Over the last two years, in the course of our work at Anakle, we have helped raise over N200m for charitable causes across Nigeria. This is the first time we will be speaking about this, but we hope it will inspire people out there.
Last year, we saw Modupe Odele collecting blankets for the Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camp in Yola, and decided to support the effort. This is how we came to be aware of the plight of the IDPs. This was a big eye opener for us.
Ever since the blanket drive, we have been speaking to our clients about IDPs, with decent results. Corporate and private clients have either visited or privately donated to the IDPs – over N100m in cash and gift donations raised.
We have also helped clients setup scholarship funds for people who need real help, with over $200,000 paid out over the last two years, along with donation of educational materials to communities which have significant need. We have tried to do similar things with people in need of healthcare interventions and other life changing needs. Some of these donations have made the news, but names will remain silent for privacy reasons.
We’re very grateful for the generosity of these amazing people/corporations.
But help goes beyond donations.
As a socially conscious company, we have stayed committed to identifying vulnerable groups, and finding ways to help them. Not only have we supported education, with a focus on technology, we are also supporting social causes which we believe in. We had a $25,000 commitment in 2015 to support various campaigns to help survivors of rape and domestic violence.
Apart from the Stand To End Rape, which we hope to support for the next year, we also are committed to supporting the Mirabel Centre. We also got a client to make a significant private donation to the drive to keep the centre, which takes care of rape and domestic violence survivors.
In September, we were lucky and blessed that an important corporate client agreed with our plan to use their platform to give women a voice, and challenge the socially ingrained misogyny and domestication of what qualifies as success for African women. If we had tried to do this ourselves, the impact would have been very limited. However, executing our vision on the platform of a top brand makes a much bigger difference!
In December, Anakle hosted #ThankASoldier, a campaign aimed at honouring Nigerian soldiers defending the country at the front lines, especially in the troubled North East of our country.
The campaign ended with a party for children and wives of soldiers of troops, many of whom are currently serving in the North East.
At this point, let’s answer the obvious question:
why is this story being told?
As an individual and leader of an organisation which preaches a culture of silent work, I struggled with the thought of writing this blog, but after speaking to a few people, I thought it is important that these stories are told. Of over N200m raised in the period, less than 7% has been our own funds, so this is not about us.
But here’s the point: it is possible to make a big difference, even if you’re a small company. Even if you’re a small person.
Let’s talk about problems, but let’s also start doing.
We have so many gender issues. We have social issues, and every one of our communities has problems in education, healthcare and poverty. Let’s talk, and argue, but let’s not stop there. Let’s move beyond talk to action.
For us as a company, it’s using our access to influence clients to help people and communities in need. For others, it may be something else.
You are more powerful than you think you are. Some of us have skills. Some have resources. Many of us have access to people with immense power and influence; people who with one call, can make a significant difference in the life of other people. A small whisper in the right places could make huge differences. We must learn to use that power.
As individuals, professionals, and business leaders, no age is too young to make a difference. If we don’t have money, we have time and skills. These are equally important. You will find a way if you think about it. Just start thinking beyond the talk.
Do something. Now!