It feels just like yesterday that we exchanged pleasantries and wished each other a happy new year, yet, we’re already in Q2 of 2018. How time flies!
The first quarter of the year is undoubtedly our busiest of the year – with our Venture in Management Program (ViMP) in February and Global Money Week as well as Women’s Month activities in March, we are usually panting and grateful for the rest when the schools break for the Easter holidays.
ViMP 2018 was especially outstanding because not only did we get another set of incredibly brilliant young members of the NYSC into this year’s cohort, we were also able to interview ViMP alumni from previous years, going as far back as the pioneer class of 2000, for a documentary that became quite emotional for me as I heard stories of different lives that have been touched by ViMP. I am so proud of the fact that virtually every major non-profit organization in Nigeria is led by a ViMP alum (long list includes FATE Foundation, LEAP Africa, Paradigm Initiative for Nigeria, Africa Initiative for Governance, The Education Partnership and so on) and when you expand “leadership” to mean not just the CEO but the management team, then you can add other major social enterprises like WIMBIZ and the Co-Creation Hub to the list. You will agree with me that this cannot be simply coincidence as even our ViMP alumni in business are not only leading in their respective careers but also starting or leading the CSR initiatives of their companies! Obviously, there is something that works in the ViMP formula to create these leaders who are making great contributions to the Nigerian society.
We are very grateful to African Capital Alliance (ACA) Foundation for sponsoring VIMP for the fifth year in a row (wow!) and for sponsoring the documentary and alumni mixer that enabled current participants to meet and mingle with alumni from various classes. We are also incredibly indebted to our implementation partner, Lagos Business School, and our supporting partner, Accenture, for continuing to ensure we deliver the highest quality VIMP program every single year since 2000. Thank you!!!
Our busiest day of the year remains the Financial Literacy Day that occurs during the Global Money Week in March. Just as we did last year, JAN developed the financial literacy curriculum which the Bankers Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria distributed to all banks such that their executives could teach financial literacy to students in primary and secondary schools across 35 states in Nigeria. JAN staff spread out across Nigeria on Thursday, March 15, to support CEOs and Executive Directors of various banks in implementing the program in over 800 schools, reaching over 70,000 students! We are grateful to the CBN and its Bankers Committee for their commitment to increasing financial literacy and creating financially savvy citizens! A highlight for me this year was getting to visit the Nigerian Stock Exchange with some of our students to learn about investing in the Nigerian capital markets and getting to witness the ringing of the closing gong by a JAN student!
Finally, as part of our month-long celebration of women and girls, and in recognition of this year’s International Women’s Day theme, #PressForProgress, we decided to focus on getting more girls interested and invested in careers of the future. We partnered with several Big Tech firms, including Microsoft, Andela and IBM, to host hundreds of girls and young women in digital literacy camps that included coding, 3D printing, career talks with women in technology and enlightening presentations on staying safe online. We also developed a Digital Transformation Committee that features representatives from Google, Andela, Microsoft, Facebook and Paga, who will help us implement a newly approved digital transformation strategy by our fantastic Board Members! We are definitely in for exciting times ahead and I hope you will join us by volunteering in our classrooms, donating to support our work and/or bringing us to a school near you!
Thank you for your support and partnership. Enjoy the newsletter and see you next month!