One of Nigeria’s service providers, MTN, has been on a journey to “brighten” the lives of Nigerians for the past 17 years through its social investment vehicle, MTN Foundation. With the “What Can We Do Together (WCWDT)” initiative of the foundation, the company has extended its mission of brightening lives to local communities across Nigeria.
The “What Can We Do Together (WCWDT)” initiative was launched in 2015 as part of the 10th anniversary of the MTN Foundation, and in just three years more than 10 million Nigerians in 400 communities and 347 local government areas across Nigeria have been impacted.
The interventions by the MTN Foundation evidently reflect the MTN mission of transforming lives by addressing the pressing needs of the Nigerian populace for maximum impact. The MTN brand is passionate about Nigeria’s growth and is determined to help Nigerians reach the heights of their potential.
This mission is executed through the three focus areas health, education and economic empowerment that are crucial to the socio-economic development of any society. The uncontrolled population growth has further contributed to the prevailing negative indices in these essential areas of our nationhood.
The resultant effect of this model is the rapid deterioration of such projects. It is on this premise that the “What Can We Do Together” initiative was introduced in order to ensure that social investments truly reflect the burning needs of the benefiting communities. The hand-in-hand principle on which the initiative rests was once summarised by MTN Nigeria Chairman, Dr. Pascal Dozie, with the words of the 26th President of the United States of America, Theodore Roosevelt, who said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Benefiting communities under the initiative are chosen through a nomination process that allows any Nigerian resident to nominate a community for possible selection. The nominated communities are scrutinised through a verification conducted by an expert verification team. Successful communities are subsequently enlisted to benefit from the initiative.
To date, MTN Foundation, through the “What Can We Do Together” initiative, has delivered 40 transformers, 40 borehole installations, and 14,200 items of school furniture to students who previously had to sit on sandy floors to receive lessons across 347 local government areas in Nigeria. A total of 66 orphanages have received highly essential household items and 80 primary healthcare centres have been supplied with vital medical equipment.
Speaking on the success of the last edition of the initiative, the Executive Secretary of the MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma, said that the executed projects were selected from a pool of thousands of nominations by members of the public in Phases 1 and 2. “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,” Ugboma said.
The Chairman of MTN Nigeria, Dr. Pascal Dozie, expressed his delight at the support of Nigerians in helping the foundation reach its goal of touching lives in the beneficiary communities. “We could not have come this far in impacting 400 communities across the country through this initiative without the support of our customers and the nominators who demonstrated their belief in us by nominating their communities to benefit from the projects and show of loyalty in patronising our products and services,” Dozie said at the MTN Foundation’s “What Can We Do Together” appreciation event in Lagos.
On his part, the Chairman of the MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adeluyi-Adelusi, praised the nominators for being true change agents. “Through your nominations, 20 communities have received 500KVA transformers; another 20 communities have received 650ft boreholes. Supply of medical equipment to 80 primary healthcare centres and 80 schools have received sets of school furniture because of your nominations. Indeed, you are change agents in your communities today.
“Nigeria has had its fair share of challenges; a reality that can’t be denied, but if we work together we may be able to collectively combat these challenges. The MTN Foundation is here to improve the lot of Nigerians, and the “What Can We Do Together” initiative is a further testament to the shared success philosophy of MTN. The initiative encourages Nigerians to be more aware of the individual power to trigger positive change, one community at a time. As billionaire and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar said ‘Long-term sustainable change happens if people discover their own power.’