SAA pledges commitment to youths, reward essay winners
South African Airways (SAA) has pledged to invest more in youth development as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility in Nigeria.The airline, as part of the 20th anniversary of its operations in Nigeria later this year, will be impacting Nigerian youths at all levels beginning with essay competitions in secondary schools.
SAA, at the grand finale of the first SAA Essay Competition, recently in Lagos, rewarded three winners with cash prizes and gift items. Victory Yinka-Banjo from Princeton College, Surulere, Lagos State, won the Grand finale with N100,000 and other prizes. Ojo Purpose Oluwapelumi from Liz International College, Giwa Oke-aro, Ogun State came second while Halim Blessing of Princeton came third.
National Sales Manager, SAA, Kemi Leke-Bamtefan, told reporters that the competition was one of their ways of investing in Nigerian youths, especially in a place the airline’s operation had been successful in the last 20 years.
Leke-Bamtefan said it’s a South African Airways’ event and one of the series of activities to mark 20th anniversary in December.“We want to be part of the development in Nigeria. I do not believe in people saying that our leaders have failed us, but I say we have failed ourselves. Part of this is impacting in the youth and making them look inwards and see how they can contribute to the development of Nigeria. This is not about Nelson Mandela or about South Africa. It is strictly about Nigeria and Nigerian youth and how we can contribute to the economy,” she said.
The manager hinted that the airline plans to take the competition to universities and even orphanages, adding that apart from prizes given to the students, they will be taken on familiarisation tour to South Africa to have an experience of the technical side of aviation.
“We will soon organise a press conference on our activities, especially on the 20th anniversary that we will celebrate this year. We just want to start the year on a positive note, the Essay completion started in September 2017 and we just want to have the grand finale in January.
“We are going to run it every year, it is not just once, it is yearly, the competition can go to Universities, it can also go to Orphanages. We have cash prizes, we have consolation prizes for others and we are looking at a community of where everybody (participants) can come together and have a familiarisation trip to South Africa, we also want to support the growth of the students as they move on.”
Chairman of the assessment panel, who is also the Public Relations Officer of Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL), Basil Agboarumi, thanked the management of SAA for such initiative. Agboarumi urged youths to be proud of their country anytime, adding that patriotism will help to make Nigeria a great place.
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