Thursday, March 4, 2010

Goal launches in Nigeria!

Standard Chartered Bank will launch its award-winning Goal programme in Nigeria, aiming to reach 10,000 girls in 2010 with football training and life skills and financial literacy education on Monday, International Women's Day. The Youth Empowerment Foundation has been selected as the first implementing partner in the country and will begin by rolling out Goal in Lagos and Abuja.

Standard Chartered established Goal in India in 2006 with the aim of empowering adolescent girls - a group with the potential to make positive change in their communities. In October of last year, Standard Chartered committed to a large scale global expansion of its Goal programme, aiming to empower 100,000 adolescent girls over the next four years. Goal covers the key life skills such as communication, accessing resources, and financial literacy. The Nigeria programme will have a special focus on HIV and AIDS and women’s health.

Standard Chartered believes that women are key drivers of economic success in our markets. Their potential often goes untapped, in spite of the fact that a number of studies have shown that programmes focused directly on women and girls impact much larger groups of families and communities. For example, Nigeria loses an estimated $1.7 billion in growth per year from girls whose economic potential is untapped.

Goal will be run by the Youth Empowerment Foundation, an NGO that has worked to implement projects for youth and adolescents across Nigeria for seven years. In addition, Bank employees will volunteer with the project.

Christopher Knight, Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria says Goal offers many opportunities for the business and the community. “Our sponsorship places us in a unique position as the Bank that builds local capacity for sustainable growth. By empowering adolescent girls, we are also showing we are Here for good in our community. Goal is a splendid initiative to discover and nurture potential future female high flyers.”

“What an exciting way to celebrate International Women’s Day by announcing the launch in Nigeria” said Jaspal Bindra, the Bank’s CEO for Asia and executive sponsor of the programme. “We look forward to bringing our unique programme of life skills, financial literacy, and sport to young women in one of our most dynamic African markets.”

At its core, Goal is about transformation and building self-confidence, empowering girls with limited opportunities in the past to create a better future for themselves and for their families. Rakhi, a 17 year old Goal Champion from Delhi, had this to say about the programme: “When I joined Goal, my father was against my joining the programme, but now his opinions have changed. I feel so proud. Someday, I will prove to him that I am no less than my brothers.”

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