14 Year-Old Emerges HACEY Essay Competition Winner

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By Oluchi Chibuzor

A 14-year-old girl, Lawal Kasmot has emerged the winner of the 2020 HACEY Health Initiative essay competition organised to mark International Day of Girl Child.

Executive Director, HACEY Health Initiative, Rhoda Robinson released the result at the weekend shortly after the girl child day was celebrated worldwide.

HACEY is a non-profit organization committed to supporting women, girls and young people in Nigeria to live a productive and healthy life.

Robinson said globally, women and girls “have been classified as a disadvantaged population, as they have greater health and safety risks, fewer opportunities for economic participation than men, less access to basic and higher education, and less political representation.

“The United Nations International Day of the Girl Child, held on October 11, aims at highlighting and addressing the needs and challenges girls face while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.

“As part of HACEY’s commitment to improving the health and productivity of girls in Nigeria, we organized activities aimed at Empowering the girl child with skills instrumental to creating and effecting social change in all facets of life,” she said.

She added that, following the 2021 theme, “Digital generation’. Our generation”, HACEY organised a range of activities to engage and enlighten the girl child.

“International Day of the Girl Child Essay competition which captured the topic: The role of the Nigerian Government and society in achieving gender equality.

“The essay was opened to girls from secondary school and from the entries received; three girls emerged as winners, first runner-up and second runner-up respectively,” she noted.

Lawal Kasmot who emerged the winner of the competition received a cheque of N50, 000, a brand new laptop, a certificate and plaque for her school, while Ayodele Susan-Mary emerged as first runner up with a cheque of N30, 000.

Somayina Osakwe emerged second runner-up and went home with a cheque of N20, 000.

Other activities for the day included career and mentoring training for girls at Johnson and Johnson, Stag Engineering, Havana, Banwo & Ighodalo and Nensis Engineering.

As part of activities preceding the competition, HACEY had engaged students in a Safe space (leadership and health) workshop, Health and Leadership sensitization in Schools across project states.

This project successfully reached over 200, 000 young girls with information on health and leadership thereby amplifying their voices in the society, creating a healthy and productive environment for them.

HACEY also stressed that it also helped promote the rights of girls to education, health, and economic empowerment in Nigeria as well as created a conducive platform for young girls to lead healthy and productive lives.

At the end, 100 young girls were enlightened on the specific characteristics of preferred career, requirements, and available career opportunities and 10 young girls were inducted into the HACEY girls’ advisory board.