By Providence Emmanuel
A group, Onitsha Professional Ladies Circle, OPLC has disclosed plans to empower about 100 girls financially, economically, intellectually, politically, among others with education.
Speaking at a fitness exercise tagged: Walkathon, President of OPLC, Mrs. Obi Ibekwe, said that the group kicked off with seven girls for the maiden edition with a view to making it up to 30 girls by September this year and 100 girls by 2019 year end.
She added that they are out to close a gap of parents’ inability to sustain their girl-child through secondary school and tertiary institution.
Ibekwe stated: “We stand for women empowerment, we believe that women should have more voice in the society and for us to do that, our girls need to be empowered with education. It is when they are educated that they can stand up. They can be empowered financially, they can be empowered economically, intellectually and politically as well with education.
“Educating the girl-child is the foundation of that women empowerment. We also have other projects that have to do with skills acquisition for women, but our main focus is really starting from the grassroots. Because primary education is free, most of them go through primary education but when it gets to secondary school, most parents start feeling the pinch of school fees, the children would start dropping out and helping their parents run their businesses on the farm.
“That is where we come in, OPLC comes in and steps into the gap of paying the school fees. Our scholarship beneficiaries must not only be academically good, they must also be indigent. If parents can afford to pay their children’s school fees, no need for us to come in, we look out for those girls that are disadvantaged so that we can support them.
“We don’t just pay school fees, we believe in rounded development. It is not only academics, it involves character formation. We mentor the girls, we expose them, some of them for instance, on vacation, we bring them to Lagos.
“Right now, we have seven girls we started supporting last year but now we are wrapping it up, by September we would have 30 and by end of 2019, it should be 100. This is really our effort, we have not started seeking funds aggressively from organisations. It is just members; charity begins at home, when they see what we are doing, they will be happy to support us to do more. The more children we have under the scholarship, the better and of course, we are taking them through secondary school and university.