Wednesday, 2 December 2015

WETATi International takes over Nigeria in a constructive way

L-R Brenda Chavis, Simeon Mpamugoh and D. Margaret Dureke during the presentation of an award to Mpamugoh
The Staff School Hall of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Lagos, Nigeria, came alive recently for a three-day programme organized by “We’re Empowered To Achieve The Impossible (WETATi) International, a non-governmental organizational that aims to build a nation through positive mindset, service, volunteerism, mentorship, leadership, with integrity and entrepreneurship.
The youth empowerment programme which began on Thursday, November 12, 2015 with a general session (Town Hall/Open Mic) treated topics such as “Practical Life Application of School Skill; Role of Churches and NGOs; Be a Responsible and Contributing Member of Society; Role of Schools; Create Corporate Leadership Role; Corporate Governance; Volunteerism; Public and Private Partnership and so on”. It ended on Saturday, November 14th with some town hall topic including: “The Role of the Government and Social Responsibility of the Private and Public Sector to Provide the Environment and Tools in Building the Next Generation through Making Political and Private Entrepreneurship Feasible and Able to Succeed.”
Delivering his opening speech, the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Rahamon Bello, harped on role of women to national development. He expressed the importance of women saying, "Their roles cannot be overemphasized as it is indispensable to national development.”
He said that women's role has been made more manifest in the last two decades and regretted that, in the third world countries for many years, women were seen as wives who were only meant to cook, clean and take care of kids.
Bello noted that women were at a point denied franchise while men took care of having jobs and paying any bills that had to be paid but it later dawned on society that women should have bigger role than they previously had.
The VC who was represented by Dean, Students Affairs Prof. Tunde Babawale observed that, "Because of the social demands on women, they began to voice their opinion on what their roles should be in the society, which has led to vast improvements in their lifestyles in the past few decades beginning from holding positions in governments to simple things like getting a job and supporting themselves."
He maintained that in spite of advances already made in gender mainstreaming and equality, women remained confronted with the challenges of daily living exemplified in discrimination and domestic violence.
He recalled that, "Research has shown that societies that discriminate by gender tend to experience less rapid economic growth and poverty reduction than societies that treat males and females equally. Women are known to be more efficient at distributing goods and services within the household, a realization that has ensured that they are made beneficiaries of resources aimed at alleviating poverty," Bello said.
He urged the conference organizers to sustain the tradition, aims and objectives of the group in the area of growing together and helping one another through service.
In her keynote address, the wife of the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Mrs. Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano, also known as ‘Osodieme’, who spoke on "The Family as the Bedrock for Sustaining the Empowerment of Youths and Women” disclosed that  the topic was her  personal experience particularly on the various intervention programmes and activities undertaken by her non-governmental organization, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ), which have become empowerment tools to many within her state, Anambra and beyond.
Represented by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Hon. Emeka Ozumba, she thanked Mrs. Dureke for the good work she is doing to empower and mentor the youth in Nigeria. “What you do is the type of example you will give to the man sitting next you. If our youth are guided alright, the sky will be their limit. Our passion in Anambra State is “do more with less”, which means, with the little you get if you are able to teach four to five people how to move on in life, you would have done a lot in life,” Obiano said.
In the same vein, the wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Her Excellency, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, commended the rising profile of WETATi international and its Nigeria affiliate, and described it as a socially responsible corporate organisation, with keen interest in the affairs and issues that touch on the youth of this country.
Represented by the wife of Chief Whip, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mrs. Adeyinka Abiru, Mrs. Ambode noted that through WETATi founder’s contributions in the area of scholarships, she has ensured stability and continuity in the education of the beneficiaries.
 “The youth of any country represent the future of that country, training our youth therefore, means that you are actually positioning our great country for more growth and development. It is of particular interest that you have chosen issues of leadership and business development as the central focus of your deliberations, because they are fundamental to the future roles of the youth as eventual leaders of Nigeria,” she said.
Founder, President of WETATi, Dr. Margaret Dureke, while giving her address explained her decision to empower the youth was as result of a lot experience she had from people over the years such as rejection and abandonment. “The only reason is that I have been through it, I have fallen many times and rose up again. I have written a lot of books, opened a lot of businesses and helped a lot of people. I allowed myself to fall many times because if you have not fallen you won’t know how to stand. The catalyst is the fact that after getting all the degrees, I was stumbling so I said; there is a disconnection between the practical aspect of life and the school education, meaning that all of us, particularly in Nigeria, give too much power to education. I am not saying that education is not important. There is something that is missing. Why it took me time to find my feet in the financial world was because nobody taught me to do it.  So I decided to devote my time to help the youth so that why they are still in school trying to memorize or cram the theories, they will learn the application of what they are cramming. If we did that and hold businesses around us socially responsible, life will be better. It is time we change the status quo, our children need to be educated and also do apprenticeship. “I shared a story about a woman we empowered whose husband abandoned because she has three daughters. I am a mother of three beautiful daughters and have been married to a loving husband for 30 years. The next generation must be saved from this derelict education mentality where everybody prides for the degrees they have got but has nothing to show for it. WETATi is here to change that. Thank God for the UNILAG which took first step and we are going to partner with them. Let’s take over Nigeria in a constructive way, discipline, integrity and honour to mankind.”
The event reached its crescendo when some Nigerians including a journalist Senior Investigative reporter of The Sun Nigeria, Mr. Simeon Mpamugoh;  Unilag student, Emmanuel Adebayo; Executive Director, Keystone Bank Healthcare Limited, Mr. John Winter Obeten and others, were honoured with different categories of awards.
For his contribution in developmental journalism, Mpamugoh received WETATi Journalist of Exceptional Vision and Integrity.
Guests were treated with sumptuous meal and exotic drinks while a disc jockey locked it down with good music which sent Dr. Dureke and few guests shaking their bodies to the rhythms. A musician, author and actor, Uceemania, who composed a song for WETATi also entertained the guests.

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