Akpobome gives indigent girl
The hope of indigent girls who have been struggling with their education has been rekindled as Mrs. Mary Akpobome, former executive director, Heritage Bank and her husband, Mr. Atunyota Akpobome, fondly called Alli-Baba have jointly floated The Purple Girl Foundation with the purpose of helping them live their dreams. Giving reasons for setting up for the foundation which focuses mainly on girl child education, Mrs. Akpobome, who also celebrated her 50th birthday during the launch and fundraising for The Purple Girl Foundation, said the girl child is confronted with a lot of challenges while attempting to acquire education. “Whatever is put in the hands of women multiplies. So, we know that an empowered girl is going to mobilise her family, therefore, the girl child,” she noted. According to her, The Purple Girl Foundation plans to take care of the educational needs of beneficiaries from primary school to tertiary institutions. “We are hoping that by September when the first set of beneficiaries would come on board, we should have about 50 children. That is the initial plan. But by the end of the day, we hope to increase that number,” the co-founder of the foundation explained. She admonished the beneficiaries to also support others when they are in a position to do so. Education is a veritable tool to unlock the potentials of a girl child, asserted Mrs. Toyin Saraki, wife of the Nigerian Senate President and founder, Wellbeing Foundation Africa, who was the keynote speaker at the event, but represented by Mrs. Emi Oyekunle, CEO, Wellbeing Foundation Africa. She stressed that education is something that must be taken serious and investment in the education of a girl child yields very high returns. “According to the World Bank, the return on one year of secondary education for a girl corolate as high as 25 per cent increase in wages within the timeline,” she enunciated. Mrs. Saraki reiterated that there is need to go beyond giving girls access to education, they must be given qualitative education. “In doing so, women must themselves play a leading role in the changes they wish to see. The changes in the educational system and educational infrastructure, she added. The Welling Foundation Africa founder said UNESCO data showed that 130 million girls between the ages of six and 17 are out of school and 15 million girls of primary school age and half of them in Sub- Sahara Africa, will never step into a classroom, she also mentioned. She claimed these girls won’t be able to reach their potentials and they would hold the society back culturally, philosophically and economically. In her goodwill message, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluranti Adebule, Deputy Governor, Lagos State, who was represented by Mrs. Yetunde Odejare, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor, Lagos State, said The Purple Girl Foundation is a course that must be supported will voices and money. She posited that the current administration in Lagos State is committed to supporting girl education. “We will continue to do more for the education of the girl child,” she stated. Mrs. Margaret Onyema-Orakwusi, Chairperson, Governing Board, The Purple Girl Foundation, urged everybody to support the girl child education as part of measures to improve the society.