By Cosmas Omegoh
For nominating their communities for things noble, some folks recently earned maximum reward. They were part of the dinner organised by MTN Foundation to appreciate nominators in the second phase of its charity programme, What We Can Do Together (WCWDT).
They were recognised before an array of high net-worth infividuals, including the chairman of MTN Nigeria, Dr. Paschal Dozie, chairman, MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, CEO, MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Morlman, captains of industry and politicians, among others.
The second phase of What We Can Do Together saw a shortlist of 200 communities across the country receiving 40 transformers, 40 boreholes and 14,200 pieces of school furniture. Household items were donated to 66 orphanage homes, just as medical equipment was supplied to 80 primary health care centres across the country, bringing the total amount spent to N18 billion.
Speaking on the initiative, the executive secretary, MTN Foundation, Ms. Nonny Ugboma, noted that the projects were selected from a pool of thousands of nominations by members of the public in phases 1 and 2, after rigorous screening and verification.
“At the end, 200 communities were chosen to benefit in Phase 1, another 200 communities in Phase 2, and announcements were made in the print, electronic and digital media platforms. We are pleased to report that all the 200 projects in Phase 1 have been successfully implemented, while all the 200 projects in Phase 2 are at various stages of delivery and installation.
“What Can We Do Together initiative was launched in 2015 as part of the 10-year anniversary commemoration of the MTN Foundation. It was conceived as an idea to do something refreshingly different for our communities. It is structured to allow Nigerians partner with the foundation by nominating their communities to benefit from select projects.”
Dozie expressed happiness at the partnership, noting that it had touched lives in many ways.
“I feel particularly gratified that this model of collaboration and partnership between an organisation and individuals has been such a resounding success and is indicative of the power that resides in each of us when we apply the words of one-time US president, Theodore Roosevelt, who said: ‘Do what you can with what you have where you are.’
“That’s precisely what our nominators did to such a great effect and I’d like to ask that we strive to emulate their example in our own sphere of influence, no matter how little.”
He described the initiative as a crying need within each individual, which got a direct response.
On his part, Adelusi-Adeluyi expressed happiness at the number of projects that were completed by the foundation in two years, recalling that N18 billion had been spent so far on the projects.
He said, “In September 2015, this initiative was created and has been made possible through nominations by Nigerians. What you are seeing today is an intervention of MTN Foundation in various communities with a view to improving the lives of the people.
“The foundation asks people to nominate the projects, which they believe would improve lives in communities and local government areas across the Nigeria.
“For MTN Foundation to do this means that it has us at heart. I feel on top of the world.”
In his brief remark, MTN boss, Morlman, equally expressed joy at the manner in which the foundation had touched lives in a short time. He described the WCWDT initiative as corporate social responsibility at work.
Most of the nominators present were drawn from Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states. They were given awards and recognition for helping their communities benefit from various projects executed by the foundation, which would improve the quality of life.