Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Apinke Girls Initiative Partners Bestspring Foundation to Mentor Girls Arise Club Members

It was sometime in October 2016. I got a mail from a friend I had met few months back via World Pulse; an online community of women changemakers. My friend, Bimbo Adegbite had read about our work with Ijegun girls on World Pulse and was keenly interested in partnering with us to mentor and assist them to maximize their potentials.

A girls-right advocate herself, Bimbo is a highly resourceful and kind-hearted woman who upholds that every girl should be empowered to be her best. And so from January 2017, she began to engage the girls through her call-in-sessions, at our monthly meetings. Through this medium, she was able to add her voice to such topics as Goal Setting, My Future Ambition, Friendship, Mentorship etc.

By March, Bimbo saw the need to engage the girls more closely through one-on-one mentorship. So she came up with the idea of buying telephone sets for each of the girls and getting a team of amazing and equally resourceful women to serve as adult friends and call them at least twice a month to share their concerns, provide answers to their questions and mentor them.
And true to her promise, Bimbo purchased 30 Handsets and 30 SIM Cards to be given to 30 girls, depending on how well they do in their academics or skill acquisition training and how committed they are the programs at Girls Arise meetings.  

Having talked about goal setting, it is only logical to have mentors guide them through the process of achieving such set goals. And what is this mentoring project all about? Well, mentoring is a relationship between two individuals based on a mutual desire to achieve a goal. In this case, a mentor will be assigned to guide each girl through decision making, good career options, help them with their challenges in school, and advise them on matters that affect their lives and future.
And so in April 2017, the girls were introduced to the project, which is scheduled to last for one year. They were also provided with some forms to fill and a consent form for their parents to sign as guarantor.
The girls were divided into group and were guided on how to fill their forms. They were very excited about the mentoring program. Even those who have active phones also indicated interest to be mentored.
In addition, April edition of our meeting also afforded us the opportunity to listen to the testimony of Kehinde Adekitan, the last child of one of our widows who just gained admission into Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife to study Economics. Kehinde shared the story of her struggle, financial lack, resolve to succeed and the help that came her way to pay her admission fees.
Her story inspired hope in all the widows that no matter the challenge, they can always succeed and progress in life..
It was a wonderful and enriching time to talk about the place of diligence & hardwork in achieving success. The testimony of Kehinde Adekitan and Comfort Augustine, another undergraduate of University of Benin added so much colour and strength to the discussion as the girls were greatly inspired.

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