01 Jan 2021 Goodwill Message: Video and Text from the OCI Foundation’s President
TEXT OF THE GOODWILL MESSAGE FROM THE OCI FOUNDATION (JAN 2021)
Happy New Year everyone. We welcome you all to 2021.
This is a goodwill message from the Onyebuchi Chris Ifediora (a.k.a. OCI) Foundation, and I am Dr Chris Ifediora, the Foundation’s President and Founder.
We are pleased to say that, despite the difficulties orchestrated by the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a productive year for the OCI Foundation. It was a year we solidified our existing partnerships with Nigeria’s National Youth Service Corps (the NYSC), the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, the National Orientation Agency, and the Eunice Spring of Life Foundation (an NGO established by the First Lady of Benue State).
In 2020, we also successfully expanded our capabilities and networks to unprecedented levels, setting up exciting expectations for millions of our Nigerian compatriots, as well as our associates in Australia and the rest of the world. For instance, we forged research and academic partnerships with experts in Canada, the USA, Australia, Ghana and Kenya. Within Nigeria as well, we held productive meetings with the WHO, the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nasarawa State Government, the Liaison offices of Nigeria’s 36 states, the Nigerian Christian and Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Emzor Pharmaceuticals, and a number of NGOs, companies and individuals.
Ladies and gentlemen, as is obvious from the foregoing, the OCI Foundation do not just dream. We also live our dreams. Our team of highly appreciated and highly motivated men and women have the courage, dedication, skills, and doggedness to continually make these dreams happen. In the past year, we have re-positioned ourselves by purchasing vehicles other technological devices for teams across the Country. It is to these team members that we give all the credit for the successes on our key program areas on Health, Education and Social Public/Welfare.
ON HEALTH, for instance, we successfully engaged national and international partners regarding our flagship health initiative, the Arm Our Youths (ArOY) Health Campaign. This Campaign is a novel, first-of-its-kind initiative that seeks to deliver anti-breast and anti-cervical cancer messages to all Nigerians, with particular attention to those in senior secondary schools. Also on health, we partnered with the Federal Government of Nigeria to mark the 2020 World Cancer Day, and participated in a Cancer Scientific Conference in Abuja, Nigeria.
ON EDUCATION, our scholarships schemes are now 6, up from 4 in the beginning of 2020. One of the 2 new schemes is the Cyfed-Bradley Hope (a.k.a. the CBH) Scholarship, introduced to honour the memory of a late Australian teenager, whose father now partners with the OCI Foundation to impact positively on the lives of Nigerian undergraduates. The second of our new schemes is the Literary Award for Medical Students (LAMS) initiative established to lift the literary skills of medical undergraduates in Nigerian institutions.
For those who might not know, our 4 existing scholarship schemes include the annual Cyfed Undergraduate Scholarships (for those in tertiary institutions), the JAMB Awards (for those aspiring to enter the tertiary institutions), and the IFOMSSA Junior and Senior scholarships, which are for those in secondary schools. The IFOMSSA scheme deserves special mention. Named after my later father, the Obi Ifedioramma Isaac Okafor, who was an education champion in his lifetime, the Scheme is already living up to the noble dreams that belied its establishment. For the records, as at the end of 2020, at least 7 past IFOMSSA scholars, those that were brought up through the ranks of the OCI Foundation’s scholarship schemes, have gained admissions into various tertiary institutions across Nigeria, and the number continues to grow.
Finally, ON PUBLIC AND SOCIAL WELFARE, the final leg of our activity tripod, we were deeply involved in Nigeria’s fight against COVID-19, and delivered video messages and palliatives in cash and kind across the Country. We also promoted our messages through dance troupes in Jos, pageantry events in Lagos, Makurdi, and Gboko. We also sponsored a soccer outfit in Nsugbe, the home town of the OCI Foundation’s President. In addition to these, we were part of the “2020 weeks” by the Nigerian Bar Association (Onitsha), the Nigerian Union of Journalist (Abuja), and the Great Gboko Reunion Association in Gboko.
Ladies and gentlemen, 2021 promises to be an even more exciting, and these 5 new initiatives explain why:
- Our ArOY Health Campaign will be rolled out in at least 4 more states, and launched with the NYSC;
- Version 2.0 of our CERVIBREAST MOBILE PHONE APP, will be launched before the end of March 2021. This Version has 2 new features. Firstly, it will allow Nigerians to locate nearby screening, vaccination and imaging services against breast and cervical cancers. It will also send reminders for cervical cancer screenings, just as it is already doing for breast cancers. Ours is arguably the first and only App anywhere in world to have these features;
- We will launch an online training site for breast and cervical cancers, that will be available to all our partners for free;
- We will partner with the Onitsha branch of the Nigerian Bar Association in providing free (pro bono) legal services to indigent Nigerians;
- We will partner with various Student Union Governments (SUGs) of all universities, polytechnics and colleges of educations across Nigeria, to promote the ArOY Campaign. So, if you are a student activist or an SUG executive in any Nigerian institution, reach out to us now.
We are pleased to say that our impact on Nigerians have not gone unnoticed. In 2020, we were honoured with awards from a number of reputable institutions like the Rotary International, the Nigerian Bar Association, and Caverra World. In addition, the Sweet Home Magazine listed the OCI Foundation’s President among the 6 passionate humanitarian leaders in Nigerian for 2020. We are open to receiving more accolades, and will welcome awards from reputable organizations if they wish to recognize us.
In ending this goodwill message, ladies and gentlemen, we urge anyone with connections to Nigerian leaders at the Federal or State levels, including the Presidency, the National Assembly, the Federal Ministries, the State Governors or their First Ladies, to avail us of such. By doing these, you would have joined us, AS WE RISE, BY LIFTING OTHERS. Thank you. Happy New Year once again. And God bless you all.