Our Director Reflects on a Year of Transformative Impact
As the year draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the incredible journey we have undertaken together, navigating challenges, embracing opportunities, and above all, making a profound impact on lives and communities. This year has been a testament to our unwavering commitment to positive change, and I am excited to update you on some highlights of our collective journey.
A Year of Renewal: Our Brand Refresh
At the beginning of the year, we embarked on a journey of renewal with the refreshing of the Sahara Group Foundation brand. This was not just about a new logo or name change; it was a symbolic step towards rejuvenating our commitment to making a meaningful difference. The refreshed brand reflects our evolution, staying true to our core values while embracing a dynamic, forward-looking identity.
Empowering Change-Makers: Sahara Impact Fund Fellowship Programme
Our Sahara Impact Fund Fellowship Program, in collaboration with Leap Africa and Impact Amplifier, has been a cornerstone of our efforts to empower Africa’s social entrepreneurs. This year, we proudly welcomed the third cohort, a group of twenty passionate change-makers from across Africa.
The impact has been transformative, with ten outstanding fellows receiving $5,000 seed funding each to propel their initiatives.
The individual stories behind these social innovators are indeed a testament to the greatness that lies inside us when we dare to dream. I am immensely proud that we can support their dreams and empower them with the tools they need to grow their social enterprises and contribute actively to Africa’s progress. The impact of the Sahara Impact Fund Fellowship programme goes far beyond the individual Fellows’ empowerment; it permeates through communities, making a lasting difference in the lives of many.
Nurturing Innovators of Tomorrow: The Sahara STEAMers Programme.
In 2023, we enthusiastically embraced a new group of 200 students, expanding our programme’s reach from three to four countries. This growth signifies our dedication to fostering education and innovation on a broader scale. The participants in this year’s programme once again underscored the critical role of capacity building in shaping and strengthening talents.
The programme which is helping to nurture a pipeline of Africa’s next-generation social innovators, exposed students from Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda to the knowledge and skills needed to address real-world problems. The ingenuity displayed by these young minds is not just promising; it is groundbreaking, capable of transforming communities across Africa, sustainably. An inspiring light-bulb moment for me personally, was witnessing some of these students, who had never interacted with technology in this manner before, now creating tech solutions to real-life challenges. Their journey reflects the profound impact of STEAM education and its practical applications, highlighting the transformative power it holds for young minds across the continent.
Our Green Initiative: The Go-Recycling Project
The impact of our Ijora Recycling hub set the stage for an expanded initiative. The Go-Recycling project, a collaborative effort with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Ibile Oil and Gas Corporation, and Wecyclers, was launched in January 2023 with the aim of establishing 12 recycling hubs across Lagos state.
Strategically positioned, these hubs actively engage communities in recycling practices, fostering a culture of environmental responsibility. Beyond mere waste management, the project is directly impacting lives and livelihoods by providing users of the hubs with a sustainable means of income through the exchange of recyclables. The positive ripple effect is evident in the stories we’ve gathered, exemplifying the tangible, positive changes this initiative is bringing to individuals and communities.
Improved Security: Renovating Police Stations Across Communities
Understanding the pivotal role of security in community well-being, we sustained our commitment in 2023 by continuing the renovation of police stations across various communities in Nigeria. This initiative extends beyond bricks and mortar; it is about equipping our law enforcement with the necessary infrastructure and conducive environment to serve and protect effectively.
For us at Sahara Group Foundation, it is a meaningful expression of encouragement to those who dedicate their lives to our safety. This sustainable policing initiative is not only enhancing the working conditions of our law enforcement officers but also contributing to fostering safer and more secure communities for everyone.
A Transformative Contribution: The Donation of a Kidney Dialysis Facility to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH)
One of the most significant milestones of the year for us was the establishment of a kidney dialysis facility at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), in Benin-City, Edo State. The establishment of this state-of-the-art facility was made possible through a collaborative effort with Asharami Energy, a Sahara Group E&P Company with operations spanning parts of Edo State.
This contribution to healthcare is more than just a facility; it is a lifeline for those living with renal disease. The impact on the lives of individuals grappling with this health condition is immeasurable, and this initiative stands as another powerful testament to our unwavering commitment to sustainable living..
Heartfelt Appreciation and Looking Ahead
As we bid farewell to 2023, my heart is filled with deep gratitude for the unwavering support we have received from the Foundation’s board of trustees, dedicated team members, our funding partners – the Sahara Group Businesses, implementing partners, our raison d’etre – the beneficiaries, , and all other stakeholders who have embarked on this remarkable journey with us. Your collective commitment has been the driving force behind every success, every smile, and every positive change we have witnessed throughout the year.
As we usher in a new year, our determination remains resolute and stronger than ever. Focused on our core mandate of promoting sustainable environments and increasing energy access, we will persist in our pursuit of innovation, collaboration, and the creation of positive change. Together, we will shape a future that not only embodies resilience and prosperity but is also firmly rooted in sustainability. Thank you for contributing to the success of our 2023, and we eagerly look forward to a 2024 brimming with hope, endless possibilities, and the continuation of impactful transformations.
Sahara Group Foundation