News & Events

HOFOWEM launches ‘Project Bright Steps’

Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode on Monday counseled parents and guardians against using their children and wards to sell goods in traffic and on the streets, urging them to desist from all forms of child abuse and child labour.

Mrs Ambode, who spoke at the official launch of distribution of shoes and socks to 175,000 public primary school pupils in Lagos State by her foundation, Hope For Women In Nigeria Initiative (HOFOWEM), said parents should send their children to school rather than use them to hawk to avoid the dangers involved.

Speaking on the initiative tagged “Project Bright Steps”, Mrs Ambode said the decision to distribute shoes and socks to pupils was one of the ways to motivate the young ones, boost their self-esteem, help them appreciate their self-worth, encourage them to be proud of themselves, and most importantly equip them.

She said aside the positive impact such would have on the education of the pupils, it would also encourage local production of shoes, and thereby boost the economy.

According to the wife of the Governor, it was disheartening to know that majority of pupils in public primary schools lacked shoes and socks to wear to school, adding that the intervention of her foundation was aimed at addressing such heart-breaking development.

 

She said: “Unfortunately, walking without shoes has led many children to get sick, lose their feet to bacterial infections and other life-threatening diseases. It is essential for these children to wear shoes. Wearing shoes is not a luxury, but a necessity.

“As a mother, I am deeply passionate about children. Some lucky ones have the necessary support, while others have very little support of nothing. HOFOWEM realizes that many children do not have the opportunity to wear ordinary shoes. Yet, this is something that we take for granted.

“Properly equipping our children for school plays a great role in boosting their confidence level, morale, concentration and overall performance.

“A properly kitted pupil has higher chances of doing well in academic studies, because he/she is better motivated, more confident and has higher self esteem, which translates to better academic performance,” Mrs Ambode said.

She added that her pet project, HOFOWEM, was borne out of a burning desire to touch lives and be a source of hope and relief for the less privileged in the society, recalling that such accounted for the previous initiatives held this year for over 230 pregnant women who were given baby essentials and lectured on healthy lifestyle, as well as the ongoing scholarship scheme aimed at funding undergraduate programme of some of the brightest students from public secondary schools in the State.

In his goodwill message, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode commended his wife for the initiative to empower pupils of public primary schools, saying that the development was in line with the vision of the State Government to make education accessible to all.

Governor Ambode, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule, said his administration recently earmarked N10billion for upgrade of infrastructure and others in public schools, adding that other public spirited individuals and organizations should take a cue and assist as possible.

Earlier in her welcome address, Chief Executive Officer of HOFOWEM, Ms. Oyefunke Adeleke said the foundation’s main goal was to transform lives, adding that the distribution of shoes and socks was one of the ways of making positive difference, give hope, support and empower as many as possible.


A KEYNOTE ADDRESS DELIVERED BY HER EXCELLENCY, MRS. BOLANLE AMBODE, WIFE OF THE GOVERNOR OF LAGOS STATE AND FOUNDER, HOPE FOR WOMEN IN NIGERIA INITIATIVE, HOFOWEM, AT THE LAUNCH OF PROJECT “BRIGHT STEPS” FOR LAGOS STATE PUBLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS, ORGANISED BY HOFOWEM, AT NANA’S ARENA, EVENTS CENTRE, AGIDINGBI ROAD, IKEJA, ON MONDAY, 26TH SEPTEMBER, 2016.


 

I am overwhelmed with joy, to host to this gathering of children and very distinguished individuals in the State. It reflects the generous support and enormous goodwill we enjoy from you, in our determined effort to impact lives in our society.

HOPE FOR WOMEN IN NIGERIA INITIATIVE (HOFOWEM), was born out of a burning desire to touch lives and be a source of hope and relief for the less privileged in our society. It seeks to achieve these goals by being directly involved with women, children, particularly the girl child, youths and elderly people in our society.

In the first quarter of this year, HOFOWEM concentrated on empowering widows, other Foundations, mothers with multiple births and also funded major surgical procedures for a number of people.

In the second quarter of this year, HOFOWEM launched its maiden edition of the “HOPE FOR EXPECTANT MOTHERS”. The programme provided 230 expectant mothers with baby mattresses, Nursing Mum’s Packs which contained all the necessary baby essentials from thermometers to breastfeeding covers to list a few. The importance of getting a child’s government-issued birth certificate was emphasized by a representative of the National Population Commission.

Also emphasized was ante-natal and post-natal care, as well as general hygiene for mother and child. Hofowem’s goal was to complement the effort of the Lagos State Government, towards achieving zero maternal and infant mortality in the state.

On Monday the 19th of this month, the HOFOWEM Scholarship Scheme launched its website for eligible candidates for the 2016/2017 session. The scholarship scheme will fund the undergraduate programme of some of the brightest students from our public secondary schools. Application forms are still available online until 30th September, 2016. Interested parents should please pick up a flyer at the registration point.

As the saying goes children are the leaders of tomorrow. It is our responsibility as a society to ensure our future leaders have all the support in preparing them to fulfill their purpose.

The reason we are gathered here is to motivate these children, to boost their self-esteem, help them appreciate their self-worth, encourage them to be proud of themselves; and most importantly equip them. 

This is the reason for “PROJECT BRIGHT STEPS”. It is HOFOWEM’s way of encouraging us as a society that we have the power to collectively mould our future for the better. These children are our future and it is disheartening to know that majority of them do not wear shoes and socks to school. I have seen this happen on several occasions and it is heart-breaking.

Unfortunately, walking without shoes has led many children to get sick, loose their feet to bacterial infections and other life-threatening diseases. It is essential for these children to wear shoes. Wearing shoes is not a luxury, but a necessity.

This year, HOFOWEM will begin with equipping Primary 1 to 3 pupils in all Public Primary Schools in Lagos State with school shoes and socks. Distribution of these items will be done in centers across the State.

I am happy to announce that over 175,000 children will benefit from Project Bright Steps this year. This is also an effort to encourage local production of school shoes.

As a mother, I am deeply passionate about children. Some lucky ones have the necessary support, while others have very little or nothing. HOFOWEM realizes that, many children do not have the opportunity to wear ordinary shoes. Yet, this is something that we take for granted.

Distinguished guests, the Initiative reckons that one of the best ways to achieve its goal is to focus attention on children’s social welfare, education and good health care.

Properly equipping our children for school plays a great role in boosting their confidence level, morale, concentration and overall performance.

A properly kitted pupil has higher chances of doing well in academic studies, because he/she is better motivated, more confident and has higher self esteem, which all translate to better academic performance.

My effort is tailored towards complementing the giant strides of the Lagos State Government, in its free primary education policy.

These pupils represent the future of our state and the country, and we will continue to do our best to motivate them for excellence.

Nothing is ever too small or too big, to invest in a productive future for these young ones, towards preparing them adequately to take up their future leadership roles.

To all my children here today, you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. No matter what you plan to be in life, I am sure you will need education to do it.

You want to be a doctor, a teacher or a policeman, an engineer or a lawyer? You will need good education for any of those careers.

I urge you all to take a bright step, which starts from going to school, set your own goals for education and do everything to achieve them.

Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book.

I expect great things from all of you. So, don’t let us, your family, your State or yourselves down. Make us proud, I know you can do it. With every bright step you take, you get equipped for the future. Why shoot for the moon, when you can reach the stars?

May your steps be as bright as the shining stars. Amen!

To all the parents here today, I pray that we will live long to reap the fruits of our labour over the children.

I encourage you to enroll your children and wards of school age for the new academic session. I also use this opportunity to make a passionate appeal to parents to desist from allowing their children and wards to hawk goods in traffic. You should also avoid all forms of child abuse and child labour.

Again, I thank all individual and corporate citizens, for their consistent support and their roles in ensuring a glorious future for these children. Together, we can make a positive difference in their lives.

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much, we can transform lives – We can! We must!!

May God bless our children, our state and the country!

 

Her Excellency,

Mrs. Bolanle Ambode

Wife of the Governor of Lagos State

& founder of Hope for Women in Nigeria lnitaitive

(HOFOWEM)

Monday, 26th September 2016