Nestlé Nigeria CEO personally leads mentorship programme for 12,000 underprivileged schoolkids

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Nestlé Nigeria's Youth Leadership Mentoring Program is designed to encourage children to imbibe the right values, build good character and develop leadership skills. Pic: GettyImages
Nestlé Nigeria's Youth Leadership Mentoring Program is designed to encourage children to imbibe the right values, build good character and develop leadership skills. Pic: GettyImages

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Almost 300 Nestlé employees - including CEO and MD Wassim ElHusseini - are putting their expertise and experience at the forefront of the Youth Leadership Mentoring Programme, which aims to instil the values, skills and attitudes needed for personal development from an early age in children.
Wassim ElHusseini Nestle Nigeria
Wassim ElHusseini

The programme - now in its second season - is a collaboration between Nestlé Nigeria and REVAMP Africa, a non-profit that works to nurture the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs who can effect meaningful change, especially within their immediate communities.

Twelve thousand students from 23 state-owned secondary schools - which provide free education to Nigeria’s poorer communities - will receive a 4-week immersive experience in “real scenarios, learning from successful Nestlé Nigeria and REVAMP Africa leaders who have made a difference in various fields,”​ said Kelechi Anyalechi, REVAMP founder.

“The programme is designed to empower and nurture the leaders of tomorrow through experiential learning. This practical approach will enable them to develop the necessary skills and gain valuable insights to become young excellent leaders.”

He added, “We are thrilled to commence another stream of the transformative Youth Leadership Mentoring Programme in collaboration with Nestlé Nigeria. We are confident of the positive impact this initiative will make in the lives of all the mentees.”

‘Attaining the nation of our dreams’

Nigeria map Getty
Pic: GettyImages

Young people are at the heart of Nestlé Nigeria.

In fact, according to Nestlé Nigeria’s corporate communications and public affairs manager Victoria Uwadoka, “attaining the nation of our dreams begins with prioritising the welfare of children.

At Nestlé, we believe that Nigerian children have the potential to demonstrate the greatness of this country.”

As such, the captain of the company is personally getting involved in the mentorship programme to show the ropes to the students.

“We believe that communities cannot thrive if they fail to offer a future for younger generations,” ​said ElHusseini.

“The Youth Leadership Mentoring Programme is a great opportunity to encourage children to imbibe the right values, build good character and develop leadership skills.

“I am proud of the 280 Nestlé Cares volunteers who have dedicated time despite their busy schedules … and delighted that Nestlé is collaborating on this initiative that prepares young people for success in life.”

Olurotimi Joseph Egunyomi, principal of Estate Senior Grammar School in Ilupeju, Lagos, Nigeria’s capital and most populous city with 30 million inhabitants (the 4th​ most populated city in the world), said meeting professionals will have a lasting impact on the children.

“We are glad that a company like this is playing a complementary role, assisting us in achieving our objective of raising children who excel in academics and character,”​ he added.

Nestle mentoring Nigerian students
Chizoba Ezirim, national coordinator and head of Strategy, REVAMP Africa; Olurotimi Joseph Egunyomi, principal of Estate Senior Grammar School; Nestlé Nigeria CEO Wassim Elhusseini; Ayola Feyitayo Stephen, vice principal of Estate Senior Grammar School; REVAMP founder Kelechi Anyalechi; with Edidiong Peters, Public Affairs, and Bola Audu, Corporate Communications for Nestlé Nigeria.

Building the next generation

The Youth Leadership Mentoring Programme falls under the umbrella of Nestlé Cares, the global company’s employee volunteer programme, which provides opportunities for Nestlé employees to give back to society by offering their time and talent.

The Cheerios and Shreddies maker is also at the forefront of efforts to help children live healthier, happier lives through research, product innovation, food fortification, nutrition education and the promotion of an active lifestyle. As such, it collaborates with stakeholders to reach children through several initiatives, including Nestlé for Healthier Kids (N4HK), a school-based nutrition education programme.

Earlier this year, Nestlé Nigeria marked Children’s Day by providing the 30 N4HK beneficiary schools in the country with learning materials.

Every year, 27 May is set aside to raise awareness of the problems faced by children in Nigeria, which include adequate nutrition and access to healthcare, welfare and education.

Over the past three years, Nestlé Nigeria has provided the funds towards nine N4HK beneficiary schools to renovate classrooms and sanitation facilities and provide water and educational materials. The company is aiming to increase the impact and scale of its interventions to reach even more schools in the coming years.

“This annual event gives us the opportunity to celebrate them and to reflect on how to enhance their health and wellbeing,”​ said Uwadoka.

“We are therefore delighted to collaborate with our partners to prepare them for the future through the Nestlé for Healthier Kids initiative. We trust that the learning materials will go a long way towards making their learning experience more exciting.”

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