The mentorship circle event by Rhealyz Africa was organized to give girls the opportunity to meet with and be mentored by women who are making an impact in their different careers. It was organized to give them a platform to meet, interact and network with different women and girls across different secondary schools within the state.
The event was held on the 11th of August, 2022 with about fifty (50) students from different secondary schools in attendance.
The event was anchored by two members of the Rhealyz Africa Media team, Oluwakemi Ologbese, and Ayomide Adebisi. The girls were welcomed to the event so they could feel at home and were asked to introduce themselves to one another. To also meet one of the objectives for which the event was organized, the girls were asked to meet with three different girls so they could familiarize themselves and network.
It was then followed by a brief introduction and opening speech by each of the mentors. Moninkanola Ogidan, an (On-Air personality with Adaba 88.9FM), Barr. Jumoke Ogunjebi, (Lawyer & Ondo State FIDA Chairperson), Bunmi Fowose, (Digital Marketer/ Entrepreneur), DSC Yemi Faboyo- Agbede (Desk Officer Anti-human Trafficking Desk of NSCDC, Ondo State Command), Bolade Adeyanju (Pharmacist/Corporate official).
During their opening remark, the mentors emphasized the place of confidence and passion when it comes to career and life growth and development. The girls were advised to ensure that as they grow, they should be wary of pressure from their peers simply because they are at a phase where they might be tempted to belong and conform to certain expectations that might stampede their growth.
This was followed by a breakout/ interactive session where the girls were divided into smaller groups with one mentor assigned to each group. This was to ensure that they had the opportunity to interact on a more personal basis. The interactive session focused on storytelling and how each of the mentors was able to break through the bias in their different fields.
Moninkanola Ogidan spoke about the importance of self–discovery and also the first rule of success which is rendering services (volunteering) and not money. In her words, “the first rule in achieving success is rendering services, money should not be the priority but service. She also encouraged the girls to ensure that they discover themselves at an early stage because it makes the journey easier and faster.
Bunmi fowose spoke about building confidence at every stage of growth so as not to be intimidated by others. Bolade Adeyanju mentioned that passion is crucial and gender should not stop girls from pursuing their passion. In her words, “Go for what you are passionate about”. Yemi Elizabeth Faboyo emphasized the importance of speaking out. According to her “People take advantage of your timidity, be bold”.
There was a Q and A session after the interactive session and the mentors were able to passionately attend to the questions that were bothering the girls. One of the girls, Adediwura Afolabi appreciated the mentors because according to her, she was at a stage where she was facing a lot of pressure from her friends but the mentors were able to encourage het not to lose her guard especially as she seeks to pursue excellence. She might not have everything she needs now but she was made to understand that it was just a phase and she won’t always be at that phase.
Okunola Peculiar, a young lawyer also spoke about the law and the girls. Some of the laws protecting the child are, the Nigerian Constitution, the Child Rights Law, and the Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law.
The twelve (12) contestants from the I Speak I Advocate Speech Competition by Rhealyz Africa were called out, applauded, and awarded with a gift item from one of our sponsors. The finalist was crowned ambassadors of Rhealyz Africa as they were encouraged never to keep silent but to keep advocating for the rights of the girl-child.
The girls were evaluated and they would be followed up on what they had learned during the event and how they were able to put it into use.
In celebration of International Youth Day, the girls and the team members of Rhealyz Africa had a video challenge to celebrate the day and to encourage the youths to keep lending their voice because their voice matters a lot.
The girls and their parents were so grateful for the opportunity to be mentored. According to one of the participants, “It is a privilege to be here, and I will say that I have learned a lot today both morally and physically, and I will say that I now feel so happy and excited to see different mentors with motivating ideas”.
They expressed great satisfaction and thanked the organizers of the event for putting up such an amazing event. Adebayo Sekinat, another participant, said “I am so privileged to be a part of this program and also appreciate Rhealyz Africa for giving us this great opportunity of priceless mentorship”.
To develop their communication skills which is one of the main goals of our organization, the girls were told about the communication training that was scheduled for a later date. This was because of the communication gap we noticed during the just-concluded speech competition.
Before the event ended, the Director General and Founder of the organization, Dr. Ireti Adesida informed the girls about the organization, its objectives, and the need for girls to ensure that they are not silent. The event ended with a closing remark by the Executive Director of the organization, Damilola Oluwadahun who encouraged the girls to feel free to always reach out if they have questions or concerns. She also expressed her gratitude on behalf of the organization to the mentors who sacrificed their time to be with the girls, the girls for coming around and every volunteer and staff who contributed their quota towards ensuring that the event was a success.