By Ishowo Yakub
The idea of having a foundation is very common, nearly everyone desires to have one to his or her name. However, what is so great about a foundation? Of course, there is nothing great about having a foundation but there is something great about having a foundation that has become more focused on having measurable impact, foster growth and development. Saliu Mustapha Foundation like every other foundation is ordinary, the only thing that makes it outstanding and admirable is its commitment to searching for available “extra” to be “extra-ordinary”.
A man once said “it is wrong for one to set himself ablaze to light the way for blind people”. In our own understanding, we believe we are not setting our-self ablaze as people who can read this are obviously not blind. We are only contributing our quota to our valuable-shared existence and responsibility towards the people. The journey of the foundation began in 2012, premiered on obtaining JAMB registration form for indigents. While we are a non-governmental organization, we still believe we must remain accountable to our constituents as we journey through years of community impact and contribution to individual financial prosperity to combat poverty.
Admittedly, the Foundation took on some major challenges with flexible financial strategies and by deploying all the foundation’s asset in ensuring an actualized dream. To us, nothing makes America great than her people; her people who didn’t leave the sustainability and continuity of the American dream to the government alone; but also – passionately contributed their quota in making the dream realizable. One of our greatest joy is our ability to advance from obtaining free JAMB registration form for people to extending our hands and resources to other key areas that affect people and threaten our collective existence.
One of our remarkable feat was the elevation of our annual empowerment scheme. In last year “special edition”, we were able to empower nothing less than 150 women in the first week of November, 2019 across the 16 local government of the State with a budget of 10.5 million naira, divided individually, each person went home with 70 thousand naira – Followed by another 10 million naira empowerment of 100 beneficiaries in the second week of November amounting to a total sum of N25 million naira, that is twice in two weeks. It is note worthy that the program was executed without any political affiliation and the first time such would be executed by our foundation.
Staffs of SMF stormed various markets in the state and accessed women whose business entire value is not more than N10,000 – shortlisted them and randomly picked qualified beneficiaries after series of evaluation. Subsequently, we followed few months after the empowerment with an assessment of how the beneficiaries utilized the money and those who utilized it judiciously with crystal productivity were further supported with N200,000; N150,000 and N100,000 respectively.
This is not the first time the foundation will assist people financially, however, it is only remarkable because we could surpass our previous records coupled with our conviction that for this state to progress in actual sense, individual financial prosperity and independence will be instrumental, hence, arrangement is being made for this year edition as it has proven to be sustainable and of crucial value over the years.
Additionally, rather than dealing with poverty from conceptual approach, it is only appropriate it is dealt with from a quantitative approach by rendering passionate assistance to prevent people from experiencing the consequences of lacking basic elements for leading a decent human life. While we had our limitations, we are delighted we could manage the complexity and found satisfaction in how the beneficiaries utilized the money.
Equally, in a bid to promote positive reinforcement and encourage secondary school students in their studies, the foundation organized a commendable Inter Secondary School English and Mathematics competition in the state where the winner of the competition went home with cash prizes including their teachers as a form of encouragement and appreciation for their rare sacrifice in building a sustainable society and responsible future generations. It was a million-naira program where the winner and runner ups went home with their earned prizes.
The winner of the competition; Amir O. Ahmad and his teachers (Mathematics and English) from University of Ilorin went home with N100,000 respectively. The second runner up; Adetoro Muritala from Offa Grammar School went home with N75,000; his teachers (English and Mathematics) N50,000 and N75,000 respectively. Yusuf Wahab from Erinle Grammar School who came third left with N50,000 including his teachers; the fourth and fifth runner up Lawal Temitope from Erinle Grammar School and Samuel Aransiola went home with N30,000 naira respectively including their teachers. It was an applauding program that was premiered on appreciating the value of English and Mathematics without disrespect to other valuable subjects. We are optimistic that our achievements will be measured in its usefulness, how it has assisted learning and motivated the students not to relent in pursuit of their dreams.
Following was the free JAMB registration which has been consistent since 2012. Knowing that this is not enough, we charged further by awarding scholarships to 150 undergraduate students across the state. The scholarship was awarded in an event organized by Saliu Mustapha Foundation. The beneficiaries of the scholarship cut across the 16 local government of the state. Furthermore, a sum of N25,000 each was extended to final year students to support them in their projects – and N25,000 naira was doled out to support 50 widows in the state who were experiencing glaring difficult time.
Progressively, the foundation also contributed in battling the corona virus pandemic that brought the world on its knee by distributing 1,500 face masks and sanitizers at Emir’s Palace, Ilorin. Subsequent distributions took place in selective mosques, churches and markets across the state and a total of 5,000 face masks and sanitizer was distributed accordingly. The foundation made series of donations to people facing difficulties and assisted in settling medical bills.
Of course, there is nothing so great about a foundation unless it makes measurable impact and we will continue to thread on that path, we remain committed to finding available “extra” to make “extraordinary impact. We are not shut to collaborative and problem-solving synergy with other foundations and recommendations from individuals who share in our sense of purpose.
ISHOWO, is the
DIRECTOR OF MEDIA AND PUBLICITY, SALIU MUSTAPHA FOUNNDATION (SMF)