By John Oba
MasterCard has sponsored 500 girls across the country on the Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) Girls Enterprise Program where they are given various skill acquisition trainings.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the programme yesterday in Abuja, the National programme coordinator of JAN, Mrs Franca Nnaji Thomas, said the programme which was carried out with the Agency for Science and Technology FCT as the implementing partner was meant to empower the girls with skills that would be make them self-employed.
The programme she said has two sections, according to her: “first the theory part which they have already done, it teaches them financial literacy. Students go through 17 sessions that teaches self-esteem, goals setting, carrying out research, writing business plan, funding, financial management etc, while the second part is the skill acquisition training, Some choose bead making, makeup artistry, computer appreciation while other choose pastry making.
“We have 550 girls in the programme, 180 are being empowered in FCT, Lagos is 250 while Port Harcourt is 120 girls making a total of 550 being impacted on the programme,” she said.
She added that certificates were given to the 180 participants including awards to the outstanding students who distinguished themselves in the various classes they were involved in.
“We don’t do funding, because skill acquisition is enough empowerment, but we give them the tools they need to start. This is one year programme but because of the summer holiday that is why they like to do it in the month of August because of it long vacation,” she said.
Addressing the press, the director, FCT Agency for Science and Technology, Mrs Rosemary Omana said the aim of the program was to bridge the gap of unemployment among the girls, adding that partnering with JAN was one of the mandates of the agency.
One of the participants, Miss Khairan Umar Usman, who won the outstanding award in Makeup artistry, lauded the initiative saying she has been empowered to be self-sufficient.