Since 2012 of what started as a family passion of reaching out to indigent members within a community in Abia State, Connak Foundation have been actualizing its aim of equipping young people with vocational and trade skills to achieve self -sustainability; provide enabling social environment and support the socio-economic development of low-income communities.
Within a decade, it has implemented various empowerment schemes and developmental projects that have directly impacted the lives of over 10,000 beneficiaries within southeastern Nigeria.
At the last count, 179 students have been enrolled in ICT, 75 business ventures awarded start-up grants of N63m and 463 trained entrepreneurs.
To help bridge the affordability gap in healthcare services, the foundation has been carrying out free quality medical and surgical missions in partnership with healthcare professionals and it has been able reach about 8500 beneficiaries.
Within Abia State, the foundation has carried out several infrastructural development projects such as the construction of Eze Utah ring road and road into Ibeku high school rehabilitation of old timber road, Afaraukwul installation of 189 solar-powered streetlights; installation of five boreholes in Afugiri;renovation of Afugiri primary health centre (PHC) and construction of a wellness fountain park at Federal Medical Centre , Umuahia.
At a recent event held in Lagos for the unveiling and launch of the operations of the Lagos arm of the foundation, the CEO , Connak Foundation, Mrs. Caroline Emeka Sunday informed that the foundation which began its journey from Afugiri in Umuahia North LGA of Abia State and expanded to all 17 local government areas in the state with two state-of-the-art resource centers in Umuahia and Aba leverage community participation to deploy programmes which are carried out under five thematic areas namely: Educational development; ICT Training; Entrepreneurship Development; Healthcare Services and Community and Infrastructural Development.
Currently serving the Southeast region through its resource centers in Abia state and representations in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, it became imperative to extend its mission to create life-changing opportunities in the southwest zone.
Further explaining, Sunday said: “To commemorate this milestone of a decade in service to humanity, we are here to officially launch Connak Foundation in Lagos. Through the foundation’s presence in Lagos, we would provide empowerment and developmental opportunities to underprivileged persons in this part of the country. To start with, we conducted a need assessment in Igando community, Alimosho LGA and observed the challenge of access to clean and safe water. We have undertaken the installation of a borehole with complete water treatment and filtration device setup. This infrastructural development will alleviate the regular search and lift the financial burden of buying water amongst indigent families and guarantee access to clean, safe and potable water.
It is our goal to strategically implement sustainable projects that resolve critical needs amongst the underserved population. We have already deployed our field resources to carry out need assessment surveys in the region, to guide us in channeling available resources appropriately.”
It was gathered that the foundation founded by philanthropist Mr. Ken Nnamdi Ukeagu, will embark on a three-month online training and two weeks training bootcamp where participants can get funding up to $5,000. However, the programme is eligible for only Nigerians.
Subsequently, in the evening of same day, there was an unveiling dinner that had lots of dignitaries in attendance. It was an evening of short speeches but more of entertainment. Popular comedian, Okey Bakkassi Onyegbule who doubled as the master of ceremonies and anchor gave a good account of himself as he thrilled guests with rib-cracking jokes while coordinating the event. Tuface Idibia also entertained the gathering. Winner of last year’s talent hunt show excited the gathering with his guitar skill and sonorous voice aside other performances by other artistes.
A video clip of how far the foundation has gone was shown where the General Manager, Connak Foundation, Rosemary Etsiame took guest through the initiatives of the foundation so far.
Aside the presence of the Founder, Connak Foundation, Ken Nnamdi Ukeagu, some of the guests included Professor Pat Utomi; Senator Liyel Imoke; former first Lady of Oyo State, Florence Ajimobi; Honourable Oluloye Osinowo; Mrs. Jenny Adeosun among others.