By Diana Omueza
Youngstars Development Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), says more than 8,000 females across 35 African countries have signed up on its First `Female and More Mobile Application storytelling and empowerment programme.
The initiative is for 30 Days Module storytelling and empowerment programme, Mr Kingley Bangwell, the Executive Director of the group said on Friday in Abuja.
This was during the unveiling of the `Female and More Mobile Application created by the group.
Bangwell said that the platform was designed to become a storytelling platform for building self esteem of young women so they could have better belief in themselves.
He added that it would also enable them to raise their voices, engage social spaces and be inspired to pursue their greatest potential in life.
He noted that the number of entries received for the programme far outweighed the entries received during its introductory edition.
According to him, during the introductory edition of the programme which recently ended, only 200 participants were recorded.
“This platform is majorly offering self esteem building for young and old African women across different sectors who have defied limited socio-cultural and inhibitive narratives to dream big, pursue and achieve greatness.
“Overwhelmingly, since we opened the platform in August, no fewer than 8,000 females across 35 African countries have signed up.
“The kind of response we have got to this project has confirmed our proposition that it is time to rethink how we engage women and galvanise them on development issues.
“We are beginning to ask the question of where these ladies have been all these years when we organise physical meetings on women empowerment programmes.
“We have come to realise that what makes this whole experience unique is that the application is a seamless process that happens at the touch of a button on your smart phone or computer.
“And the entire process takes less than seven minutes to register, read the day’s story and answer questions,’’ he said.
He said that the platform gave room for self esteem building and also conversion of reading of stories and referrals of the platform to other women into rewards and certifications.
He noted that anyone who joined the 30 days module could read a story per day, answer questions and earn points that cumulate into rewards.
Bangwell also said that participants would also enjoy personal development coaching on any area they felt passionate about.
He gave such areas as “boosting low self worth, knowing and identifying you, overcoming negative past and trauma”.
He noted that the coaching content and segments were by female coaches who were passionate about the subject matter they were providing coaching on.
He said that participants who would successfully complete the course would not only get certificates but also proceed to implementing a social impact project on any issue, including those of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said that successful execution of the projects would give room for continuous personal development on personal leadership skills, provide access to social spaces and create avenue to contribute to nation building.
Bangwell said that the programme was created from the organisations research that showed the extent to which self esteem had become a global problem for women.
According to him, 85 per cent of women and 79 per cent of girls say they will opt out of important life activities where and when they do not feel good about their physical looks.
“Studies revealed that self esteem is a definer and a shaper of the quality of lives a woman can possibly have and live.
“Seven in 10 girls with low self-esteem believe they won’t be assertive in their opinion or stick to their decision if they are not happy with the way they looked.
“More than 96.5 per cent recommended the need for a self-esteem boosting programme,’’ he said.
Bangwell said the findings gave rise to the programme to help women build the right self esteem so they could improve their self value, think big, raise their voice and contribute to nation building.
He said there was no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.
He said that contribution to empowering the woman was also commitment to building the nation.