Environment

Due to the nature of the industry in which we operate, Sahara is committed to carrying out business in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. As a responsible organization, we are involved in the production, provision and promotion of alternative sources of energy in order to protect the environment and the welfare of the people.

We are of the opinion that a healthy environment guarantees a healthy community. For this reason, we are committed to reducing the impacts of our activities on the environment while also promoting campaigns and initiatives that will create a sense of responsibility towards the protection of our planet earth.

Promotion of Green Energy Initiatives and Green Energy Campaign

The main objective of these initiatives is to raise awareness about the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to the ozone layer depletion leading to adverse climate conditions and global warming. We continually support campaigns geared towards sustaining the environment, creating awareness on alternative sources of energy while also making available opportunities for suitable substitutes for conventional sources of energy.

The expected outcome is a paradigm shift which would bring about a change in the generation and consumption of energy thereby ensuring energy security and the overall protection of the environment.

Promotion of Clean Energy Through Environmental Responsibility

Globally, there is a growing concern about the environment and the need to protect all its resources. As a socially responsible organization, we ensure that our business is carried out such that it does not adversely affect the planet.

re derived from natural resources that replenish themselves over a period of time without depleting the earth’s resources, thereby creating a climate fit for the human race. We believe that supporting such initiatives would ultimately lead to an improvement in how we manage waste, emissions, water pollution, energy generation and utilization.

Society

We recognize that we are responsible for the well being of our workplace and of the communities in which we operate.The infrastructural decay in most host communities has remained a matter of great concern arising from the fact that infrastructural functionality plays a pivotal role in the socio-economic well being of the populace and the overall growth and development process of the economy. In a bid to address this issue, we work to continually provide basic social infrastructure in marginalized communities. The projects are adaptable to the diversity of each community’s needs and serves to improve the quality of life in the host communities. We realize that development is driven through a ‘bottom-up’ approach hence; all projects implemented in communities are identified and prioritized through consultations with all stakeholders involved to ensure maximum impact and community ownership.

Sustainable Community Development

At Sahara, we recognize that our operations drive economic development, which often times creates social and environmental dis-equilibrium; hence, we actively seek opportunities to manage our operational risk, create strong alliances and partnerships with our business neighbours (host community/government), stakeholders and footprint communities, as well as align our community development activities towards our stakeholders overall objectives.

We operate an efficient and cost-effective sustainable development project/programme system that applies internationally accepted and recognized standards of practice. We focus our interventionist approach on sustainable projects and programmes with the widest outcome/outreach and broadest impacts. This entails enhancing and creating partnerships, alliances and collaboration with every segment of the community and where possible with expert groups, government agencies, NGOs, and other relevant stakeholders. This is achieved through the following:

Provision of social amenities

We recognize that we are responsible for the well being of our workplace and of the communities in which we operate. The state of infrastructural decay in most host communities has remained a matter of great concern arising from the fact that infrastructural functionality plays a pivotal role in the socio-economic well being of the populace and the overall growth and development process of the economy. In a bid to address this issue, we work to continually provide basic social infrastructure in marginalized communities. The projects are adaptable to the diversity of each community’s needs and serve to improve the quality of life in the host communities. We realize that development is driven through a ‘bottom-up’ approach hence; all projects implemented in communities are identified and prioritized through consultations with all stakeholders involved.

Sponsorship of Youth-Led Developmental Initiatives

In order to encourage innovation, creativity, leadership as well as maximizing all benefitsembedded in it, we endeavor to sponsor viable projects that will ultimately lead to development and enhance the well being of the youths in our host communities. A participatory approach is adopted in order to engage all segments of the community. We believe this will help to hone the skills of the local population and ultimately lead to more sustainable development.

Recruitment of the semi-skilled and 100% of unskilled labour from host communities

In a bid to support members of our host communities, employment opportunities commensurate to their skill sets are made available for them to be engaged with. By doing this, we are able to engage the idle hands in these communities as well as provide income for them.

Health Care

Over 14 million people die from various infectious diseases each year, most of them living in developing economies and majority of which are preventable or easy to cure. For us at Sahara Foundation, we believe that improved health contributes to both social and economic development for the following reasons:

  1. It lessens production losses due to workers ill-health
  2. It enables the exploitation of natural resources which had been unreachable due to illness
  3. It increases the opportunities for children to be in school and allows for better learning
  4. It allows for optional use of resources that would have been spent on treating illness.

To this end, we have streamlined our focus to areas which we believe are easily preventable, highly prevalent amongst indigent people, have debilitating impact on the lives of the patients and are sustainable.

Eye Care Programmes

Project Objectives

  • To raise public awareness on the importance of regular eye examination and good eye-sight management in order to eliminate preventable blindness and other eye diseases.
  • To provide free eye care services for the rural poor.

Synopsis on Eye care

  • There are an estimated 45 million blind people and 135 million visually impaired people worldwide
  • An estimated 1.4 million children are blind, 320,000 of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Worldwide, up to 70% of childhood blindness may be preventable
  • In developing countries, it is believed that 60-80% of children who become blind die within 1-2 years
  • Cataract is the single most common cause of blindness in developing countries

Cancer awareness, screening and treatment programmes

This programme is implemented through awareness walks, educative sessions, free screening for men and women and the provision of treatment for an agreed number of positive cases.

Cancer Awareness Objectives
The aim is to enlighten the public about the disease, detect it at the early stage and promote long-term survival rates.

Synopsis on Cancer Awareness
Research has proven that cervical cancer kills one woman every hour world over, breast cancer kills a woman every minute and prostate cancer affects eight in ten black men in their lifetime.

Provision of Care for People Living with HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS Objectives
To increase the awareness level of the disease, encourage people to know their HIV status, to reduce stigmatization of those already infected and to make life more bearable for them

Synopsis on HIV/AIDS Awareness
About 70 million people have been infected with the virus and about 35 million people have died of AIDS. An estimated 0.8% of adults aged 15-49 years worldwide are living with HIV. In Sub-Saharan, nearly 1 in every 20 adults (4.9%) lives with HIV. This accounts for 69% of the people living with HIV worldwide.

  • Provision of nutrition for people living with HIV/ AIDS
  • Provision of medicinal support for people living with HIV/ AIDS
  • Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of the disease
  • Provision of counseling for people living with HIV/ AIDS as well as for their family members
  • HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns/ walks
  • Provision of free HIV/AIDS test for rural people

Provision of Care for People Living with Physical and Mental Disabilities

Objectives
To provide care and support for the less privileged ones in our various communities

Synopsis on Disabilities
People living with disabilities are often distinguished by 3 main characteristics which include impairments, limitation of activities and participation restrictions.A recent UN report revealed that in many countries, persons living with disabilities have less access to social services and often belong to the most vulnerable groups in society.
Below are some facts on disability:

  • 20% of the population in the poorest regions of the world lives with a disabled person.
  • 90% of the disabled children do not attend any school.
  • Persons with disabilities are more likely to get HIV/AIDS as they have less access to information and treatment.
  • These groups of people are more vulnerable to abuse.
  • People living with disability have fewer opportunities to earn a decent income and often belong to the poorest of the poor.

To compound the level of neglect for these groups of people, most developing nations do not have laws to protect the rights of disabled persons. As a result of this, Sahara Foundation has made the provision of care for disabled people a priority. Whether the disability is congenital, as a result of an accident or from a disease, we focus on providing the required care and also facilitate the reintegration of these people into their various societies. Our most recent areas of intervention include cleft lip & palate surgeries and donation of prosthetics to amputees.

Water and Sanitation

  • Borehole
  • Public toilets

Water Objectives
To provide access to portable water in order to reduce/eradicate water borne disease and providing sanitary facilities to care for and support the less privileged ones in our various communities

Synopsis on Water
Over one billion people worldwide lack access to potable water. These people are at risk of various water related diseases, most of which are fatal. Also, only 61% of the people in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to clean water sources. Similarly, over 40% of all people globally who lack access to drinking water are in Sub-Saharan Africa.In these areas, the burden of carrying water falls primarily on women and young girls who are forced to walk several miles in search of water.

The inadequacy of clean water sources have accounted for poor sanitation in the affected areas with rural areas topping the list. A vast majority of rural people still practice open defecation or lack adequate sanitation facilities. The consequences of such practices are very devastating for human health and the environment. Even in more developed areas where household toilets are readily available, a large number of the toilets are either connected to septic tanks that are not safely emptied or use other means that discharge sewage into open drains.

In an attempt to promote clean water sources and encourage good sanitation, Sahara Foundation is committed to the donation of boreholes in areas of need. The donation of these boreholes have accounted for the eradication of Guinea-worm disease in Nigeria and Ghana, an achievement which has fuelled our desire to do more. We have also promoted good sanitation through the donation of public toilets in rural areas and provided training on how to maintain the facilities.

Provision and Upgrade of Medical/Laboratory Facilities:

Synopsis on Medical lab
Healthcare indices in Africa rank in the lowest percentile globally, especially in terms of quality, equitable distribution, access and affordability. As poor as healthcare is generally, diagnostic infrastructure is in an even worse state. Laboratory services have long since been an impediment to healthcare delivery as equipment are often obsolete, human resource inadequate and management systems often non-existent.

In an attempt to offer solutions to this problem, Sahara Foundation is engaged in procuring and installing top quality modern laboratory equipment relevant in clinical chemistry and hematology, training of staff in the use of said equipment and ensuring a revolving fund structure such that all proceeds are kept in a project account so supplies and consumables can be easily restocked. Our commitment to ensuring sustainability of our projects has accounted for a monitoring and evaluation system.

Below are the steps involved in the project implementation
a. Procurement and installation of Project Equipment via a competent agent
b. Provision of seed consumables- seed consumables for a reasonable period will be provided as investment to generate funds for the initial laboratory revolving scheme and guarantee continuous supply thereafter
c. Maintenance – appointed agent must be competent and available to procure, install, maintain and supply consumables.
d. Training – the agent will in the first instance train the existing personnel in the use and low level maintenance and calibration of installed equipment
e. Agree and set up revolving fund scheme- in conjunction with stakeholders, agree a workable revolving scheme, collection systems, parameters, project bank and account
f. Reporting – set up a credible and workable reporting system with clear reporting lines where project related data and issues are fed back to project committee and donor on a monthly basis
g. Monitoring and Evaluation- quarterly M & E visits scheduled and set up to generate continual improvement cycles.

Economic Empowerment

It is a known fact that the recent economic recession accounted for loss of jobs in most parts of the world. While many previously employed people remain unemployed, new school leavers are unable to find jobs thereby leading to an increase in the level of poverty globally.

In a bid to alleviate the sufferings of such unemployed people, Sahara Foundation is involved in skills training programmes to equip individuals in various vocations and empower them to become masters of skills, make them become financially independent and eventually start businesses of their own. The areas of learning vary depending on the environment where the people operate. Regardless of the area of expertise, our focus is to adequately empower beneficiaries.

Upon successful completion of an intensive training programme, the best students are awarded start-up grants to kick-start their businesses with constant monitoring and evaluation to ensure the success of the business. The participants are also trained to develop the entrepreneurship skills which they require for their businesses to grow. We are confident that successful acquisition of skills and the required entrepreneurship drive will lead to successful businesses at all levels.

Education & Capacity Building

Globally, over 75 million children do not have the opportunity to attend primary school. Unfortunately, more than half of these numbers are girls. The case is particularly worse in Africa where one in three children that are enrolled in school drop out of primary education. Poverty has been identified as one of the main reasons for this occurrence. High levels of poverty often drive parents to send their children to farms and marketplaces rather than the classroom.

The constantly declining state of educational infrastructure has also led to a decrease in the number of students willing to go to school. The students see the structures as death traps as against comfort zones for learning.

Our areas of intervention include:

  • School Feeding Programme
  • Creativity Competition among the Youth
  • Career Counselling Programmes for Senior Secondary Students
  • Upgrade of Classroom Facilities
  • Scholarships for indigent students
  • Economic Empowerment Programmes
  • Scholarships and Financial Support

School Feeding Programme:

Synopsis
According to the World Declaration on Education for All, poor health and nutrition are crucial underlying factors for declining school enrolment, absenteeism, poor classroom performance and early school dropouts. In Africa, learning and school performance, especially in rural communities, are compromised due to ill health, hunger and undernutrition which affect a significant proportion of children in schools. Many children from poor homes and rural areas suffer hunger while in schools and cannot be retained. The poor attendance and withdrawal decreases the enrolment rate and also affects their learning achievements.

Objectives

The School Feeding Programme achieves the following:

  • An increase in school enrolment rates
  • Improved nutritional status of the average school child
  • Improved performance of the school child
  • Alleviation of short-term hunger, thus increasing attention and concentration span
  • Motivation for children to attend school and motivation for parents to enroll their children in school
  • Reduction of absenteeism
  • Increase in total energy intake of the school child

Creativity Competition among the Youth

Synopsis
Sahara is committed to promoting creativity and innovation among the youth of our society. We focus on developing talent by providing the opportunity to improvise, discover and experiment with one’s surroundings such that one is able to develop competencies. This is achieved through various educational competitions / challenges implemented with credible partners who specialize in youth development and empowerment.

Objectives of the competitions are to:

  • Expand the minds and creativeness of the youth
  • Develop a collaborative/team spirit amongst the youth
  • Build communication and narrative writing
  • Improve problem solving technique
  • Recognise natural talents and place the power to control their future in their own hands.
  • Provide hands-on experiential learning opportunities that focus on the development and nurturing of entrepreneurial skills amongst the youth.

Career Counseling Programmes for Senior Secondary Students

Synopsis
Research has shown that most students at the course select stage in secondary schools often make the wrong choice of course to study in Universities due to various reasons ranging from peer pressure, parental influence, childhood fantasies, etc.

Objective
The programme provides career advice, university course-selection guidance and information to young secondary school students who are at the course select discipline class. Many final year secondary school students generally find it very difficult to decide what career path to follow in life. Consequently, most students end up choosing the wrong subject combination and end up with a wrong career choice. This is what the Sahara Career and Advice Guidance Programme aims to possibly address and curtail. This programme is implemented by our staff members who are often eager to share their real life experiences with the students.

Upgrade of Classroom Facilities

Synopsis
In most parts of Africa, the deplorable state of classrooms and other facilities in public schools is alarming. More often than not, students are compelled to learn under very unhygienic and unsafe conditions. While most of the buildings are completely rundown and unfit for learning, the students have no choice but to manage under such conditions thereby making learning a dreadful experience.

Objective
In an attempt to making learning a more pleasurable experience, Sahara Foundation is involved in the refurbishment of several school buildings across Africa. With approval from the Educational Districts in the various locations, the completion of the projects ensures that the dilapidated buildings become safe learning environments for the students.

Scholarships for indigent students

Synopsis
In partial fulfillment of our commitment to promote qualitative education in our host communities, annual scholarships are provided for indigent children who are out of school or those who have never had the opportunity of acquiring any formal education due to financial constraints.

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© 2017 The Sahara Group.

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