It is no secret that I do not hide my admiration for Entrepreneurs and anybody that makes a difference in other people’s lives. The core of society depends on community integration, community development and helping our neighbours; this is what David Cameron calls THE BIG SOCIETY.
In order to achieve this big society however, everyone has a part to play and needs to play it well. That is why it irritates me when I see successful entrepreneurs who don’t do enough for their society. Each and every society on God’s green earth have ills that need curing and thankfully in the absence of government sometimes philanthropists rise to the occasion and do the needful in tackling and many times curing these ills.
Two such ills are Breast and Cervical Cancer. But tucked in a small South Western state in Nigeria is a foundation tackling these ills head on. It is quite customary in Nigeria that upon attaining office of Executive Governor, the first lady (Governor’s wife) embarks on a series of programs or initiatives close to her heart by way of assisting society. Many have done so with much vigour and fanfare and many have truly touched lives. However, the sad truth is that most of these programs die a death the moment the Governor serves his term and leaves office. Unfortunate but true.
I had come across LEAH (which is an acronym for Life Empowered Anchors Hope) Foundation a couple of years ago while trawling for cancer foundations on the internet and to be honest, I was quite sceptical. I was aware of the importance of Cancer Screening and Early Detection, but I was worried LEAH was just another flash in the pan foundation that would only last as long as the present administration. But how wrong I was.
Just recently, I had the opportunity to read a journal about the Foundation again and how it has grown in leaps and bounds. To say I was shocked is an understatement. The guys at LEAH have basically dragged that foundation into the centre stage and it is well deserved.
Honour to whom honour is due, in previous posts, I gave credit to Tony Elumelu (of Tony Elumelu foundation) and Bill Gates Foundation for what they have done for the less privileged. I must add Omolewa Yetunde Ahmed to that list of credit worthy and notable Philanthropists who truly love humanity. Yes! I have just grouped her in the same category as Bill Gates; because they are doing the exact same thing.
We know philanthropists are people who donate time, money and reputation to charitable causes; Mrs Ahmed is making a difference on that front. One thing struck a chord when reading that journal, she mentioned that she has the determination to “sustain the Foundation for as long as she lives and even long after she is gone” . I just got the feeling this foundation is here to stay, and stay for a long time to come.
Cancer cannot be underrated and in most cases a DEATH SENTENCE, which makes detecting it early as important as the treatment. From what I have read, LEAH has easily assessable screening centres and constantly encourage women to attend these centres for regular screening. It is truly astonishing seeing women of all ages from the most remote rural of areas turn out in numbers to get themselves checked.
While reading this article you might be forgiven for your assumption that LEAH Foundation is a Cervical and Breast Cancer Foundation. It isn’t. It does much more.
LEAH Foundation was actually set up to deal with Socio-Economic Issues, Health & Wellbeing and Cultural Issues affecting youth and Women. I thought I should save the best for last….. LEAH supports Entrepreneurship.
Since this (amongst other things) is an Entrepreneurship blog, I welcome WHOLEHEARTEDLY anybody or anything that supports aspiring business people. Isn’t it unbelievable that in Nigeria, you can approach a foundation who is willing to give you a power generating set, deep freezers and hair dryers just to empower you and your Startup? It’s just a simple case of giving the right support to Entrepreneurs who desperately need it. Amazing doesn’t cut it.
Let me ask you a question… Do you know Omolewa Yetunde Ahmend? How many times have you seen her on TV or in Magazines? EXACTLY!
Not surprisingly, Mrs Ahmed is not the type that want kudos for her charity work. I got this feeling she’s doing it because she loves to help people.
While Her Excellency, Mrs Ahmed has the sole responsibility of powering forward the Foundation, most of the foundation’s accomplishments cannot be attained without a solid team behind her. I want to believe everyone in the team share her vision and passion for this foundation. People like Lanre Bello – the Executive Director of the outfit. I have no doubt that LEAH, under his leadership is ready for the next level. Mr Bello and many others are really the unsung heroes of this story.
For this big society to work, everyone needs to play their part…. Mrs Omolewa Yetunde Ahmed is playing her part through LEAH Foundation. As for me, I am excited about this, and I am looking forward to many more journals, news and updates from that part of the world called Kwara state.
As for Mrs Ahmed, I wish I could meet her, shake her hands and say THANK YOU, and God BLESS you for what you have been doing. You are truly a God send, a hidden gem. Your humility is truly astounding.