Forther, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to empowering young girls with education and skills in Nigeria, has challenged schoolgirls to be intentional with their lives and be careful about the decisions they make.
Its Founder, Remarkable Mary Akpan, gave the advice at the maiden leadership summit in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
The conference, with the theme: “Girls and Possibilities,” provided a platform for secondary school girls to gain access to valuable insights and knowledge from accomplished speakers in various fields, designed to enable them to fully discover and maximize their potential.
The speakers included Sonye Allanah, a certified etiquette and image consultant, who taught the girls etiquettes that bordered on daily living, dressing and self-confidence.
Allanah said elegance was not about being noticed but about being remembered.
At the conference, Akpan said one of her goals was to organise a yearly leadership event, where experts and professionals would talk to young girls from the age of 13.
“I believe that this is a very sensitive age in a girl’s life, as a lot begins to happen to them emotionally, biologically, and mentally. Life becomes more purposeful for her at 13.
Executive Director, Community Stakeholders for Social Good, and Founding Curator at Teens Network, Mmanti Umoh, pointed out the challenges associated with being a girl and highlighted the need for mentorship.
Meanwhile, an essay competition was also held, where representatives from six secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State spoke on the topic, “Digital Generation, Our Generation”, in line with this year’s International Women’s Day Celebration theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.”
Nigerian Christian Institute (N.C.I.), Uyo emerged as winner while Government Secondary Grammar School, Ikot Akpabio and Government Technical College, Abak took second and third positions. They got N150,000, N100,000) and N50,000 respectively.
The summit had in attendance students from Dekis High School, Itu; Etinan Institute, Etinan; Joy Prime Schools, Uyo; Mary Hanney Secondary School, Oron; Mboho Unity School, Uruan; Government Model Girls’ Secondary School, Abak, and girls sponsored by Trade Union Congress and Land of Hope.
One of the notable highlights of the conference was the highly anticipated debut of Forher’s inaugural book, “Stories Forher”, authored by Akpan.
Official partners of the event included Smefunds, Legislative Mentorship Initiative, and Guardians of the Nation International (GOTNI).