As the world marks the 20th International Youth Day, Sahara Foundation – the vehicle for Sahara Group’s personal and corporate social responsibility (PCSR) initiatives – has reiterated its dedication to promoting inclusive education through formal and informal interventions.
Sahara Foundation promotes the implementation of projects that drive sustainable development across its locations in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Speaking on the 2019 United Nations International Youth Day 2019, themed ‘Transforming Education’, Oluseyi Ojurongbe, Manager-Sahara Foundation, said enhancing access to formal and informal education is critical for effective youth empowerment across the globe.
He said Sahara Foundation plans to increase the scholarships awarded to underserved communities in Nigeria, as well as projects targetted at empowering social entrepreneurs in Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania and Ghana who are contributing to sustainable development of their communities.
“We remain committed to supporting young people by creating platforms that provide an enabling environment for the development of self-sustaining initiatives with a focus on capacity building, wealth creation and preservation,” Ojurongbe said.
The International Youth Day is an awareness day designated by the United Nations to draw attention to cultural and legal issues surrounding the youth. This year’s edition is focused on making education more inclusive and accessible for all youth, including efforts by the youth themselves.
The theme stems from Goal 4 of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education, and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
Sahara Foundation has over the last 15 years undertaken various projects to enhance education across several locations where it operates.
The projects range from library upgrades, scholarship programmes for students in the north-east region of Nigeria, career counselling for teens in Singapore to upgrading classroom facilities in Ghana, renovation of the ICT Laboratory and donation of computers with Internet access at the University of Juba, South Sudan.
Other Sahara Foundation education and youth-based interventions include: Partnership with Ashesi University on the Ashesi Innovation Experience (AIX) Programme for 200 teens across Africa over the past two years; Career Guidance and vocational skills training in Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire; and Construction, upgrade and refurbishment of youth vocational centres in Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia and Tanzania.
Sahara Foundation, through its recent partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is making significant steps in promoting access to clean and affordable energy – which will in turn improve societal well-being. It is also expected that the partnership will facilitate capacity building opportunities in renewable energy for youths across Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria.