In continuation of its commitment to empower the girl child in select public secondary schools, Polaris Bank, Nigeria’s Best Digital Bank this week stormed the city of Kano, Abuja and Kogi to donate hundreds of school bags, uniforms, sandals, books and other educational items to indigent students.
Over the course of five days, officials of the Bank visited the Government Girls Secondary School, Kundila, Kano; the Junior Secondary School, Maitama, the Government Secondary School, Garki, both in Abuja; and the Fortune Schools International, Lokoja, Kogi State where they inspired the children to go give their best in school and not give up despite life challenges.
Speaking on the Bank’s commitment and its huge investment in the programme, Mr. Osazuwa Igbinoba, Polaris Bank’s Group Head, North 1 & Abuja, who represented the Bank at both presetation events, said that the programme was one of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) interventions, and noted that over time, it has partnered with several NGOs on the project.
“This project is the Girl Child Education initiative. The aim of the Bank is to support the Girl Child in Nigeria by empowering them. In the last few years, we have partnered with the Evolve Charity, and we have been able to distribute educational materials all over the country.
“Polaris Bank is also a member of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative working with UNESCO to sustain education in third world countries. According to available research, Nigeria has about 10 million out of school children, of which six million of them are girls. So, for us as an organisation, we thought of how we can contribute our own quota towards reducing the number of out-of-school children, and that’s how we came about partnering on this project with Evolve Charity. And our aim is to empower 50,000 children in five years and that’s why we are here”, Igbinoba said.
He disclosed that the programme, is in its third year, and has seen the distribution of vital educational items in schools in Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Kogi.
The Vice Principal Administration of Government Secondary School, Garki, Mrs. Onuoha Goodluck, thanked Polaris Bank for the donations, saying that it would help the children in many ways.
“Many of our children come from poor homes, where feeding is a problem, and paying school fees is even a bigger challenge for their parents”, she said. “Some of them are always ashamed to even bring out their school bags because of the state they are in. Now, with this initiative, you will see them in a different light from next week in their new bags, new school uniforms and new sandals. We thank Polaris Bank for this and for doing it yearly because they were here last year, and we saw the impact. May God bless you all.”
One of the beneficiaries, Fatima Kabir, a JSS3 student of Government Secondary School, Garki, said the gesture by Polaris Bank would aid her in her aim to become a lawyer in the future.
“I want to thank Polaris Bank because these school materials will assist me in my dream to become a lawyer and fight for justice for other girls,” said Kabir. “I know I can do it even though it will be hard, but with God and the support of others, it is possible.”
At the Government Girls Senior Secondary School in Kundila, Kano, the Polaris Bank team was welcomed by hundreds of excited students and teachers. They were happy to receive the items and cheered loudly when the beneficiaries were called out.
The Principal of the school, Aisha Shehu Yakasai, described the gesture from Polaris Bank as “timely and wonderful”.
“Our girls here struggle with getting to and from school because their parents have little money. Many carry their books in their hands and wear old uniforms, so these items are timely and wonderful. We are most grateful for this donation,” she said.
Speaking in the same vein, the Principal, Fortune Schools International, Lokoja, Kogi State, Mrs. Abu Omanyo Esther said “Our school benefited from this initiative last year and we are so elated to be among the beneficiaries again this year. The impact of providing these educational materials for this kids cannot be over-emphasised as without them, learning can become an uphill task. With a reported six million girl children out of school in Nigeria, all hands must be on deck to remedy the situation and this is why we thank Polaris Bank for this initiative”.
The Polaris Bank, Evolve Charity Girl Child Education school essential items presentation project train will be in Rivers and Imo states in the coming days.
Polaris Bank is digital-forward Bank dedicated to forging a customer-focused future through innovative partnerships that reshape individuals, businesses and communities.