In this day and age, it is crucial to truly value the endeavors of NGOs or non-profit organizations like the Onyebuchi Chris Ifediora (OCI) Foundation for their work in the healthcare and education sector. Other than a handful of government foundations, it is mainly the non-profit organizations that are putting in great effort, time, and resources to counter injustice and several other social issues of the whole community. By offering their services and assistance, which result in economic stability and mobility, non-profit organizations are contributing remarkably to the development of societies that are healthy, safe, stable, and literate.
When it comes to helping the society, a non-profit organization is more likely to respond in comparison to any governmental body. They work effortlessly with individuals on the ground and immediately access a particular region in tough times.
Additionally, non-governmental organizations or non-profit organizations are able to assist an individual or group of individuals in need without waiting for a majority vote. NGOs like OCI Foundation are on hand to promptly offer assistance to the people in the event of an emergency and education or health issue.
Regardless of their size and scale, non-profit organizations address a broad range of social issues, including the fight against injustice, improved healthcare facilities, and poverty alleviation. These organizations are able to comprehend and meet the community’s needs in the most effective ways because of their close ties to the community and extensive knowledge of the situation. Furthermore, these organizations are powerful and well-resourced and can support development and growth because of their strong associations with important authorities.
In recent times, among the few non-profit organizations worldwide that want to help the underprivileged, the OCI Foundation in particular can be seen at the forefront. Their main objective is to “Promote and Advance Health,” “Advance Education,” and “Advance Social and Public Welfare”. It is a foundation that has various collaborations around the world and has won multiple awards for its charitable works in Europe, Africa, and Australasia.
The Associate Professor, Chris O. Ifediora, a Nigerian physician who resides and works in the City of Gold Coast, Australia, laid the foundation of the OCI Foundation on 29th April 2016, in Nigeria, and on 4th June 2018, in Australia. With headquarters in Awka, Nigeria, and the Gold Coast, Australia, the goal of the non-profit organization is to eliminate social, educational, and health disparities that prevent underprivileged communities from succeeding.
The organization aims to maximize disadvantaged communities’ socioeconomic growth by bringing out their full potential through well-designed activities. For this purpose, they have entered partnerships in countries like Nigeria, Australia, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Since its inception, the OCI Foundation has carried out various campaigns for the health and education of the poor. One such campaign is the Arm Our Youths Health Campaign, which is supported by numerous national and international organizations, including the Nigerian First Lady, the WHO Country Office in Nigeria, the Nigerian Cancer Society, and the prestigious Harvard Medical School in the United States. Their campaign is driven by technology and consists of numerous components that are carried out using new, long-lasting, cost-effective, and culturally acceptable strategies. In the Nigerian national health project, the OCI used its initiative with an idea that will save millions of lives in the country and beyond in the future. The ArOY campaign is a one-of-a-kind, evidence-based health promotion program aimed at disadvantaged communities worldwide to promote anti-breast and anti-cervical activities.
In September 2019, the OCI Foundation’s first round of the ArOY health campaign became fully operational in all 261 public senior secondary schools in Anambra State to promote anti-cervical and anti-breast cancer teachings in the educational sector. The campaign was successful in incorporating programs to prevent breast and cervical cancer into the lessons taught to young adults in Nigerian high schools. The ArOY Health Campaign Schools Challenge (AHCSC), which the OCI Foundation also launched in October 2021, is a quiz competition open to senior secondary school students from all 261 participating schools. This competition increased students’ engagement with the ArOY Health Campaign.
The Arm Our Youths Anti-Cancer Health Campaign was created through a collaboration between the OCI Foundation and Nigeria’s National Youths Service Corps, NYSC, one of the largest youth organizations in Africa. This was successfully launched in February 2022, making it a national event in Nigeria that annually teaches hundreds of thousands of Nigerian youth life-saving and inspirational lessons.
To create more awareness, the foundation developed the CerviBreast Mobile Phone Application, an interactive and innovative anti-cancer app that is freely available on the Google and Android Play stores. It is a lifesaver and a multi-award-winning technological initiative of the OCI Foundation which gives everyone in Nigeria and across the world access to high-quality information about preventing breast and cervical cancer. The CerviBreast App, a first-of-its-kind platform, is made to remind users to get breast and cervical cancer screenings on a regular basis.
The OCI Foundation’s ArOY Health Campaign and Gynocular Project also provide Nigerians with free or highly subsidized digital cervical cancer screenings. On 2nd February 2022, the Hon. Minister of State for the FCT officially opened their first Gynocular Project center in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The OCI Foundation offers six unique types of scholarships, intended to help savvy yet financially underprivileged students through their certificate certification exams in secondary schools, and into further (tertiary) education.
Five of these six annual scholarships offer incentives from secondary school graduation to polytechnic or university graduation. The sixth scholarship, known as the Literary Award for Medical Students (LAMS), aims to encourage undergraduate medical students to improve their literary abilities.
Apart from offering these scholarships, the OCI Foundation played a leading role in the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria by raising awareness of the virus and distributing face masks and hand sanitizers to groups and individuals in a number of Nigerian states in 2020.
Non-profit organizations like OCI Foundation, continue to work for society’s improvement and have a positive effect on the community as a whole. These organizations not only enhance communities, and encourage citizen participation through their charitable initiatives, but also make a huge contribution to the economy of a country. Last but not the least, the philanthropic efforts of a number of small and large non-profit organizations like OCI Foundation have made a difference in the lives of their beneficiaries by providing funds for health and education for the less fortunate.