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Corporate Citizenship

Nkuzi Stem Shines a Light on International Day of Women and Girls in Science

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Nkuzi Stem Initiative

In a world driven by technological advancements, ensuring inclusivity and diverse perspectives within STEM fields is no longer optional, it’s essential. Recognizing this critical need, the Grundfos Foundation and Rector Cares Foundation joined forces to launch the groundbreaking “Nkuzi Stem” initiative, meaning “Learn” in Igbo.

More than just a program, Nkuzi Stem serves as a beacon of hope for aspiring young minds, particularly girls aged 15-20 from diverse backgrounds. This innovative education initiative aims to bridge the gap in tech diversity, paving the way for a brighter, more inclusive future. Through Nkuzi Stem, students embark on a fascinating journey into the world of STEM, equipped with the support, mentorship, and resources they need to thrive.

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A core objective of Nkuzi Stem is to dismantle the notion that gender limits potential in technology and computer science. Through workshops, seminars, and hands-on experiences, the initiative empowers young talents, regardless of gender, to excel in the STEM field. By providing coding boot camps, scholarships, and networking opportunities, Nkuzi Stem is poised to revolutionise STEM education in Nigeria.

Last year’s launch at the Federal Government Girls College, Lejja Enugu, marked the beginning of a transformative journey for the students. As pioneers of Nkuzi Stem, they gain access to a wealth of programs and resources designed to nurture their passion for STEM.

At the recent International Day of Women and Girls in Science event, Onyedikachi Erete, founder of Rector Cares Foundation, passionately emphasised the importance of diversity in technology. “Diversity isn’t just about fairness, it’s about unlocking the full potential of the tech industry. Nkuzi Stem recognises this, nurturing a generation of innovators who will bring fresh perspectives and drive progress for all,” he stated. “Seeing beyond limitations, Nkuzi Stem dismantles the walls of exclusion in tech. Our goal is to empower diverse talents and cultivate a tech landscape that truly reflects the richness of our communities.”

Nkuzi Stem aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 5, aiming for gender equality. The initiative serves as a model for similar programs worldwide, fostering a global movement for girls in STEM.

Nkuzi Stem transcends simply offering opportunities; it reshapes the future of the tech industry by fostering diversity and inclusion. By unlocking the potential of a new generation of female innovators, the initiative promises to bring fresh perspectives and ideas to the world of technology, ultimately benefiting society at large.

As we celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science, let us applaud initiatives like Nkuzi Stem that are paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable future in STEM. Together, let us continue to support and empower girls and women in their journey towards excellence in science and technology.

NGOs - SDGs

Mercy Ships and Mission Aviation Fellowship renew partnership to bring life-changing surgery to African patients

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Mercy Ships and Mission Aviation Fellowship Team (Image: Supplied).

Humanitarian aid organizations Mercy Ships and Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) have renewed their partnership to help bring life-changing surgical care to isolated communities across Africa.

Mercy Ships operates state-of-the-art hospital ships, providing free surgeries and healthcare services to sub-Saharan nations with limited access to safe surgical care. MAF’s purpose is to bring help, hope and healing through aviation to people living in isolation and poverty.

The renewed memorandum of agreement between these two faith-based charities enables Mercy Ships to extend their reach further inland to a broader spectrum of the population across Africa, bolstered by MAF’s logistical support. This partnership, launched in Madagascar, will enable teams to access hard-to-reach areas and transport patients in need of critical surgical interventions. This collaboration provides opportunities for those in the most remote and inaccessible regions of the country. Further joint initiatives are being explored in other African nations.

“Traveling by road in Madagascar can be incredibly challenging due to the rough terrain and poor infrastructure,” Michael Jurgensen, MAF Madagascar Country Director, said. “In many cases, reaching remote villages can take days by car, draining valuable time and energy. However, with MAF Madagascar’s support, the [Mercy Ships] patient selection team can cover vast distances swiftly and safely, enabling them to visit multiple locations within a short period. Flying not only saves time for the selection team, but also ensures the team can travel to evaluate and select patients from the most isolated and underserved areas for surgery on-ship at a later date.

A 2016 study of Madagascar revealed that only 20% of the population can access surgical services within a two-hour timeframe, and up to 95% would face financial ruin if they required surgery (source: BMJ Global Health). With a scarcity of surgeons — approximately 1 for every 100,000 people — the prospect of receiving necessary surgical treatment seems unattainable for many (source: WHO).

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Bernard van den Bosch, who has worked for both MAF and Mercy Ships, and current Director of the Africa Services Center at Mercy Ships, expressed his enthusiasm: “We are confidently re-engaging with MAF because together we are stronger. The country of Madagascar has many hard-to-reach areas, and MAF is the key to accessing them. Non-profit organizations can ‘compete,’ but ultimately, we all serve the same goal. I see many opportunities for future collaboration and intensive joint efforts.”

Bastiaan de Waal, Africa Regional Director of MAF, added: “By transporting Mercy Ships teams with our aircraft to the interior of Madagascar, we provide help, hope and healing to residents with the surgical care they desperately need. The need is high in these areas, and these people in isolated communities are equally entitled to care. We are pleased to partner alongside Mercy Ships to support this often-forgotten group. Being each other’s hand and foot is what we are called to do and we have a shared synergy of vision and values.”

This renewed collaboration between MAF and Mercy Ships exemplifies how strategic partnerships can enhance humanitarian efforts, ensuring that more people receive the critical medical care they need. The two organizations previously partnered from 2014 to 2016 in Madagascar and have worked together in Liberia.

Mercy Ships’ hospital ship, the Africa Mercy®, has been docked in Toamasina since February and is delivering surgery and training. The ship is actively collaborating with Madagascar’s Ministry of Health to identify the most pressing needs and strengthen the country’s surgical systems through its education, training, and advocacy program.

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Corporate Citizenship

LG Electronics Donates Solar-Powered Borehole to Abule-Osun Community

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LG Electronics, a renowned global leader in technology and innovation, has made a generous contribution by providing a solar-powered borehole to the Abule Osun community in Lagos, Nigeria. This marks the second similar project in Nigeria, demonstrating the company’s commitment to addressing the pressing issue of access to clean drinking water in local areas. The solar water pumping system reaches a depth of 120m and has a pumping capacity of around 40m3 per day, equipped with advanced treatment technology to guarantee safe drinking water. Moreover, a 3000-liter tank ensures a continuous 24-hour water supply for the residents of Abule Osun, significantly improving their daily lives.

The solar-powered borehole is a vital initiative aimed at delivering clean and safe drinking water to the community, in line with LG Electronics’ unwavering dedication to environmental sustainability and social responsibility. By harnessing solar energy, this borehole not only ensures access to quality water but also plays a crucial role in mitigating the spread of waterborne diseases, thereby fostering better health and well-being within the community. LG Electronics’ commitment to this project signifies a significant step towards creating a healthier and more sustainable future for all those involved.

“We are proud to contribute to the development of the Abule Osun community,” said Mr. Hyoung Sub Ji, Managing Director of LG Electronics. “Access to clean water is a fundamental human right, and we are committed to doing our part to ensure that communities like Abule Osun have access to this basic necessity.” We have already given a community in Abuja a solar-powered borehole, and here today we are doing likewise. I am assuring Nigerians that before the end of this year, we will give as many as possible to several communities both in Lagos and other states of the federation.

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We express our gratitude for the chance, appreciating the backing from our distributor Fouani Nigeria Limited, along with the Youth and Community Leaders, in aiding this community’s welfare. It is our aspiration that this borehole will not only bring happiness but also enhance health and stimulate economic development for future generations, as conveyed by the spokesperson.

According to Mr. Mohammed Fouani (Jnr), Fouani Nigeria Limited Factory Manager, “the donation of the solar-powered borehole is a key component of LG Electronics’ ongoing endeavors to support sustainable development and enhance the well-being of individuals in Nigeria. The company’s admirable commitment to giving back to the communities it serves is evident in this gesture, showcasing LG Electronics’ long-standing dedication to corporate social responsibility. This donation underscores the company’s focus on making a positive impact on both the environment and society, by providing clean, dependable water access through solar-powered technology and thereby enhancing the quality of life for Nigerians.”

“The donation made by the company showcases its enduring commitment to enhancing the communities it serves. This gesture highlights its steadfast dedication to promoting positive change for the environment and society. Through this act of giving back, the company reaffirms its significant impact and influence on the world”. He added.

At the ceremony, Mr. Hyoung Ji Sub, Managing Director of LG Electronics Nigeria, officially commissioned the borehole alongside Mr. Mohammed S. Fouani, Manager of Fouani Factory, Mr. Hari Elluru, Head of Corporate Marketing at LG Electronics, and Prince Kasali Abiodun, Chairman of the Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria and Youth Leader of Abule Osun. The community leaders, landlords, and association members were delighted by this act, knowing it would greatly enhance residents’ access to clean water.

In his remark, Prince Kasali Abiodun, Chairman of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria RTEAN Abule Osun expressed his appreciation, saying, “I am delighted that we have come together today to commemorate health and vitality. Our community owes a debt of gratitude to LG Electronics for their invaluable support.” He added, “The provision of clean water is pivotal to enhancing our everyday existence and securing the well-being of our loved ones.” This acknowledgment underscores the essential role played by accessible clean water in promoting healthier lives and nurturing stronger communities.

More than 70 individuals gathered at the event, with a notable presence of distinguished guests such as officials from the Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria, members of the Landlord Association of Abule Osun, and esteemed Community Leaders. The diversity of attendees represented different sectors and perspectives, contributing to the richness and depth of discussions held during the event. It was a gathering that showcased collaboration and cooperation among various stakeholders, emphasizing the importance of unity in addressing common challenges and advancing shared goals within the community.

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Corporate Citizenship

Children’s Day: Moniepoint celebrates children, promotes financial literacy

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Children’s Day Celebration Event (Image: Supplied).

In recognition of the transformative power of education and children as the lynchpin of a nation’s future, Africa’s fastest growing financial institution according to the Financial Times, Moniepoint Inc has provided opportunity for kids in low-income and underserved communities in Lagos to receive life-changing financial literacy in a fun, and relaxed environment to commemorate this year’s Children’s Day celebration. 

At an august celebration which was held at the Let It Shine Academy, LISA in Lagos, students were provided with school bags, books, educational tablets and learning accessories to power academic aspirations, as volunteers from Moniepoint took them through interactive and engaging sessions around budgeting, savings and spending,earning money, investing, personal financial management so as to instill a positive culture of financial literacy. 

Children’s Day prioritizes children’s rights and participation in the wider world and financial literacy is a very important life skill considering that financial decisions cut across every aspect of their lives, and a solid foundation in this regard can transform them and the nation at large. 

Speaking to Moniepoint’s observance of Children’s Day, Aderayo Adesokan, Manager, Brand and Communications, Moniepoint Inc said, “We are here at LISA to celebrate Children’s Day with the kids. For us at Moniepoint, we are firm believers in powering the dreams of not just businesses or individuals but those associated with them, especially a vulnerable segment like the children. We believe that we can serve as a catalyst to their dreams while helping them understand that as a brand we exist to ensure a society where everyone experiences financial happiness and we’ll be there for them. 

We are excited that this platform has afforded us the opportunity to introduce these kids to critical life changing skills around financial inclusion and literacy, and help them better under the concept of money. It is our expectation that armed with the information and skills that they have received, they in turn are well positioned and better able to educate their friends and family such that Nigeria’s socio-economic development is safe guarded even as all stakeholders continue to work towards entrenching UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”   

According to Damilola Feyide, Founder & Executive Director of LISA“At LISA, we’re not just teaching; we’re elevating communities through digital empowerment, creative learning, and skill development. We believe in equipping the youth for a rapidly evolving future where they can thrive and lead. I am grateful to Moniepoint for supporting our vision and bringing the dreams of a lot of the kids to pass. They have demonstrated in very clear tones by their actions that it is possible to end neglect and marginalization & provide equal opportunity for children to fully develop especially in underserved communities.” 

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Moniepoint provides over 3 million people and businesses across Nigeria with access to banking, payments processing, loans and business management tools that they need with a view to helping them thrive and contribute to economic growth while driving financial inclusion across the country. LISA is empowering Nigeria’s future by providing free & quality secondary education for children from low-income households and marginalized kids.

Watch a recap of the event  – https://bit.ly/LISAChildrensDay

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