In a display of its commitment to supporting the Girl-Child Education Project, a critical pillar of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) framework, Polaris Bank, in partnership with Evolve Charity, a non-profit organisation, has presented educational materials to more than 400 students in Ikeja and Surulere areas of Lagos State.
The donated materials which include; school uniforms, school bags, pens, sandals, and various books were presented to the students of both Opebi Junior Secondary School, Opebi, Ikeja Lagos, on Wednesday, October 18, 2023 and Gbaja Junior Girls High School and Gbaja Senior Girls High School, at their school premises in Surulere, on Thursday, October 12, 2023.
The initiatives to the three Schools was part of activities marking the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) International Day of the Girl (IDG). The International Day of the Girl is observed annually on 11 October, as a global platform to advocate for the full spectrum of girls’ rights. Fittingly, Polaris Banks support for the Girl-Child Education Project, seeks to promote empowerment of the girl-child through education.
Speaking at the presentation of the educational materials, at Opebi Ikeja, Adekunle Sonola, the Managing Director/CEO of Polaris Bank, spoke of the Banks commitment to quality education of the girl-child.
“At Polaris Bank, we are of the firm belief that every investment on education, especially on empowerment of the girl-child, leaves a lasting impact, not only on the child, but on the society. This is why we partnered with Evolve Charity to launch the Support for the Girl Child Education Project.”
He reaffirmed the Banks confidence in education, saying, We believe in education as an organization, and more importantly, we believe in identifying with the pupils in these school. We have done this over the past few years, and it is something we’re committed to doing, and will continue to do.
According to the CEO, the intervention is aimed at keeping the girl child in school and educated, thereby reducing the growing cases of early marriages in society. The objective is to empower these underprivileged girls through education by providing them with school supplies and personal development tools they need.
Also, speaking at the presentation of the educational supplies, Umesh Amarnani, the Managing Director, Pacegate Limited, owners of Evolve Charity, acknowledged the essence of sustainable education intervention, noting that the select schools are now our responsibility by adoption, and we will continue to provide the students with school supplies, whilst focusing especially on the girls and teaching their teachers value-based education that impact good manners on the students.
He commended the partnership with Polaris Bank, saying, “We’re happy to partner Polaris Bank and other institutions that have supported us in our cause. And what is most interesting is that all the work is being done voluntarily by all Nigerians working in the company.
“And we are covering 36 schools across 6 states. We started this initiative four years ago, and we are planning to go on every year and do more and more.
Earlier the Principals of the beneficiary schools expressed their profound appreciation on behalf of the managements and students of their respective schools. ”
Omolara Awosan, the Principal at Opebi Junior Secondary School, expressed her delight at the good gesture saying: “I’m so excited, on top of the world. I think this is my third time since I became the principal of the school, that they have been here, giving our children school bags, uniform, sandals, and some other writing materials. I’m so happy.
Like their teachers, the students at all the beneficiary schools could not also hide their excitement as they were full of appreciation and prayers for the kind gesture towards their academic development.
“I have gained from the writing materials I was given and got a bag and school uniform, and I dont have to buy another uniform to sow aside thisand this presentation, has been being helpful,” Ogunsanya Kemisola, a JSS 2 Student of Opebi Junior Secondary School remarked.
Evolve Charity, a non-profit organisation, is the CSR arm of Pacegate Limited, one of the leading manufacturers of UN Certified Steel Drums and distributor of Adipro Lubricant Additives and chemical solutions to various sectors of the Nigerian Economy. Its partnership with Polaris Bank, Nigerias leading Digital Retail Bank was consummated in 2021.
The Girl-Child Education in Nigeria project is one of Polaris Banks CSR strategic footprints in education. In addition to girl-child education, the Bank also has other initiatives aimed at improving the lives of women. In 2021, the Bank took its Feminine Hygiene Campaign, an advocacy and capacity building initiative on menstrual hygiene for girls, to nine secondary schools in three states across North-Central & North-East geo-political zones of the country.
Similarly, the Bank embarked on a value-based initiative designed to raise consciousness for women-focused and other societal interventions in the country comprising implementation of tailored interventions like the provision of free breast cancer screening to over 20,000 women in Nigeria in partnerships with Care. Organization. Public Enlightenment (COPE), Nigerias leading breast cancer-focused NGO.