Friday, 7 August 2020

Global Girl Project: The Making of Change makers

For six weeks, some girls in Ijegun Community had been given a life-long opportunity to learn from home and abroad, being part of the Global Girl Project, a partnership with Bestspring Foundation. The girls took part in the Blended Learning Leadership Initiative having gone through different stages of training on topics such as:
  1. Who Is A Leader
  2. Roles of Leaders
  3. Women who have made an impact and changes within their community.
  4. Mastering the Art of Listening, Speaking & Writing.  
  5. Online Research on a Movements in Nigeria e.g. Occupy Nigeria.
  6. Knowing your Environment and all that it entails, asking parents, leaders all around and brainstorming on the Project of Change they intend to work on.
After months of lockdown due to the pandemic, the last session and graduation party of the girls finally took place on 18th July 2020 with strict adherence with the laid down social distancing guidelines.
With many months of planning towards their final project, the girls led an Environmental Sanitation and Waste Management Movement going around on Saturday morning, from street to street, to clean the community and educate the residents and market women on the importance of hygiene and good sanitation.
The girls also educated the market women on the importance of waste management and recycle and how they can make money from plastic waste. The market women were eager to take part in the initiative and they have secured a partnership to keep their plastic waste for recycling, a move that will improve the sanitation of markets and community while getting financial benefits.
The final session had Mrs Tosin Adebowale talk to the girls on waste management with the exhibition of artwork she made with clothing waste. The girls put up a great show of confidence showing how much they have developed leading every minute of the program.
The girls also donated two waste drum to the community to further improve the sanitation of the community.
The girls gave feedback and talked about how much they have developed through the training. Some of the feedbacks are:
“Global Girl Project ha amazingly transformed my social life. I now feel comfortable talking with people. It has also created the awareness in me to become more concerned about my community and not to look away but correct any flaws I see” – Christopher Favourmary
“I’m amazed to know a girl child can be a leader. All thanks to global girls project. This program has taught me how to use my voice, to prepare leaders for tomorrow, create positive changes around and most importantly, how to be the voice to the voiceless” – Yusuf Zainab Oriyomi
Tobiloba Olowogaba said Global Girl has deepened her knowledge on relevance and the value of a Girl Child
These are some of the comments from the wonderful girls who had the opportunity to take part in this training.
The Global Girl Project continues and many of the girls in Ijegun are looking forward to being selected for the next cohort seeing how much impact the first cohort had.

Monday, 4 May 2020

JTAH Award In Honour Of Our Service To The Girl-Child

Year 2020 started on a very bright and promising note. One of the splendid news that came was the nomination of our Lead Volunteer and Executive Director at Bestspring Foundation, Mrs. Aramide Oikelome as one of the 10 Most Inspiring Women In Nigeria.
Wow! This is a huge package from JTAH Foundation. How come? What did we do to deserve such recognition and honour? According to Comrade Favour Benson, Founder and Executive Director of JTAH Foundation, the award is in recognition of the amazing work of Bestspring Foundation to educate and empower the girl-child. What a surprise? We didn’t know people outside Ijegun community have been watching and following our programs and projects at impacting the lives of girls in under-resourced communities and empowering them through education and necessary life skills.
And so, on March 20th 2020, the award ceremony held in commemoration of the International Women’s Day at Planet One, Maryland, Lagos. In attendance were eminent women and men as they discussed on the topic Raising the 21st Century Child.
Panelists at the interactive session included teachers, medical practitioners, civil servants, writers, human rights activists and professionals from different fields of endeavours. Awardees also cut across women that have made their mark as change-makers in various fields of influence, especially as it relates to empowering women and girls, alleviating poverty, protecting their lives and giving them upgrade.

Our profound appreciation to the Executive Director of JTAH Foundation and her team for this honour accorded Bestspring Foundation and the Girls Arise Initiative.

We are grateful! .

Monday, 27 April 2020

Celebrating IWD 2020 With Girls In Technology

It was a great hanging out with girls from  five secondary schools last month as we discussed the good and not too good effect of social media on today’s youths. The event was to commemorate the 2020 International Women’s day (IWD).

As a member of the Association of Orphans & Vulnerable Children NGOs In Nigeria (AONN), we had a robust interactive session with young girls as they shared their issues, their challenges and aspirations even in this digital age.

Our Journey As Change-Makers

So much has been going on with the Blended Learning Program of the Global Girl Project which started on 1st February 2020. We have had seven sessions so far as our girls have met every Saturday from 8am to 10am to learn and articulate their thoughts on what action they can take as Change-Makers in their community.

At each session, the girls watch recorded videos lectures from Julia Lynch, Founder- Global Girl Project; they work in groups to discuss the topics and then do their assignments. They also share their thoughts on happenings around them, especially as it relates to Nigeria. 

The lectures from the blended learning academy have been quite robust and engaging. They have also been highly instructive and impactful, thus changing the mindset of the girls. Between February 1st to March 21st,,  we have had eight fully loaded and exciting sessions where we treated topics such as: 
1. Who Is A Leader
2. Roles of Leaders
3. Women who have made impact and changes within their community  
4. Mastering the Act of Listening, Speaking & Writing.  
5. Online Research on a Movements in Nigeria e.g. Occupy Nigeria
6. Knowing your Environment and all that it entails, asking parents, leaders all around  and brainstorming on the Project of Change they intend to work on.
The 7th session, which was the last before the lockdown focused on our *Community Project* and a date was fixed for this

 Topic- Environmental Sanitation & Waste Management.

 Proposed date is Saturday 9th May 2020 

It is expected to be a three-hours walk and sensitization campaign round Ijegun. For this our girls intend to invite Parents, Friends, Teachers, Community Leaders, Officials from LAWMA, Police, Red Cross, Girls Guide, Doctors  & Nurses, Market Women etc. and in fact residents of the community. We are rooting for 200 youths & 50 adults. 

Hopefully, the total  number of participants expected is 250. That is if there is a reversal of the ban
on social distancing and large gatherings

For this to happen we need the following: waste basket, waste nylons, waste drums, face caps,  nose masks, hand gloves, banners, fliers, waste pickers, sanitizers, soaps etc. We also need t-shirts. food and drinks, water, music band,  ambulance, buses, snacks, hand-fans, customized souvenirs and cash for mobilizations. We need sponsorship and support both from individuals and corporate organizations that are passionate about environmental sanitation and turning waste to wealth. 

We trust that the WALK will impact the community positively and bring about transformation, especially in the area of environmental sanitation and waste management.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Global Girl Project Begins In Nigeria

Here is one of our beautiful dreams come true! Since 2016, Apinke Girls Initiative, under the able leadership of my amiable friend and Amazon; Bimbo Adegbite has partnered with Bestspring Foundation through its Girls Arise Initiative platform to mentor and support our girls. The mentoring program brought a new and positive twist to our work at Ijegun as relationship with them became more intimate, friendly, purpose-driven and result-oriented. With the support and encouragement of Mentors from Apinke Girls Initiative, our girls began to access and harness better opportunities for all-round growth and success.
And so, sometime in August 2019, Bimbo introduced me to the Global Girl Project founded by another Amazon based in United Kingdom- Julia Lynch. The project is wrapped around raising teenage girls within the age bracket of 13-18 years as worthy leaders and change-makers. Apparently Bimbo had recommended Bestspring Foundation to Julia as a worthy NGO that should benefit from the project.
For Julia Lynch, it was the first time working with anyone in Nigeria. It was going to be a pilot-project and she needed every assurance that it would fly and sail to greater heights. And so the talks began; there were screenings, interviews and several meetings. At the end of the day, we scaled through and became the first NGO to run the leadership program in Nigeria.  
Selecting 10 out of over 120 girls was not an easy task but we pulled through the process and got10 amazing ladies on board. They are from diverse background and with diverse challenges. But they have one thing in common; they are aspiring, resourceful, committed and open to learning that would make them positive influencers in their community.  
And so, on 1st February 2020, the leadership academy kicked off our dynamic facilitator- Omotola Bisuga-Jesusina. An exchange program, which runs simultaneously with another cohort of girls in Haiti, is a10-weeks journey of self-discovery and empowerment for community impact. It holds every Saturday from 8am-10am.
Our immense gratitude goes to Bimbo Adegbite for the love, encouragement, recommendation and unflinching support at all times. We equally appreciate the Founder, Global Girl Project, Julia Lynch and her team for the trust, commitment, encouragement and sponsorship of the project.
It feels great and extremely fulfilling for us at Bestspring Foundation to partner with Global Girl Project for this blended learning program which has given our work with and for girls in under-resourced communities more visibility at the global space. Of course, our girls are becoming leading ladies; they are indeed change-makers and I am proud of them.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Support For 2020 JAMB Candidates

It just happened again. This time 17 of our girls got scholarship funds for the 2020 Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) Examination. All thanks to our generous donor and mentor. May God bless you more abundantly!

Scholarships From Apinke Girls Initiative

Yes! Our girls got scholarship funds for tertiary institution. We have never had it so wonderful!

Last year 14 of them were supported with funds through generous donations from Bimbo Adegbite-led Apinke Girls Initiative to register for JAMB examinations. Out of these, 8 gained admission to various universities and polytechnics to study one course or the other. But there was no money to pursue their dream.
It so happened that Bimbo was marking her Golden Jubilee birthday and she resolved to use the occasion of her 50th on 29th November 2019 to raise funds for girls going to college.

Through to her words, she did and sent the money to us to disburse to the girls according to their needs. Individual mentors also sent money to their mentees towards their registration in the university. 

It feels so fulfilling to see these girls now as undergraduates in Nigeria's universities. These were girls who once had no clue, no vision, no sense of direction about their future. These were girls who dared to dream about pursuing a career in the tertiary institution but didnt know how because of lack of funds. 

Today, they are undergraduates; doing us proud and looking forward to a very bright and beautiful future. All thanks to our Mentors and the Lead Volunteer at Apinke Girls Initiative- Bimbo Adegbite! 

We Are Grateful!

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