MTN Foundation – Lady Mechanic Initiative project
Executive Director’s (MTNF) address at the press conference for the MTN Foundation – Lady Mechanic Initiative project
It gives me a great deal of pleasure to take part in this event today. I thank the organizers, the Lady Mechanic Initiative especially Mrs. Sandra Aguebor, the “Lady Mechanic’ herself for graciously inviting me. As you are aware, the MTN Foundation is at the forefront of impactful, sustainable corporate social responsibility, and in doing so, we strive to partner with credible organizations such as the Lady Mechanic Initiative to achieve our goals.
It is heart warming to see the work of your organization, and watch it grow from strength to strength. I am aware that Mrs. Sandra Aguebor and her team have worked tirelessly to provide a unique opportunity for our young women and to help them to acquire vital technical skills which will ensure that they lead productive lives, going forward.
As we know young women in the developing world face numerous challenges: inadequate access to education and skills training, limited work opportunities, absence of strong female role models and many more. That is why the work of the Lady Mechanic Initiative is not only radical but crucial – This initiative not only provides technical training in a traditionally male dominated occupation, but also assists “graduates” to find jobs with reputable auto care garages nationwide. Several graduates have been placed in blue-chip companies such as Peugeot Automobile of Nigeria, Kaduna and Germaine Motors, and Mandilas in Lagos. Indeed, this initiative even goes a step further by also supporting women if they wish to start their own businesses.
In addition to the training that they receive, participants of this initiative can access useful information which will help their personal development. In other words, the Lady Mechanic Initiative is providing a holistic solution for the most vulnerable young women in our society and it has been successful!
We are aware that you have received input and recognition not only from the Government of Nigeria and the United States of America but also from the private sector. This has enhanced the quality of training available to your trainees. We applaud this sustained collaborative and consultative approach which is a catalyst for the continuous improvement of the scheme. Indeed, the MTN Foundation itself has benefited in terms of information, expertise and endorsements through collaboration and consultation, and I can testify that it is a formula that works.
Finally I would like to recognize the tireless efforts of Sandra Aguebor. She in an amazing woman. She has displayed a ‘can do’ spirit, leadership and integrity, which are all MTN’s core values, and an inspiration to us all. She has proved that honesty, integrity and hard work in whatever field will be recognized and rewarded. She truly is a role model who is empowering others and providing an easier route than she encountered many years ago. Her compassion and concern for others is deeply moving.
Our partnership with the Lady Mechanic Initiative and several other credible organizations, all involved in fantastic projects which empower diverse sections of our society, is a demonstration of our commitment towards the upliftment of the disadvantaged and vulnerable members of our society and the socio-economic development of this great nation…‘everywhere you go’.
On behalf of the entire MTN family please accept our very best wishes for your continued success as we partake with you to develop and move several young women ahead as Lady Mechanics.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Lady Mechanic Initiative and all Nigerians a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Thank you and God Bless.