Efua Uke joined us during lockdown in 2020, and she’s done an amazing job of learning our processes and collaborating with colleagues she hasn’t met in person yet! Efua was our first Core Award Winner of 2021. We pick one person every quarter to receive this award, based on nominations from colleagues. We nominate not just for the quality of their work, but for the little things they do every day that make a difference to us all and keep our positive culture alive.
Below she tells us about the charitable work she does, alongside raising three young children and looking after clients as part of our financial advice team:
"As a little girl if there was one thing I was certain that I wanted to do when I was older, it was to create a safe space where young girls can talk about life challenges and get the support they may need.
In June 2017, I started a not-for-profit girls organisation called The Pearls of Purity. We teach, support and empower young girls with the tools they need as they navigate through their journey to womanhood. We teach the girls (fondly called Pearls) how to take better care of themselves, how to have good self-esteem, how to have confidence in themselves, understanding their bodies, respect, identity, dealing with relationships, being responsible, being kind etc.
We hold annual conferences where we invite speakers to teach and empower us. The girls participate in various activities during the conference. This also helps to build their confidence in handling and executing various tasks. We have girls who have never spoken to a group of more than 10 before gaining enough confidence to speak to a crowd of over 30 during the conference.
We started a School Uniform Bank Initiative last year and we were able to support over 20 families with free school uniforms for their kids. The girls were very excited to be a part of this project. It also helped them to look beyond themselves during the covid season.
We partner with a charity in Nigeria to provide free sanitary pads to underprivileged girls.
Since covid-19, we’ve been having virtual meetings and we are looking forward to when we are able to have face to face meetings soon.
Personally, to watch a young girl go from being shy to being confident in expressing their feelings is amazing to see. I love the Pearls so much and spending an hour with them every month is something I always look forward to."