Wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, flagged off HerSTEM initiative by the FAME Foundation to train 40 girls and women living with disabilities.
HerSTEM which is an initiative of FAME Foundation will teach women and girls between ages 10-30 with disabilities STEM Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics courses for six months in the first phase of the programme.
The project is in partnership with the Embassy of Switzerland, Nigeria and the Ministry of Science and Technology and it is aimed at harnessing Women and Girls with disabilities STEM skills to enable them compete with their counterparts in a society that is not favourable to women and girls with disabilities and also to make them employable in a technology driven world.
“The girls are going on a six months journey and I trust their lives will never be the same. This will not only have an impact on their lives but on the environment they are coming from,” Osinbajo said.
According to Mrs. Osinbajo, “It was interesting to note that the project is aimed at equipping those that would ordinarily not access such opportunities made possible by FAME.
“I want to say a few words to the students, to ask them not to take this opportunity for granted, to tell them that doors of opportunities have been opened onto them and they have to keep pushing on as well to keep pressing on just like Aderonke did, from an idea to something that is a reality, a reality that will impact many girls and their families and their communities and perhaps our nation.
“It is an idea that can birth many more ideas, perhaps one of you will find a cure for cancer, perhaps one of you will find the answer to many questions that plague families, nations and heal the world.
“The doors have been opened to you, technology is an incredible space indeed and makes life more easier for all of us and can continue to do. There’s still much more to be discovered.”
Minister of State for Science and Technology, Mohammed Abdullahi, represented by Mrs Valerie Ehimatie, declared his support for the project from the Ministry and its agency, Raw Materials Research and Development Council.
He said the ministry and its parastatals are behind the project because STEM courses are the foundational skills needed for the digital economy Nigeria is currently promoting.
The Charge d’Affaires of Switzerland, Mr Lukas Schifferli, said the embassy was supporting the FAME foundation through STEM initiatives to provide technology skills for 40 girls and women with exceptional skills. He said mathematics is not only a tool but a solution.
He said the embassy is proud to be association with the initiative, urged the girls to make Charlie Chaplin quote: “The best thing in life is to go ahead with all your plans and your dreams, to embrace life and to live everyday with passion, to lose and still keep the faith and to win while being grateful. All of this because the world belongs to those who dare to go after what they want. And because life is really too short to be insignificant”, their motto throughout the Programme so that they will gallantly at the end.
The convener of HerSTEM, Aderonke Ogunleye-Bello, said the initiative is for girls living with disabilities in Nigeria, giving the girls free STEM knowledge for 6 months, in collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Technology and Embassy of Switzerland in Nigeria.