Young girls aged between 13 and 18 years from Ejigbo Local Community Development Area of Lagos State have been equipped with animation, graphics and web design, digital marketing, and video editing skills, courtesy of First City Monument Bank (FCMB).
Designed by the School of Art in partnership with the Bank, the three-month intensive programme prepared 100 young girls for new economic, social, and educational opportunities in an increasingly digital world.
Commenting on the initiative, Group Head, Corporate Affairs, FCMB, Mr Diran Olojo, said:
"To participate fully in the 21st-Century economy, young Nigerians need digital skills. The best time to acquire them is the phase between childhood and adulthood, which is why we chose to give these young women the opportunity with this digital skills training. So, we have empowered and prepared 100 young girls to make informed decisions about future education and employment. With this, they are unlikely to be hindered by conventional expectations about a young woman's role in society."
He added that:
"FCMB is committed to enhancing youth employability and income generation capabilities to improve their economic status now and in future. We believe that consistent support and advocacy for digital education will create sustainable change, reduce poverty and insecurity in our local communities."
Also speaking, the Convener and Facilitator of the project, Ademidapomola Adenle, said, "We believe strongly in capacity building for girls in fields previously ascribed to men only. This inspired us to create this learning programme where girls can learn technical skills like animation and video editing. We hope that the impact of their contributions in these areas of endeavour will be a beacon and an inspiration to other girls."
The Secretary, Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, Hon. Paul Greene, commended FCMB for supporting the initiative, adding that the talents discovered, and feat achieved will further promote digital skills acquisition among young girls in Nigeria. He encouraged the girls to consider themselves as leaders who are expected to inspire others.
FCMB has consistently championed and executed various capacity-building programmes to empower young Nigerians. These programmes ensure access to funding, mentorship, networking, and best-in-class employment opportunities.
From 2017 to 2020, under its Empowered for the Future (E4F) initiative, FCMB trained and supported over 3,000 youths. They acquired skills in computer repairs, software engineering, hairdressing, fashion designing, makeup, cosmetology, shoe making and decorations. The beneficiaries of the vocational empowerment programmes were also trained on financial management, reproductive and sexual health, gender-based violence and child protection, work ethics, civil rights (responsibility and leadership), conflict resolution and social media entrepreneurship.
Also, in 2019, FCMB empowered over 200 children with painting and drawing skills under an initiative tagged the Slum Art, to celebrate the Children's Day. These are some of the unique ways the Bank has put smiles on the faces of the less privileged and enhanced their livelihood.
FCMB is a member of FCMB Group Plc, Nigeria's leading and most diversified financial holding company with subsidiaries that are market leaders in their respective segments. The Bank has built a strong base in various sectors of the economy by consistently offering cutting-edge solutions to its customers across segments.