadership Achievement Empowerment and Development (LEAD) Camp is to develop the leadership skills of 50 outstanding senior secondary school girls from across Nigeria.
The Executive Director of JAN, Mrs Simi Nwogugu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos that the one week programme exposed the girls to viable entrepreneurial skills.
NAN reports that the mission of the LEAD Camp is to nurture young girls to become high-achieving women leaders, while addressing Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5.
The SDG’s are Gender Equality and Empowerment of women and girls.
In order to achieve this, the participants, assembled from different parts of the country, were taken through series of activities supported by leading women from the private and public sectors serving as mentors.
The programme included workshops on important topics such as career planning, financial literacy,o personal hygiene and sexual reproductive health.
Renowned women and business leaders like Mrs Opunimi Akinkugbe, an expert in personal finance, were among the people who mentored the girls from July 9 to July 15 at the Pelican Hotel, Lekki.
The executive director added that that there was never a dull moment during the entire camp.
“We ran empowerment and development sessions during the camp and gave the girls practical opportunities to achieve success in the media mentors’ projects and during their field trips with Union Bank, Andela and Silverbird Television.
“The girls also created what we hope are lifelong friendships with the other camp participants. Friendships that we hope will help them chart their individual paths to success,’’ she said
On the criteria used to select the participants, Nwogugu told NAN that a two-step selection process was adopted.
“In order for a girl to qualify for LEAD camp, she must have participated in JA Nigeria’s Company programme in her school which is open to both boys and girls.
“They must have held key positions within the company.
“Girls from the company’s programme are then invited to participate in an essay competition to be selected to attend LEAD Camp.
“The girls also need to demonstrate high achievement by providing their last term’s report as well as a letter of support from either the teacher or JAN volunteer in their schools,’’ she said.
On subsequent editions of the camp, Nwaogugu said it could hold in other parts of the country, stressing that the aim was to bring girls to meet with extraordinary female leaders.
“It will be hosted wherever we can do that across Nigeria,’’ the JAN executive director added.
NAN reports that Junior Achievement Worldwide (JAWW) started operations in Nigeria in 1999, becoming the first registered non-profit organisation with private sector board of directors.
JA Nigeria offers free economic education programmes tailored for primary students through National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) programme and has reached 650, 000 students nationwide.
The programmes are built on JAN’s three Pillars for success: Financial Literacy, Work Readiness and Entrepreneurship. (NAN)