In July 2016, Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) hosted the sixth edition of its Leadership Empowerment Achievement and Development (LEAD) Camp for 50 outstanding female participants of the JA Company Program in partnership with Union Bank Plc. The mission of LEAD Camp is to empower and inspire young girls to become high-achieving women leaders while addressing Social Development Goal (SDG) 5: Gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. The selection process was based on demonstration of outstanding leadership skills during their participation in JA Company Program, which introduces senior secondary school students to the different facets of running a business. During the camp, the girls attended leadership workshops and empowerment seminars conducted by respected women leaders from various industries and sectors, conducted media projects on the plight of the Nigerian girl-child, developed vision boards and identified goals for self-improvement and local community development. In addition to these activities the girls also went on field trips to Union Bank Plc, Reel Fruit, carried out live interviews on Channels TV and produced a Public Service Announcement (PSA) on Ebonylife TV which can be viewed HERE
“The majority of participants, who come from various parts of the country are public school students who may never get this kind of opportunity in their lives. We are grateful to Union Bank Plc. for making this possible and to our long list of inspiring speakers who have been very generous with their time,” said Mrs. Simi Nwogugu, Executive Director of JAN, who developed the LEAD Camp in 2001 because, after two years of running JAN she observed that some of the girls who were shy or timid at the beginning of the Company Program, were more confident at the end of the program and needed just a little more encouragement in embracing their new found leadership skills. Mr. Emeka Emuwa, Managing Director of Union Bank Plc, added that, “Developing and grooming young talent is a key focus area for Union Bank. The LEAD Camp provides an opportunity for us to nurture and encourage an entrepreneurial mindset in these 50 young women who we hope will be the corporate leaders of tomorrow. ”
Mrs. Lola Cardoso, Head of Group Corporate Strategy for Union Bank Plc, a guest speaker during the weeklong program also added, “This program was particularly attractive to us because Union Bank recently launched WEHub, our internal women’s empowerment network, to do precisely what the LEAD Camp does for these young ladies for Union Bank women across Nigeria. With this synergy and alignment of purpose, we felt that we were well positioned to support the program, not only financially but also through direct mentorship and personal development. We plan to be involved and active in the community change projects which the girls will undertake after the LEAD camp is over with our women employees across the country mentoring the girls in their local communities.” The WEHub mentoring phase of LEAD Camp 2016 kicked off in January 2017 with Union Bank assigning mentors to all 50 beneficiaries through the WEHub network across Nigeria. The seventh installment of LEAD Camp is already scheduled to hold in July 2017. Be sure to follow #JANLEADCAMP for updates.