Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, wife of the Vice President, has urged groups, organisations and individuals to support more indigent girls and women to access quality education and empowerment.
Osinbajo made the call as a special guest at the Gala Night/Fund Raising Dinner of the Diamond Lights Women Empowerment Initiative (DLWEI) in Lagos.
She said that people, by educating girls and empowering women, would be investing in the future of the country.
”There are lots of women out there, our sisters, mothers, wives and daughters.
“Some are educated, but they are helpless and powerless, while some are capable but they are ill-equipped. They stand at a crossroads.
”Diamond Lights is at a crossroads because they have chosen to lend a helping hand.
“They have chosen to help them to grow into greatness, knowing that if we know better, we will do better,” she said.
Osinbajo said that a little girl, given a helping hand, would be able to attain great heights like many notable women have done in the nation’s history.
I’m so proud to be a Nigerian. Nigerians are generous and such large-hearted people.
“There is hardly a family or an establishment that is not helping someone or the other.
”I have seen the work that this initiative has done. I implore us and encourage us to hold up our hands by providing financial support and lend a hand, so that we can ensure that every woman in Nigeria is taken care of and educated,” she said.
In her address, Pastor Adefunke Kasali, the Founder on the DLWEI, said the initiative was born with a burden to reach out to women and girls.
She said that it was aimed at ensuring that women and girls fulfill their God-given purpose on earth.
Kasali said that DLWEI was planning to take the initiative to the North-Central and North-East, to help displaced women and girls.
”The rate of educating girls in the West and in the East is fair at 85 per cent while in the North it is below 24 per cent, and this is why the rate of poverty in the north is alarming.
”In the last 12 years, we have educated and empowered 150 girls and women in the West.
“We plan to do the same in the North to see what bit of a difference we can make.
”We are calling on well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organisations to partner and support our initiative to help us reach out, educate and empower more women and girls and take them out of poverty.
”All proceeds from this fund raising will go to the initiative’s scholarship fund.
“With little support, we can make a lot of difference in the lives of those who cannot help themselves, ” Kasali said.
Some of the beneficiaries said the initiative did not only sponsor their education, but also gave them moral support.
Miss Esther Akinbinu, who graduated as an accountant from the University of Lagos (UNILAG), said she went through the university without worrying about her tuition and other expenses as Diamond Lights saw her through it all.
Dr Adebanke Adenola, who graduated from UNILAG as the best medical student in 2013, said she lost her father three days after she was admitted into the university.
”I could not pay my school fees because I had financial challenges as a result of my father’s death.
“I reluctantly applied for this scholarship because I did not have any other choice.
”This initiative turned out to be wonderful and helped me achieve my dreams in life. They gave me hope when I was hopeless, ”she said.
Diamond Light Women Empowerment Initiative is a non-governmental organisation with focus on education of girls from indigent homes.
It has supported over 150 young women through their university education since 2006.