Rise Networks

Tobore Edema, Founder of THE GLADIES AFRICA is RISE Youth of the Week

Tobore Oro Edema was born into a family of seven, on the 4th of July, 1989, in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. She studied Microbiology Technology at Delta State University, Abraka Campus, Nigeria. At the age of 13, Tobore began active involvement in civic engagement; she was among a few selected for a week-long trip to attend seminars primarily on domestic violence against women (VAW), gender inequality and harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and widowhood rites. She had the opportunity to visit the United Kingdom at the age of 15, where she gained a new level of exposure by meeting other teenagers within her peer group, who were much more exposed and assertive, this brought about a high motivation in her to discover her strengths and fully utilize them. The same year, she became a volunteer at the Delta State branch of a United State based organization called YFC (Youth for Christ). At 17, Tobore, alongside two close friends, founded Project  ”Security”, a faith-based initiative focused on promoting self discovery in young women, and patriotism for Nigeria. They made impact through platforms such as picnics, talk shows, a small concert and a luncheon.

Tobore had always believed in herself as a little girl and she was able to create random but consistent pictures of a meaningful life in the future, but she was rather demure. As a teenager, she shied away from responsibilities that required her leading or addressing people, not for reasons of incapability, but for self-doubt; she did not believe in her ability to express herself articulately in public. Consequentially, she often had embarrassing, nervous fits which further discouraged her from taking up leadership roles or things that had to do with public presentations. However, leadership was something she well embraced over time. This was as a result of her cumulative exposure in civic engagement, unexpected leadership responsibilities which she found herself naturally thriving in, and the realization that she was as a great source of inspiration to many young women alike, as she had been told.
Over the years, her sense of direction in life became much more vivid, today she has created a working system of skill set transfer, platforms for inspiration and empowerment, through which she challenges other young women to believe in themselves and to reach further to fully discover and utilize their potentials.

Tobore Edema is a social entrepreneur; currently she is the Founder and Director of an initiative called The Gladies. The Gladies is a non-governmental organization focused on young women and female teenagers. Its primary objective is to promote economic empowerment through skill acquisition, character building and self-discovery through mentorship and positive influence driven by media with inspirational and educative content. This objective is being achieved through a media outreach – The BMW Series (Business, Ministry and Women), a talk show platform that features young female role models thriving in their spheres; the teenage outreach – YOGLAC (Young Gladies Club) a club for mentorship, self-development and character building of teenage girls; and the economic empowerment outreach – La Chokmah Enterprise, a platform for that creates job opportunities under professional events management, and organizes skill acquisition programs for young women.

She was a member of the youth network of the WBG/IMF (World Bank Group/International Monetary Fund) African Society, through which she participated at a round table discussion series on “Strategic Approaches to Increase the Participation of Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) for Africa’s Development and through the Diaspora”, which held at the World Bank headquarters, Washington D.C.

She has also served as a founding member/Secretary General of Celebrate Heroes, a charitable organization committed to orphans and vulnerable children, where these children are hosted and celebrated every October 1st alongside Nigeria’s Independence Day celebration. The objective of the organization is to build the self esteem and enrich the lives of these orphans and vulnerable children by raising funds and/or providing their basic needs such as food items, school materials and clothing.

In 2013, Tobore emerged as a finalist in the Future Awards Africa under the category of Advocacy and Activism. She was nominated for her advocacy for young women, and the significant impact reached through the maiden edition of her talk show – The BMW Series, where she hosted Tera Carissa Hodges, the founder of Life Now Ministries and Life Now Marketing. In 2015, she was honoured as a Highly Commended Runner-Up under the 2015 Queen’s Young Leader Awards (QYL), an initiative of Her Majesty the Queen of England.

Culled from : Creamnaija

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