Being the Welcome Address of the Wife of Ondo State Governor, Her Excellency, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, at the Bemore 2023 Opening Ceremony, holding August 13- 26, 2023, at Mabest Academy, Oke-Ijebu, Akure, Ondo State.
Good morning, the good people of Ondo state. Warm greetings from Germany where I’m providing the much needed care and psychosocial support to our dear Arakunrin who is facing some health challenges. The good news is that quoting R. Kelly, “the storm is over now and we are seeing the sunshine”. Mr Governor is coming back soon and as we have all prayed and wished for, All will end in praise. Once more, Guten morgen, greeting you in German.
I want to believe that the protocols had been established. May I be allowed to stand on them. Thank you.
It is another great time to formally welcome our new Bemore Girls into the big and beautiful Bemore family where talents are discovered and nurtured, skills are instilled; where girls are intentionally exposed to life-changing experiences and where we bring out the best in them.
Bemore set out in 2017 to close the widened gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Entrepreneurship (STEM+E) by empowering young Nigerian girls in critical areas of science and technology while creating opportunities to help them improve on their lives and make meaningful contribution to the socio-economic development of their respective communities.
In the last six years, I have treasured this moment and its bounty harvests it affords me the chance to yearly re-give myself to a new set of sterling Nigerian girls through this incredible platform. This, for me, is an exceptional opportunity to build these promising girls into confident, competent and worthy women who, in the fullness of time, will rewrite the narrative around womanhood.
In these six eventful years, we have had five outstanding editions of Bemore boot camps, with great successes. We have given to the world rare gifts of female champions who are making waves as solar energy queens, ICT experts, and sought-after young entrepreneurs. Through Bemore, we have successfully raised about three thousand girls as ‘special breed without greed’.
We have justified our charge with the Bemore performances over the years. The strides of our ambassadors are living testimonies of what Bemore has done and what Bemore can do. Thus far, we have convincingly demonstrated the fact that educating the girl child is not a waste.
In these last six, fulfilling years, I have taught the Bemore girls how to do it. I have given depictive examples of what it means to have the courage of one’s conviction. I have proven to them the wonders of imagination and the beauty of being a woman on one’s own terms; of achieving one’s hearty goals and of holding up one’s head amidst storms.
To my dear incoming Bemore girls, you are in every way lucky to have been chosen to be part of this unique platform which ultimately gives you the opportunity to join the league of problem solvers that the world direly awaits. By the time you are leaving this boot camp after two weeks of rigorous intellectual preparation, you would have become renewed, remodeled and feel an inch taller, and ready to face the world.
Those who came ahead of you have proven that it is possible to change your trajectory of life for good and also move ahead to become change agents within the two weeks of your training in the Bemore boot camp. I am confident that you can equally do well here in the camp and proceed to the larger society to do exploits.
There is no gain saying that you have what it takes to emerge from as exceptional IT professionals, solar energy gurus and promising entrepreneurs. Rest assured, however, that, by the time you will leave the camp, you would have been fully moulded into a pride of lionesses who can own and defend their territories; you will have been well groomed and convinced enough to bear witness to the greatness of Bemore.
In all fronts, Bemore has met expectations. It has not only covered incredible mileage, it has extended its frontiers and continued to break new grounds. It has brought invaluable finesse to families and continues to give hope to many girls across the country. Given the height Bemore has reached, it is important to consolidate on its achievements.
We must all play our parts in ensuring that Bemore continues to wax stronger and stronger. As Bemore girls and ambassadors who have seen the light, you should be the light the world needs; you must be resolute about reaching your goals, irrespective. You must always be ready to replicate yourself in others anywhere you find yourself.
May I appeal to you all here present, as government, private sector players, critical stakeholders and parents that we should be genuine enough to sustain the enviable standard that Bemore represents to the society and continue to support financially to enable us build an organization that lasts beyond our earthly sojourn. On our part as a family, there is no looking backward until Bemore reaches that rung as global players in advancing the cause of women. I am hopeful that in my lifetime I will be able to shout, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
I must thank very profusely, all eminent citizens, corporate organisations and government parastatals that have continued to show surplus support for what we are doing, who share our sturdy conviction that the girl child deserves the very best that we continue to give.
In a lighter mood, let me appreciate parents in a special way for your daughters as well as those of you in their reproductive ages that will make more girl-child babies in the future. Like my people, Ndigbo will say “ Nwanyi wu ihe” or “Woman matters” in English. I have said it a couple of times that as long as you make baby girls, you are unknowingly promoting BEMORE’s continuity. In other words, BEMORE has come to stay forever and ever. So I thank you very much!
Again, I welcome my brand new girls to the Bemore family; to a world of difference!