Neya Kalu Foundation donates study materials to school



By Chukwudi Nweje



•Participants at the two-day FEMGINEERS demonstration


The atmosphere at St. Saviour’s School, Ikoyi, Lagos was exhilarating on March 6. It was a day of excitement and joy.

The students  and their teachers were in celebratory mood as cartons of various science study materials donated to the school by  Neya Kalu, founder of Neya Kalu Foundation (NKF) and chairman / publisher of The Sun Newspaper Publishing Ltd were delivered.


L-R: Heaton and Edeki.


She partnered with St. Saviour’s School in a project called FEMGINEERS, designed to promote the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) among female students and bridge the gender disparity gap in the field.

The initiative further aims to inspire female students from public schools to take interest in STEM subjects and to develop an awareness of an area that has potential career opportunities in the future.

The partnership also seeks to develop these students’ problem-solving and innovation skills and foster a culture of inclusivity and empowerment of girls.

The initiative featured two days of practical demonstration of the theme: ‘Flight and Forces,’ during which students from Government College Ikoyi were invited to be part of the project.

Receiving the donations, a visibly excited Mr. Craig Heaton, head teacher at St. Saviour’s praised Neya Orji -Kalu for the gesture, which he noted would not only break the stereotypes in STEM but also contribute to a potential future where girls feel empowered to pursue their passions in STEM without hesitation or doubt.

He said: “By breaking stereotypes and challenging societal norms, in our little way, we are looking to contribute to a potential future where girls feel empowered to pursue their passions in STEM without hesitation or doubt.

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“The project aims to inspire female students from public schools to take an interest in engineering-related subjects and to develop an awareness of an area that has potential career opportunities in the future. Additionally, the project is seeking to develop the student’s creativity, problem-solving and innovation skills; also, to foster a culture of inclusivity and empowerment.

“We developed a specific programme of study for the project around the theme of ‘Flight and Forces’ that was delivered to the students over two days. Ms. Sue Rothell and Mr. Gordon Gray kindly volunteered to be the lead facilitators for the two days. We intend to hold a FEMGINEERS project once every term throughout the academic year.”

Heaton said FEMGINEERS could not have come at a better time because “modern society is driven by technology and engineering,” even as he lamented that despite progress made by society in other fields, “there is still a noticeable gender gap within these STEM fields that is even more pronounced within communities that have considerable socio-economic challenges.”

He further said: “The initiative seeks to develop the target student’s problem-solving and innovation skills and also to foster a culture of inclusivity and empowerment by breaking stereotypes and challenging societal norms.

“By providing opportunities for the students to engage in hands-on projects we are helping to prepare the next generation of engineers to tackle the complex challenges of the future. By breaking stereotypes and challenging societal norms we are looking to contribute to a potential future where girls feel empowered to pursue their passions in STEM without hesitation or doubt.”

Heaton noted that their observations during the two days of practical demonstrations show that the prospects of FEMGINEERS are bright.

According to him, “FEMGINEERS is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics project that we launched this year to try and widen awareness and inspire girls to be interested in that area of their studies but also of their future careers. To think about their future careers in terms of the aerospace industry or different industries where engineering is important and there is a lack of females working in that area and so what we want to do is try and inspire them to go into that area and contribute and make a difference to society going forward.

“We had children from Government College Ikoyi and they have been excellent. They have shown great potential, they have shown a great engineering talent, for maths and science and they have shown a great understanding of all of the topics that we have covered in the project certainly I see some of the students that have been on the project going forward and taking up a career within that area of work, of life. They were fantastic and showed great potential.

“We targeted this area because there is a very clear difference, in a lot of other sectors, there seems to have been some improvement over the years but in the area of STEM, there is still a distinct difference between the number of females and males taking up STEM kind of jobs and employment. We think that if we can get the interests of these girls in STEM at this age, it will benefit everyone.”

Similarly, Mrs.Olayemi Edeki, a board member at St. Saviour’s School, expressed optimism that the donations from the Neya Kalu Foundation would encourage more female children to embrace STEM.

She said: “It is fantastic, great potential. At least six to seven of them showed great potential and the demonstrations made them more interested in the sciences and engineering.

“It is strange that in 2024, people were celebrating the first female pilot to fly for a particular airline. This shows you that there is a huge gap.

“We are working with children from other schools that may not have the same exposure and opportunities that children at St. Saviours School have also to give them the same opportunities.”

She added that FEMGINEERS is not ignoring the boys but only trying to break preconceived stereotypes in the area of STEM.

“We are not saying that boys should not study STEM any more, we are only encouraging girls to also go into the study of STEM because there isn’t a balance so to speak. Boys that want to be engineers will still be engineers,” Mrs. Edeki added.    

Heaton and Edeki thanked Neya Kalu for partnering with St. Saviour’s School Ikoyi on FEMGINEERS.

“We are extremely grateful to our sponsors, The Neya Kalu Foundation and The Sun Newspaper   for helping the school make this happen.”

We are sincerely grateful to Neya Kalu because we can get exposure to this project through her support, which might ignite interest in other organisations doing similar things. It also might bring to the fore of employers that they might want to look at the need for a diverse workforce, so we are grateful for this support. It is a partnership in trying to make a difference in students’ lives, so we are very grateful and we hope that it’s a sustainable partnership we are very grateful to Neya Kalu for coming on board with us and making this happen, it wouldn’t have happened without that support and the Naya Kalu. The students are very grateful because, over these two days, the students have had such a memorable experience that will live with them forever,  we’ve made a difference already.

The Neya Kalu Foundation is an organisation that aims to work with development partners, international and local organisations and donors in pursuing programmes and initiatives aimed at enhancing the economic and psychological well-being of women, children and other vulnerable members of society. It has empowered thousands of vulnerable women and children across Nigeria.

In November 2023, Neya was awarded the Best Social Impact and Sustainability Award (SISA) by CSR REPORTERS’ in recognition and celebration of her inspiring and ethical business leadership; creating change and building a better community for the future of Nigeria and Nigerians.