The core thrust of setting up foundations across the globe is service to humanity and empowerment of people.
Beyond other ulterior motives some may have in mind for setting up foundations, without empowerment and service to people in need, such project remains meaningless. Gillian Anderson captured it clearly when he said: “Whether you make yourself available to a friend or a co-worker or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of feelings of empowerment than being of service to someone in need.” Empowerment can also come in various forms. That was why the eighth Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon once said: “Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth, among others, remain the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortage, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. Solution to one problem must be solutions to all.”
At Princess Stella Oduah Foundation (PSOF), the slogan is “Development is a Must” and in the development project, lie several aspects of humanity that are being harnessed and touched positively so that humanity can live well while life becomes meaningful for the people. From skill acquisition, economic empowerment for business and small-scale industries, educational scholarships to widows uplifting, among others, success stories abound of many whose lives have been transformed through the foundation.
The various lofty programmes of the foundation are in line with the founder’s belief in the fundamental idea of personal empowerment, whether in government or in private business. It is about giving people the tools they need to pave their own way.
Recently in Onitsha, the Princess Stella Oduah Foundation launched its Talent Hunt programme aimed at encouraging budding talents in sports, acting, music and in general entertainment. The statistics are there and it has been proven that entertainment not only engages the youths but also generates huge revenue.
There are raw talents in Nigeria and Anambra State seeking to be encouraged to shine . According to Princess Oduah, the essence of the talent hunt is to catch the youths early, starting from football. The young talents are to be trained at the Nigerian Football Academy in Kwara State. The older ones among the footballers are to be sponsored to the tournaments and league matches, from where they will be picked to the international arena. The comedians, actors and singers are to be identified, put in groups and trained so that their talents can be refined to national and international prominence.
Education, according to Barbara Jordan, remains the key to both economic and political empowerment, and for that reason, the Princess Stella Oduah Foundation sends actors and actresses identified in the talent hunt to training schools where they will polish their skills.
Marshal Mcluhan underscored the importance of education in the life of a man and the need to get proper training in any skill that he even said that education and entertainment are inseparable. According to him, anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn’t know the first thing about either.
The cinematographers among them are to undergo training too, all with the intent that all engaged in the project can earn their living through their talents. There are plans to create an entertainment village in Anambra North, where movie producers and directors with their cast and crew can come and shoot their movies without unnecessary hassles. Walt Disney once said that “movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives in the realm of entertainment towards the ideals and objectives of normal adulthood.” And Princess Oduah, is worried that even the famous Igbo folktales and riddles, which were great sources of entertainment among the children some years back, are allowed to die without anybody or institutions being supported to create motion pictures out of them so that generations yet unborn can learn from them.
“While I was in secondary school, those Igbo folktales, when you read them, made very interesting entertainment and bringing them to life is a different line of business on its own, which will engage a good number of our people too. But first of all, they must polish their skills.
“Those of them who need to get equipment for the production can be supported through micro financing. If people are engaged, it will be amazing the level of security we can have in the society, because nobody will like to destabilise the area where he is making a living. When people are meaningfully engaged, everybody will be a stakeholder in ensuring that we have security of lives and property; otherwise, one day you will be cooking and they will storm the house and grab the pot of soup from the fire because they are hungry. It won’t happen,” she said.tweet Follow @@metrolens1