I started this in 2017 as a young girl who was not quite clear about this path but just took that step and was winging it all along. This is the 5th Edition of the event to mark International Day of the Girl Child I will be organizing. I have never been physically present for any Edition but I appreciate the support system I have in friends and those who key into this vision who ensure that everything goes on smoothly. Thanks to everyone who has been holding the fort, pulling this through over the past 5 years in my absence. Thank you to everyone for the collaboration and partnership.
There are days for festivities.
There are days for impacts.
The 2021 International Day of the Girl Child is a day to make huge impacts. The synergy between Roseline and Olowobusola Adeyemo of Gertrude Olowo Empowerment Initiative has been for no other reason but to make impacts especially in the area of the empowerment and development of the Girl-child in order for them to be the best version of themselves.
This year’s IDG was celebrated with a programme tagged along the global theme, “Step Outside the Gender Box: Learning free from stereotypes”. The event was held at the Ogun State Commerce House with the participation of 50 students and 5 accompanying teachers from five secondary schools across Ogun State.
Registration of participants began at exactly 11 am and lasted for about 40 minutes. The programme started around 11:45 am with an opening prayer from a student of Sacred Heart Catholic College. The Speakers were introduced to the participants by the anchor of the programme, Ms Folaranmi Akinbote.
The Convener and Director of Gertrude Olowo Empowerment Initiative, Mrs. Adeyemo Oluwabusola was called upon to give her opening remarks. She welcomed all the participants and speakers to the 2021 IDG and gave them the importance of the IDG’21 and how the theme is a reality that must be keyed into. She encouraged the students particularly to ensure that they pay attention to the lessons of the speakers in order to witness a mind shift away from the societal stereotypes. The welcome address lasted for about 5minutes before an icebreaker by the Anchor, Ms. Folaranmi Akinbote.
The first Speaker, Mr. Adekunle Durosinmi, was subsequently invited to the podium for his session. The speaker hinged his session on the importance of Girl-child education and empowerment. He noted that the students should do away with stereotypes that have barred them from going into certain career/professional paths in life especially in the area of STEM. The speaker gave various examples of women that are doing great in their career endeavours such as technology innovations, banking, corporate leadership, etc. This session lasted for about 80minutes and ended with various questions from the participants which elicited answers from the speaker and the anchor.
After the first session, the anchor took another icebreaker leading to the playing of the programme video by the convener, Ms. Roseline Adewuyi. The participants were inspired by the video which lasted for about 4 minutes.
Another speaker, Mrs. Wemimo Adebiyi, a cognitive behavioural expert, was called on to take her session. She began the session very interactively by engaging all the participants in some exercises which lifted the spirit of the participants. She subsequently went into her lecture by teaching the participants, most especially the girls, the dangers of sexual molestation. She gave the participants various tips on how to wade off potential sexual predators and to be very conscious of the environment. She further urged the girls to speak out whenever they are molested by anybody no matter the relationship between them and the molester. She gave interactive illustrations of what molestations do to the victims and how to guide against it using bread as well as a male participant respectively to illustrate. This session lasted for about 40minutes, after which various questions by the participants were attended to by Aunty Wemimo. Her session was the last, as time would not permit us to connect with other speakers via zoom.
Mr. Oduntan Ajibola was thereby called upon to give a closing remark and vote of thanks to the participants. He gave a summary of the sessions and the lessons that the participants should take from the programme. He noted that the psycho-Social value chain is largely dependent on the girl-child and the moral gauge of every society depends on the level of enlightenment of the female folks and gave some posers to the participants.
How many of you play football/basketball?
How many of you visit the gym?
They are not peculiar to boys alone.
He further encouraged participants to ensure physical fitness.
The closing moments of the event witnessed sharing of gift items and refreshments to the participants and speakers. The various schools that participated also took turns to take a group photograph with the organisers and speakers.
The programme ended around 3 pm with a closing prayer said by a student from Taidob College, Abeokuta.
To individuals that committed their finances, time, products, and services to this, once again, we say thank you.
Thanks to my parents too for the moral support and prayers.
Ultimately, I thank God who made this possible even when I was so overwhelmed with planning. He deserves the Glory!