By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
TotalEnergies in partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has graduated no fewer than 35 young girls, in fashion design and catering, under the Adolescent 360 TotalEnergies Upstream Nigeria Limited Health and Economic Empowerment Project (A360 THEEP) in Ogun State.
The ceremony, which took place in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, with the support of Society for Family Health, saw all the graduands, who were drawn from Ado-Odo/Ota local government area of the State were given start-up kits, by the sponsor the empowerment programme; TotalEnergies
In his address, the Managing Director, TotalEnergies, Upstream Nigeria Limited, Mr. Mike Sangster, called on the beneficiaries of the empowerment programme to make good use of the practical skills and knowledge gained during training to build their businesses and grow the economy of their communities.
Sangster, who spoke through Mrs. Adesuwa Adewole, the General Manager, TotalEnergies Country Services (TCS) said, TotalEnergies is committed to the health, socio-economic, and environmental sustainability of its host regions and people.
He said, “In Nigeria, we have various social impact initiatives that are focused on youth development through education and empowerment”.
“We believe that helping young people learn, grow, and become financially independent is a necessity that contributes to securing the
According to Sangster, the A360 THEEP Project aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals #1- No Poverty, #2 – Zero Hunger, #3 – Good Health and Wellbeing, #5- Gender Equality as well as Goal #8 – decent
work and economic growth.
“Our societal intervention strategy in the A360-THEEP is focused on identifying adolescent girls (aged 15-19 years) that had missed some
critical support in their developmental years and providing them with improved access to reproductive health awareness services and
empowerment for economic survival”.
“Since 2021 when we began the first phase of the project, over 9,000 girls in 96 communities of Ogun State have been mobilized and educated on life-changing health and social awareness lessons”.
“3,563 girls were trained on vocational skills including Make-Up & Gele-Tying, Soap, Perfumed Oil, Pomade & Liquid Air-Fresher Making on Saturdays to keep them engaged. The mothers were also trained during the Moms’
Sessions which was created to help rebuild the relationship with their daughters”.
“In the second phase of the project which we are concluding today, 35 girls were selected for 6 months boarded intensive training on catering
and fashion designing. Today’s graduation ceremony will mark a new phase for the beneficiaries as they will be gifted with starter packs to
enable them to begin practicing their trades immediately”.
He encouraged the beneficiaries to make good use of the practical skills and knowledge gained in the course of the training programme to build small-scale businesses for themselves and grow the economy of their respective communities.
“This programme is indeed a step in the right direction as we continue in our commitment to addressing the challenge
of unemployment and poverty in our society, particularly among the women”.
On his part, the Managing Director, Society for Family Health, Dr. Omokhudu Idogho,
said through the organization’s partnership of the TotalEnergies, it has brought health and empowerment training together.
Represented by Dr. Jennifer Anyanti, Deputy Managing Director, Society for Family Health, Idogho said the training and empowerment programme will contribute to the health index of Ogun State.
Speaking at the occasion, wife of the State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun identified gender-based violence, poverty, cultural practices, and the belief that girls’ education is less valuable than boys’, inability to access adequate menstrual hygiene products due to financial constraints as some of the factors limiting the future prospects of girls.
“As a result, many girls are forced to drop out of school before they complete their education, limiting their future prospects”.
Girls are often subjected to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, leading to trauma that can have lasting effects on their health and well-being.
She promised that her office is
committed to addressing all challenges and supporting
our girls’ education and empowerment.
She called for continued investment in girls’ education and empowerment, saying that they are the backbone of the communities and the future of the nation.
“We need to create a supportive and enabling environment that allows our girls to thrive and reach their full potential. This requires a multi-faceted approach that involves government, civil society, the private sector, and communities”.