Lagos, Nigeria. 21st November, 2016 – Always, the leading feminine care brand from Procter&Gamble Nigeria organised an award ceremony to reward winners of its Always #MyFutureStartsToday Essay Competition in Lagos, today.
The Always #MyFutureStartsToday initiative started in August this year with a viral video that showcased the story of some girls and the challenges they faced. Girls between the ages of 11 and 16 were then invited to send in their essays, talking about their dream careers and the challenges they face as a girl. Out of the over 2000 entries received, 100 winners emerged and the winners were rewarded with a scholarship grant worth 100,000 naira each.
Speaking on the initiative, Brand Marketing Director, Procter&Gamble Nigeria, Tolu Adedeji said, “When the video was launched, we were overwhelmed with the response and support that we received from everyone. It affirmed that starting up a conversation like the Always #MyFutureStartsToday could help build a girl’s confidence.”
Following this essay competition is a mentorship programme organised by Always in partnership with Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), an organisation that is committed to the socio-economic development of young girls through capacity building, mentorship and taught programs. Schools in Lagos and Abuja states will be selected for the mentorship programme and girls in these schools will have the opportunity of being mentored, enlightened and inspired to achieve their potentials.
Adedeji added that there are so many challenges facing the girl child in Nigeria, as such, it is evident that girl education and mentorship will not only benefit the girls, it will also impact the whole society. “The education of girls is important for us. In fact, Always advocates the empowerment of girls and women. In our bid to continue to contribute to Nigeria and Nigerian girls and women, we have launched this platform to reach more girls and help them to achieve their potential,” he said.
In her keynote address, Founder of Bella Naija, Uche Pedro stated that it is important for girls to help girls realize that they can achieve whatever they set out to do. “We live in a world where girls are often told that they cannot achieve certain feats simply because they are girls but that notion is wrong. I strongly believe that with confidence a girl can achieve whatever she wants. This is why I joined Always in this campaign to help girls dream big, and aspire towards their dreams,” Uche added.
The #MyFutureStartsToday initiative was motivated by the result of a poll which was carried out by P&G earlier in the year. The poll revealed that 61% of girls do not feel they have the right support to pursue their preferred career choice. What this tells us is that girls face certain limitations when they decide to follow their dreams, especially in a society like ours
Expressing his happiness, a parent of an awardee, Christopher Ameh appreciated Always for this wonderful initiative that inspires girls and boosts their confidence. “I must say that this is an amazing initiative from Always. Not only will it inspire girls to dream big and improve on the validity of their dreams, it will also push them further towards the attainment of those dreams,” Ameh said.
The #MyFutureStartsToday Campaign is working with Women who have achieved success in their chosen career. These women include: Uche Pedro, a Media Tech Entrepreneur and Founder of BellaNaija.com, Dr. Ola Orekunrin, The founder, Flying Doctors Nigeria and Mercy Eghonghon, a Professional Nigerian Pilot who started flying at age 17 and became a captain at 25years.