FUTA Fulbright Scholar inaugurates NGO, gives scholarship to girls in STEM

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The Women’s Dignity Initiative Inc. (WDII) has given scholarships to six indigent female students from rural communities in Ondo State. The WDII is a Non-Governmental Organization, NGO founded by Dr. Mrs. Folasade Olajuyigbe, of the Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).

WDII provides scholarships to financially challenged but gifted and promising girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics [STEM] in remote villages in Nigeria, empowering them through mentorship, training and participation in scientific conferences. The scholarship, made up of tuition fee, science textbooks, mathematical sets and school bags, was presented in an award ceremony and the official presentation of WDII at the Theodore Idibiye Francis Auditorium, Federal University of Technology, Akure.

Folashade Olajuyigbe
Folashade Olajuyigbe

Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Olajuyigbe, a Fulbright Scholar and Schlumberger Faculty for the future fellow, disclosed that the awardees were successful candidates from selected remote villages in Ondo State who participated in an examination organized by WDII.

She said eighteen schools were contacted to nominate their two best girls in mathematics and six candidates emerged winners of the scholarship examination held on the 4th of August, 2018. She said the aim is to build girls who are conscious of their potentials, who have self-esteem and are self-confident. “They delight in constant learning and are successful in school, they demonstrate academic and emotional intelligence, they graduate from tertiary institutions and become successful in their career and marriages”.

She called on well-meaning individuals and corporate bodies to partner with the initiative in order to enable girls achieve their full potentials and become successful career and family women, who contribute to household and national income.

Delivering a lecture at the occasion, Acting Dean, Faculty of Nursing Science, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Dr. Mrs. Abimbola Oluwatosin said success will be achieved by anyone who will not allow challenges hinder them from achieving their goals in life. Speaking on the topic; Success: Breaking through Barriers, she outlined the principles of success to include: goal definition, strategizing, evaluation of problems, identifying difficulties, accepting blame, reorganizing and acknowledging God as the maker.

In her remarks, Chairperson of the occasion and Director, Centre for Gender Issues in Science and Technology (CEGIST), Prof. Mrs. T. T. Adebolu commended Dr. Olajuyigbe on her initiative. She pointed out that in most communities educating the girl child is still a mirage because parents are biased, and the stereotype that a woman’s place is in the kitchen is prevalent.

She said times have changed and women have attained the pinnacle of various careers and the girl child must be encouraged to achieve her full potential. In her goodwill message, the wife of the Ondo State Governor, Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu, represented by the Senior Special Adviser on Women Affairs, Mrs. Titilayo Adeyemi lauded the efforts of the initiative, she pledged her support for WDII adding that no matter how little all and sundry should contribute their quota to the education of the girl child.

Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic (DVC (A)), Professor Tunde Arayela commended the founder of the initiative for taking a bold step to encourage girls in STEM. He said the University management will support the initiative of achieving the education of the girl child.

Awardees of the scholarship include Islamia Asejejejaye, Asantan Community Grammar School, Asantan Oja; Aishat Biokoto, Sokoto Ogundele Community Grammar School, Sokoto Ogundele; Promise Ilemobayo, Community Grammar School, Laje; Beauty Jacob, Tekuile Community Grammar School,Tekuile; Mariam Jubril, Fagbo Community Grammar School, Fagbo; and Selimot Olawuni, Sokoto Ogundele Community Grammar School.

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