70 young women who have just completed high school will benefit from a free digital literacy program in Adamawa state. They will also be trained on soft skills such as goal setting, financial literacy, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, self-confidence, and choosing a career path.
“ giving young ladies IT skills will help them navigate university easily. Imagine them not having the basic IT skills and going to university. They will lag behind because in this era people don’t use paper and pen instead they type and use their technological devices to take notes” Said Emmanuel Odunusi, the organizer of the program.
Emmanuel is a Master's student at the American University of Nigeria (AUN). He is also the founder of a non-governmental organization called Pinkitude Place. In collaboration with the AUN Honor Society and the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC), he organized a program to help change the lives of 70 young women.
“ I have always had a knack for community service and reaching out to people. Over time I realized that I like working with young adults and teenagers and that was one of the reasons I established Pinkitude Place. In this century and decade, technology has taken over everything. And as long as technology keeps evolving we see it cutting across all spares of life. I thought it necessary to empower the girl child with basic technology skills. We live in an era where we need basic IT skills to be able to communicate with the rest of the world. That is why we decided to do something related to the digital world.” Said, Emmanuel.
The AUN Honor Society is made up of students who attain a CGPA of 3.5 and above on a 4 point scale, for three consecutive semesters. Joy Jacobs is one of those academically advanced students. She is also one of the student volunteers tutoring the 70young women.
“ We believe the girl child has more to offer and it would be an added value for the Yola community to have more women who are IT equipped and also understand the soft skills that they need for future jobs. The program will run for 6 weeks. We are also teaching the girls about menstrual hygiene, and career choices.
One of the beneficiaries of the empowerment program, Aisha Mukhtar said her neighbors informed her about the program.
“It has been interesting and I am understanding what the teachers are teaching me. I have learned a lot of things like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and excel. I have also learned about how to improve my hygiene especially when I’m on my period”.
WLC President, Rahma Olaniyan described WLC as a group that helps empower women through fun and interactive activities such as workshops, seminars, charitable events, picnics and so much more. We also have bonding sections and meetings where we discuss how to improve ourselves as women and how we can contribute to the progress of women in society.
One of our mottos in the club is to empower as many girls and women as possible. Taking part in this program helps us to achieve this.”
Another beneficiary of the empowerment program Manugeriya Atiwurcha said her mum told her about this program. “I was interested because it was something new and different. It’s nice. I’m learning a lot from the program, even though I knew some things before this program, it has enhanced my understanding and skills. This program has taught me more about computers and now I feel like I can teach others”
Community service is one of the core philosophies at the American University of Nigeria. From their first year, students take courses where they are required to engage with local communities to render some charitable services. From fundraising to tutoring disadvantaged groups, both beneficiaries and volunteers always leave the experience with their faith in humanity greatly improved. With this girls empowerment program, the young women are sure to have gained an edge over many others in a region recovering from a devastating Bokoharam insurgency.
Reported by Praise Yakubu