As a young girl after secondary school, I left my home in Nigeria to chart a new course for myself. I was headed overseas (United States and Ireland) where I would further my education. Now, as a medical doctor, I have come to appreciate and value the places my education has taken me. And, having been afforded this opportunity to get an education, within and outside the boundaries of Nigeria, I believe I can create the same opportunities for other Nigerian girls. This belief was one of the reasons I chose to cofound Give Girls A Chance, an organization committed to creating a Nigeria where every girl has access to quality education.
The importance of education in a child’s development cannot be overstated. Through education, children’s minds are trained, they acquire new skills and knowledge and they build character. All of this combined enables children to one day grow into adults who are valuable members of society. I believe that education is a fundamental human right and that all children, including girls, should be given the opportunity to access quality and consistent education. Not only does this training empower a girl’s innate abilities, it also encourages her to reinforce values and habits in her life and to contribute to the development of her family and her society. Education is a strong predictor of a girl’s success later in life. An educated girl, for instance, is likely to get married later and not be a child bride, and make healthier choices concerning her health resulting in a decrease in maternal and child mortality. She will most likely educate her children, creating avenues for their socioeconomic advancement and increasing the likelihood that they too will become productive members of the society.
In Nigeria girl child education is an issue of prime concern, especially in the northern part of the country. At GGAC, we are working toward achieving our goal by engaging in and advocating for the following:
Parental and community involvement. We believe that families and communities must become important partners with schools in encouraging and managing their children's education. Girls do best when they receive early childhood care, which enhances their self-esteem and prepares them for school.
Mentorship. We link girls in our program to qualified and knowledgeable women in various careers who serve as mentors. They help guide them educationally, provide social support and give the girls people to look up to.
Low-cost education. We believe that basic education should be free or cost very little so where possible, we provide scholarships for bright girls who come from low-income families to help their families cope with the financial burden.
School improvement programs. We partner with schools to promote digital literacy, initiating an easy curriculum that will ignite and sustain students’ interest in learning new technologies. In the future, we also aim to build libraries and promote active participation in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) activities.
To learn more about Give Girls A Chance and how you can be part of the movement to revolutionize educational development for the benefit of the Nigerian girls, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.