Since inception, Sahara Foundation has implemented its Personal and Corporate Social Responsibilities (PCSR) initiatives in the areas of Health, Education & Capacity Building, Environment and Sustainable Development. Through this approach, we have implemented various projects that have impacted the lives of over two million beneficiaries with youth (men and women) accounting for over 50% of the beneficiaries. Some of the initiatives include eye care programmes, scholarships, literacy development programmes, career guidance programmes, access to vocational skills, water & sanitation programmes. Please see below for details:
- Economic Empowerment through Skills Acquisition
In a bid to alleviate sufferings of women across the country, Sahara Foundation is involved in skills training programmes to equip them with skills in selected vocations and empower them to become masters of skills, more 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.
The objective of the intervention programme is to empower unemployed women with specific skills and encourage the entrepreneurship drive amongst them. Over 1000 youth have acquired invaluable skills needed to set up small scale businesses of their own. Skills sets in specific trades such as hair making, cobbling, shoe making, cinematography, beads and wire works, make up, manicure, pedicure and understanding entrepreneurship have been acquired by women across the country.
- Career Counseling Programmes for in- school youth
Research has shown that most students at the course-select stages 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. As part of our give-back-to-the-society activities, Sahara Foundation annually puts together a Career Advice and Guidance Programme for young female students.
The programme provides career advice, university course-selection guidance and information to young secondary school students who are at the course-select discipline class. This has become important because most 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 aim to possibly address and curtail. Our staff members who are often eager share their real life experiences with the students to implement this programme. Over 3,000 young people from 15 public schools have benefitted from this programme.
Access to Quality Education and Provision of Scholarships for Internally Displaced Persons- with a focus on the Girl Child
As part of our effort towards promoting access to quality education, the ‘All Round Scholarship’ programme aims to improve the quality and access to education for 100 IDPs/ indigenes of the community through provisions for the educational and social needs. Sahara Foundation currently works with committed implementing partners to provide this bespoke scholarship programme model that will effectively serve the educational and social needs of its beneficiaries within the community for the duration of their studies, whilst engendering goodwill among community members and developing the capacity of a potential future work force.
While the overall objective of the programme is to increase access to quality education for Internally Displaced Persons of school age, other objectives include:
- To support community development and strengthen the capacity of indigenes to access future economic opportunities using Sahara’s extrapreneurship framework
- To tackle the challenge of intergeneration of children that will grow up to parenthood without value for education, thereby reduce out- of-school children
- To support the healing of children from trauma and psychosocial problems
- To aid orphans to build a better future
- To foster economic empowerment
- Film Making Classes for Girls across Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire-
The Grooming Film Extrapreneurs Season 2 themed ‘Empowering the Girl Child in Africa’ was a joint programme between Sahara Foundation and Dususu Foundation aimed at directly reaching one million people in Africa with the advocacy message for girl’s rights, cover stories of the condition of disadvantaged girls. The intervention took place in Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire through which 90 girls were empowered with the skills required to become film makers. Through this partnership, Sahara Foundation showcased the challenges faced by African girls ranging from early marriage, educational deprivation, loss of inheritance, female genital mutilation and limiting societal expectations among others. The programme was centered around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 17. Goals 4 (quality education) and Goal 5 (Gender Equality) are of particular importance to this partnership.
- Provision of world class catering facility for chefs
In line with our commitment to empower youth to self-reliance, Sahara Foundation upgraded the Catering Department of the Lagos State Vocational Training and Skills Acquisition Centre in Surulere. The centre was established by the State Government to reduce the rate of unemployment through the provision of training in various skill sets.
In spite of the effort put in by the students and instructors, it was observed that level of proficiency of the students upon graduation was not of international standard. This was particularly notable with the students of the catering department of the center who are mostly females. In a bid to address this issue, Sahara Group upgraded the catering department through the provision of ultra-modern kitchen equipment which is found only in industrial kitchens in the hospitality industry across the globe. Training with the new infrastructure has equipped the students with the necessary skills to compete with their counterparts all over the world. It is very worthy to note that the facility has positively enhanced the lives of the beneficiaries. Since our intervention, over 500 chefs have been trained in the facility.
- Cancer Care and Treatment for Rural Youth and Women
Research has proven that cervical cancer kills one woman every hour and breast cancer kills a woman every minute world over. The burden of the scourge of cancer is rapidly increasing and it is likely to continue as the population of the world increases. Interestingly, there are more deaths from cancer than from other diseases such as AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined. However, researches have shown that early detection through screening and effective treatment reduces the risk of the disease.
In line with our commitment to constantly promote access to quality medical care for the underserved, Sahara Foundation is engaged in cancer awareness and treatment programmes in Nigeria and Switzerland. The main objective of this initiative is to reduce illness and death resulting from breast and cervical cancer through organized screening to detect cases of unsuspected breast and cervical cancer in women of these communities, thus enabling early intervention.
The aim is to enlighten rural women the disease, detect it at the early stage and promote long-term survival rates. This programme is implemented through awareness walks, educative sessions, free screening and provision of treatment for positive cases. Since its inception, this programme has directly touched the lives of over 5,000 young women.
- Vocational Skill & Extrapreneurship Training in Lusaka, Zambia
In line with Sahara Foundation’s vision to improve societal well- being in our host communities, Sahara Foundation recently constructed an outdoor kitchen/ catering facility at the Vision of Hope Home in Zambia. The kitchen facility will serve as a skill acquisition center for underserved youth across the region. The home currently houses 45 girls from Zambia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Malawi who have been victims of abuse, trafficking and displacement due to unrest in some of the countries. In line with the extrapreneurship framework, the leadership of Vision of Hope and the partner Government vocational agencies, the kitchen continues to serve as a skill acquisition center for underserved youth across the region. Subject Matter Experts will also be identified in the catering and culinary space to provide quarterly mentoring sessions and practical workshops for the beneficiaries.
Sahara Foundation will continue to impact female beneficiaries and also create value by unveiling more sustainable projects/ initiatives that will be achieved by identifying, developing and maintaining relevant stakeholders through which beneficiaries can grow and sustain their businesses.
- Sahara Hub
The Foundation currently supports over 10,500 youth through the Sahara Hub, a virtual platform that provides opportunities for young people across the African continent. Opportunities include mentoring, access to funding, access to Subject Matter Experts etc.