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NICO Group officials: Vera Zulu, Ellen Nyasulu and Lillian Moyo, hand over cheque worth K2.5 million to Minister of Education, Hon. Agnes NyaLonje and Acting Executive Director of Shaping Our Future Foundation, Mr MacDuff Phiri

Listed commercial bank NBS Bank and its major shareholder Nico Holdings have together provided a total of 10 mentors, comprising of Managers and Heads of Departments, who will mentor two girls each for a period of one year in a Girls mentorship Programme being championed by First Lady Monica Chakwera.

NBS Bank chief Finance Officer Vera Zulu said during the launch of the programme in Phalombe at the weekend that NBS Bank an equal rights employer as evidenced by the 45% of positions in its senior management which are being held by women hence their support towards the initiative.

“At NBS Bank, we believe that success is equally attainable for the girl child and that the female youth should be encouraged to follow their visions of success both personally and professionally. Therefore, as NBS Bank and I, on a personal note, are excited to meet the girls and offer that helping hand to guide their personal lives and career ambitions,” said Zulu.

“As a young girl growing up, I remember looking up to the strong women in society and aspiring to one day walk in their shoes. I was fortunate enough to have great role models along the way that have shaped me to become the woman that I am today.”

“This is the reason I am personally looking forward to helping our young mentees here to discover their full potential and become the best version of themselves. This is possible and is also made easier with encouragement and good role models. In fact, there is no limit to what you can achieve when you set your mind to it,” explained Zulu.

The beneficiaries under the mentorship program in Phalombe pose for a picture with Minister of Education, Hon. Agnes NyaLonje, MP for Phalombe South Constituency, Hon. Mary Mpanga, Acting Executive Director, SOFF, Mr. MacDuff Phiri and NBS Bank Chief Finance Officer, Mrs. Vera Zulu

She said the mentorship experience will help young girls face their challenges head-on and build their self-confidence because the female child can learn from their mentor’s experiences and make more informed choices.

Zulu added that NBS Bank, as a member of the NICO Group will leverage on the group synergies with their sister companies namely NICO General, NICO Asset and Pensions, NICO Life, NICO Technologies and Eris properties to mentor the girls.

“We also look forward to shaping our future bankers, insurers, quantity surveyors, ministers and even presidents through this programme. It is our hope that this programme reaches out to all corners of the country,” said Zulu.

Chakwera, through her Shaping Our Future Foundation (SOFF) wants to accelerate interventions in girls’ education and shape the future of Malawi’s young girls.

It is a one-on-one program that will last for a period of one year, where each girl child will be assigned to a selected professional female mentor.

Some of the focus areas to be fostered through the program includes goal setting, accountability and academic excellence.

NBS Bank and NICO Group mentors pose for a picture at the launch with Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje (centre)
Zulu (centre) pictured at the launch of the programme in Phalombe. On her left is Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje
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