A group, Feminist Coalition, has flagged off a scholarship scheme for girls from low economic background to further their education in Nigeria.
Mrs Damilola Odufuwa, the Co-founder of the coalition, made this known in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
Odufuwa stated that the coalition at a virtual meeting on Nov. 23 inaugurated the Feminist Coalition Girls Education Programme (FEMCO) scholarship project to advance the right of the girl child in the area of education.
“We decided to start the Feminist Coalition Girls Education Programme, an annual full scholarship and mentorship programme for brilliant young girls from low-income backgrounds in Nigeria, whose largest barrier to a quality education is finance.
“In July 2021, we reached out to Teach For Nigeria, a non-profit organisation committed to endings educational inequity across the country. Teach for Nigeria was integral in selecting the right students for this opportunity.
“Together, we shortlisted 40 students from Ogun State to participate in an entrance examination. Of the 40 students, the top 20 from the examination were selected for an interview.
“We decided to partner with Vivian Fowler Memorial College, Oregun Lagos for the Girls, one of the leading all-girls schools in Nigeria, known to offer not just academic guidance, but also a balanced education that enables students to cope with life and create fulfilling careers,” she said.
She stated that of the 20 students who were interviewed, 12 were selected for the Feminist Coalition Girls Education Programme, and would be funded throughout their secondary school education at Vivian Fowler Memorial College.
She added that the girls had since Sept. 11 resumed at Vivian Fowler Memorial College, adding that, the scholarship provided by the Feminist Coalition also covers the boarding fees, co-curricular activities, examination fees and others.
According to Odufuwa, each founding member of the Feminist Coalition is assigned to a student and will provide mentorship in form of a “Big Sister” programme, which includes weekly check-in calls with each ‘little sister.’
She said the coalition aimed to continue to sponsor this first batch of girls through the six years of their secondary school education, and also to add a new batch of girls each year as the programme grew.
Odufuwa stated further that the older students would become mentors for the younger ones, creating a network of women to uplift other women at the height of the programme.
“We know that educating girls and women leads to more stable and healthy communities. Educated women are less likely to die in childbirth and more likely to have healthy and well-nourished children.
“Moreso, investing in the education of one girl has cascading effects for future generations.
“Countries with higher levels of women’s education experience more rapid economic growth, longer life expectancy, lower population growth, and improved quality of life,” she said.
She added that the Feminist Coalition was committed to championing the advancement of the Nigerian woman with a core focus on education, financial freedom and representation in public office.