Wife of the Senate President, Toyin Saraki, on Friday challenged girls to focus on gaining education and leadership skills to make a difference in their communities.
Mrs Saraki who is also the Founder of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), gave the advise in Abuja when the Nigerian Girl Guides Association, Gwagwalada Area Council visited her.
She said that it is necessary for Girls to take up leadership roles in order to become effective change agents in their generation.
Saraki noted that while giving girls access to quality education has the potential to transform communities and facilitate sustainable development; globally, 31 million girls of primary school age and 32 million girls of lower secondary school age are out of school, with sub-Saharan Africa suffering the lowest proportion of countries with gender parity in education.
While underscoring the importance of education in achieving overall success in life, Mrs. Saraki stated, “Education is key because it empowers girls by helping them achieve other basic human rights and breaking generational poverty cycles.
“Beyond personal fulfillment and growth, education is a source for social development and economic growth. In societies where women and men are more equal, economies grow faster; and general wellbeing is improved.”
Mrs. Saraki, a long standing supporter of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and a signatory to the Girl Declaration – a call to action, also urged global leaders to put adolescent girls at the heart of the post-2015 agenda, and partner to the Girl Effect.
She motivated the girls by sharing the inspiring stories of some of the world’s leading girl advocates, whom she mentored at the 2015 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Girl Declaration VIP Mentoring Session.
She further lauded the Nigerian Girl Guides Association for their role in aiding young girls and women to become responsible citizens and accomplished leaders.
She urged the girls to take advantage of the opportunities and tools that they have been given, to work towards becoming role models to other girls and young women within their communities.
She also commended the coordinators of the Holy Rosary Secondary School Girl Guides in Gwagwalada for their work and efforts in empowering young adolescent girls to take a more visible and positive role in their community.
The high point of the visit was the presentation by Mrs Saraki of a copy of the Girl Declaration and World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scout (WAGGGS) Sustainable Development Goal badges to each girl on the delegation.