With nearly two decades experience as a civil servant in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, Jumai Ahmadu’s natural ability to get things done with seeming ease sets her apart. Her dedication, loyalty, determination, enthusiasm and, unassuming personality has over the years, endear her to all who encounter irrespective of their ethnicity, religion or social status. Her passion, zeal, and quest to uplift others any way she can, makes her the go-to person in crisis moments. It is therefore not surprising that the better part of her life has been about helping improve the lives of the underserved.
With a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Jos, Nigeria, a master’s degree in Public Ad-ministration and Policy Analysis, and a PhD in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Abuja, Ahmadu consciously set out to grab the knowledge that would prepare her to better advocate for the disadvantaged in society. Speaking up for the voice-less in society is something that appear to be innate in Ahmadu and, ameliorating the plight of widows – the forgotten ones in the society, is what she does best; a cause she began championing from a very young age. Any wonder that just a few years after leaving college, Ahmadu found-ed a Non-Governmental Organization in 2003, through which she would later carry out activities that has impact-ed thousands of lives. In a country like Nigeria with no safety net like welfare benefits of any kind for its citizens, the likes of Ahmadu are lifelines to people who would ordinarily wallow in abject poverty- hopeless, with no access to the basic needs of life.
Helpline Foundation Abuja, the NGO through which Ahmadu carries out her philanthropic activities, targets the underserved in Nigeria, with a primary focus on widows, orphans, and the girl-child. Some of the organization’s projects include the issuance of microcredits, facilitation and provision of healthcare and education services as well as operation of food banks and charity shops.
The number of lives touched over the years by Helpline Foundation abound; scholarships to over 300 orphans up to high school level, groceries to more than a thousand windows during holidays, vocational skills like hairdressing, soap-making, tailoring, fish farming, to empower over 100 indigent people. In her home state of Kogi, this wife, and mother of five renovated a block of dilapidated classrooms in Ofante Local Government Area, awarded scholarships to about 500 students, and has consistently donated food and educational items to those in need. Helpline has overtime, raised funds for orphaned children living with HIV / AIDS, organized events for indigent children and hosted a Child Ambassador contest in the Federal Capital Territory. The situation of widows and children in Nigeria, says Ahmadu, “is
In a country like Nigeria with no safety net like welfare benefits of any kind for its citizens, the likes of Jumai Ahmadu are angels to people who would ordinarily, wallow in abject poverty- hopeless, with no access to the basic needs of life.
Every decent human being should, as a matter of priority, take it upon themselves to play a role to mitigate their sufferings.”
Ahmadu is the co-convener of the highly successful Africa Women Conference (AWC) which debuted in New York City in 2018. The conference gathers women in every field of human endeavour, from within, and outside the continent, to deliberate on issues that affect African women, and by extension, the girl-child, and vulnerable children. Her hope is that the conference will, in no time, help spur definitive action that will directly impact the women of Africa.
The predicament of the girl-child in some parts of Nigeria is of great concern to this lady with a heart to serve. Funmi Ajare, an associate of Ahmadu’s shared a recent incident where a 14-year-old girl was given out in marriage by her widowed mother because the family of the girl owed the man money and as a result, she was given to a much older man as payment for the debt. This was brought to Ahamdu’s notice and she stepped in, offered to pay back the money to the mother (the equivalent of $150.00) but to her shock, the woman wouldn’t budge. She insisted she had to marry the girl out because she couldn’t afford to feed her any
A 14-year-old girl was given out in marriage by her widowed mother because the family of the girl owed the man money and as a result, she was given to a much older man to settle the debt. This was brought to Dr Ahamdu’s notice and she stepped in, offered to pay back the money to the mother (the equivalent of $150.00) but to her shock, the woman wouldn’t budge. She insisted she had to marry the girl out because she couldn’t afford to feed her any longer. Thinking on her feet, Jumai Ahmadu arranged a fake husband, who gave the women the money, and the child was released to him. The girl has been in Ahmadu’s custody to date and is enrolled in school.
Thinking on her feet, Ahmadu arranged a fake husband, who gave the women the money, and the child was released to him. “The girl has been in Ahmadu’s custody till date and is enrolled in school,” Ajare shared. This is just one example of the kind of potential disasters Ahmadu has averted over the decades. The many orphans she has facilitated their placements in loving homes abound; depressed and suicidal widows she has empowered, addicted youths whose lives she has turned around… the list is endless. The 14-year-old mentioned above could very well be the future president of Nigeria, or the United Nations’ Secretary-General in the future. Now imagine if there had been no intervention… it doesn’t thinking, right?
Again, imagine that each of us; those who can, borrow a leaf from Jumai Ahmadu, and change just one child’s story, turn around just one person’s life, lend a helping hand, irrespective of whatever we are going through on our own. Help. Just help, not minding whether there is a reward or not. Imagine how much better the world would be. While touching lives and serving her country, Ahmadu still finds time to write. She is the author of the book, “ABUJA: The Evolution and Development of a Federal Capital City.” Without a doubt, the likes of Jumai Ahmadu would be a positive addition on the global stage where they could do so much more for humanity; change lives all over the world, one person at a time.
Source – Echoes Africa
Source Link – https://echoesafrica.com/jumai-ahmadu-changing-the-world/