MTN Foundation Executive Secretary, Odunayo Sanya has reaffirmed the Foundation’s commitment to empowering and creating sustainable value for youths through responsible, social and community led interventions.
Speaking with the MTN Media Innovation Programme (MIP) Fellows during a courtesy visit at the MTN Nigeria headquarters in Lagos, on Friday, 28 October 2022, Odunayo said:
‘’At MTN Foundation, we are focused on building capacity and creating shared value. This is very dear to us. To further this commitment, we have lots of flagship programs. One of such initiatives is the Anti Substance Abuse Programme (ASAP). Drug abuse is prevalent, so for us, it is important we speak and advocate for it. This year, we partnered with schools to carry out training for ninety (90) teachers. We also ran the first quiz competition for secondary school students. Everything we did, culminated in a stakeholders conference where we talked about how we can continue to tackle drug abuse.”
On education, Odunayo also noted that MTN Foundation has awarded over 5,000 students with scholarships. She said: ‘’Education is big for us and to this end, we reward qualified high performing students in Nigerian Public schools. We believe in giving youths a platform to stand on, so then, they can see the world. Currently we give out scholarships to Science and Technology students and scholarships to blind students. It is amazing to see what they can do. With these scholarships, it doesn’t matter if you are an indigene or not, it is a scholarship centered on excellence.
We are also revamping our Digital Library App and will be unveiling a program called: Digital Skills for Digital Jobs. We are targeting young people and getting them certified in various knowledge areas,” she concluded.
In the same manner, Odunayo also maintains that the Foundation is creating value through its national priority initiatives. This, she said, is achieved through grassroot community projects and stakeholders’ involvement. A key program she highlighted is “What Can We Do Together” (WCWDT), an initiative to identify and meet specific community needs stemming from power, water, maternal health and education. In addition, she added the Foundation is working to aid communities affected by the flood.
A 2022 population report by Statista shows that Nigeria has one of the youngest populations, with a median age of 18.4 years. The same report also states that Nigeria represents the 18th country with the lowest median age in Africa and globally.
Through these initiatives, MTN Foundation continues to demonstrate its commitment to enabling platforms that will serve as catalysts for youths to achieve their ambitions and aspirations. These efforts have and will continue to empower youths and women, in order to bridge the gap of unemployment and sustainable development in communities.