Golden Jubilee: Okunlola Redefining Empowerment of the Needy with LAHH Foundation
……. Set to Empower Another 50 Indigents.
By: ‘Seyi Oluwalade
Lift A Hand of Help Foundation (LAHHF) is a Non-Profit-Making Oranisation which made its operation debut in 2018. This is not the kernel, however. The substance is the far-reaching impacts on its targeted beneficiaries within the few months of its existence.
The core pursuit of LAHHF is to provide outstanding value-added platform for coordinated giving aimed at instilling and boosting the integrity and living standards of persons, particularly young people and women from the less-privileged backgrounds.
LAHHF is operated under four schemes – Indigent Students Scholarship Scheme, ISSS, (Primary); Indigent Students Scholarship Scheme, ISSS (Tertiary); Women Empowerment Scheme (WES) and Mentoring for Maximising Potential (MMP).
ISSS (Primary) is a full tuition scholarship awarded per session to pupils in the public primary schools whose parents or guardians could not meet up with the cost of their tuition, while ISSS (Tertiary) is designed to support undergraduate students who typically experience financial difficulties which can make the difference between students staying in school or being forced to abandon their education, by providing financial aid/scholarship which will help to tackle their challenges, advance their educational opportunities and have a potentially-sustainable future.
WES seeks to contribute to the alleviation of poverty among women by supporting entrepreneurship initiatives and capacity building. The women are assisted by granting them access to micro loans to start or develop their small businesses, grow their income, improve livelihoods and shape the future; and MMP is focusses on career guidance, role modelling using the mentor-mentee approach, learning and development of partnership, communication to build confidence, strength and skills for the future for students from the Socially-Disadvantaged Backgrounds (SDBs) in the public secondary schools.
As a matter fact, the Pioneer and Executive Director of LAHHF, Dr. Adeyela Ibironke Okunlola, has redefined empowerment of the needy, in that, the four schemes under the foundation are well organised and coordinated to adequately make provision for thorough monitoring and mentoring of beneficiaries for sustenance.
In the 2018/2019 academic session alone, 15 pupils from four public primary school in Akure South Local Government Area benefitted from the scheme; under the ISSS (primary), another special scholarship, tagged, Scholars Awards”, were given to two primary 6 pupils of LA IV Primary School and Alagbaka Estate Primary School, Akure, having come atop in the screening examinations.
This is apart from regular training and mentoring of students in secondary schools with 200 students as beneficiaries. Students from Anglican Secondary School, Ijare, and Adegbola Memorial Grammar School, Akure, took part in the MMP programme.
Interestingly, about 25 of the students that participated in the programme have been inducted members of LAHHF Innovators Club (LIC) and they are presently participating in the Foundations mentoring programme, tagged, Raising Generation of Champions.
In 2019, two students, one from FUTA and the other one from the School of Nursing in Ekiti State, benefitted under the ISSS (Tertiary).
The LAHH Foundation could be tagged the dynamo of demonstration of the aphorism, When you empower a woman, you empower a Nation. Through WES, the Foundation has made a far-reaching impact on women in Ondo and Ekiti State.
In 2019, 45 women were empowered with various aids, including loans for business; skills-acquisition and sensitisation programmes.
The mission of Lift A Hand of Help Foundation of becoming a premier charitable organisation with a global vision of outstretching palliative to hands in need, has been keeping it afloat even in the face of obvious economic challenges in the country.
Amidst the midst of Covid-19 pandemic, the Foundation has remained committed to lifting a hand of help to people within and outside the immediate communities.
This year, the Empowerment and Scholars Day programme of the Foundation is unique because it coincides with the 50th Birthday of the Pioneer and Executive Director of Lift A Hand of Help Foundation, Dr. Adeyela Ibironke Okunlola.
Dr. Okunlola, is a seasoned daughter of God; a voice assigned to resound the essence of life and living in the reality of divine design and mandate.
She is fulfilling this vision, by engaging a vast number of audience virtually on her weekly Friday programme, tagged, My Devotional, via Facebook (@ Adeyela Williams Okunlola) and YouTube Channel (Adeyela Williams Okunlola).
Okunlola is an academic (Associate Professor of Horticulture) in the Department of Crop, Soil and Pest Management of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).
She is very passionate about extending a hand of help to a hand in need with the belief that giving is not about being rich but having a rich heart geared towards giving”. She is committed to redefining the empowerment of the less privileged through need based giving.
Therefore, regardless of the biting effects of Covid-19 pandemic, to appreciate God for His grace in her life at 50 (Golden Jubilee), a total of 50 persons will be empowered, consisting of 25 scholarships (10 undergraduates, 10 senior secondary school students, and five primary school pupils) and 25 women, who would be given cash to develop/enhance their enterprise.
The programme is slated for Saturday, November 28, 2020 (her 50th birthday) in Akure. Congratulations to the ED of LAHHF!
Indeed, within the short period of operation of LAHHF in the Southwest Nigeria, the Foundation has made modest contributions to the MDGs with imprints on the sands of time to the glory of God and benefit of mankind.
If the coming of Jesus Christ lingers, we are assured that LAHHF will continue to make bigger impact not just in her immediate communities, but also across the globe.