By Bukar Bolori
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms Catriona Laing has presented the 214th Commonwealth Points of Light award to, Uloma Ogba and Hauwa Balami, founders of Nigerian NGO ‘Give Girls A Chance’.
The Award was presented at a reception in Abuja on Tuesday hosted at the British High Commissioner’s Residence for High Commissioners of Commonwealth countries with missions in Abuja to mark this year’s Commonwealth Day.
In Lagos, the Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Ben Llewellyn-Jones hosted a Commonwealth Day reception on 14 March in Lagos. In Abuja, the Points of Light Award winners, Uloma, and Hauwa, were awarded the prestigious accolade for their voluntary work in their local community through the NGO ‘Give Girls A Chance’.
Her Majesty The Queen – as Head of the Commonwealth – launched the Award as a part of the legacy of the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London. The Award recognises inspirational volunteers from across the 54 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond them.
Earlier this year, the Give Girls A Chance founders became the 214th winners of the Commonwealth Points of Light award. The NGO received the Award for the work it does to help girls between 10 and 19 from low-income families to identify and benefit from opportunities that will help them forge successful careers including financial support and access to mentorship. Over 2000 girls have directly benefitted from Give Girls A Chance since it started in 2016.
Speaking during the awards presentation the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, said: “Congratulations to Ms. Uloma Ogba and Dr. Hauwa Balami for receiving the prestigious Commonwealth #PointofLight award for the amazing work you have been doing through the #GiveGirlsAChance Programme, to improve access to quality education for over 2000 girls through school and mentorship programmes.”
Hauwa, who spoke on behalf of her ‘Give Girls A Chance’ co-founder Uloma, said:
“We are deeply honoured to have been selected for The Commonwealth Points of Light Award. It is an even greater honour to be placed in such distinguished ranks as those of the past honourees. We are thrilled to receive recognition for our work in supporting girls and young women to access and maximise the benefits of a quality education through scholarships, capacity building of girls and schools and advocacy for girl child education.
“We stay committed to our mission to improve access to quality education for girls across Nigeria and are grateful to all our sponsors, volunteers, and supporters, without whom, none of these would have been possible. Thank you once again for this honour.”
The occasion also had the Platinum Pudding competition, where the British High Commissioner hosted a Platinum Pudding competition as a part of this year’s celebrations in Nigeria of the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The Platinum Jubilee is going to be celebrated in 2022 throughout the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952 and to celebrate The Queen’s historic reign.
According to a statement, part of this year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations taking place around the world will include a Platinum Pudding competition. The British High Commission in Abuja was pleased to take the opportunity to host their pudding competition between High Commissions in Abuja. The competition was won by an entry from the South African High Commission in Abuja.