With profound gratitude, I exalt all the guys and gals from Federal Government College Kano Alumni body, both home and abroad, who responded to the call for help from one of our own. Together...
With profound gratitude, I exalt all the guys and gals from Federal Government College Kano Alumni body, both home and abroad, who responded to the call for help from one of our own. Together we raised over one million Naira and some change, and it shows what we can achieve when we come together behind a common purpose.
The most profound achievement was the departure from the past, when we often reached out to a few of our very successful alumni, thus putting immense pressures on their resources. Instead it was a widespread effort, transcending all graduating classes with individual contributions ranging from N5000 (Five Thousand Naira) to N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira). In the diasporas we had individual contributions from $50 to $200 in the US and from 40 Pounds to 200 Pounds in the UK
Most contributors do not even know Mr. Imasuen, but were touched by the plight of a fellow alumnus, knowing fully well that, but for the Grace of God, that could be anyone. Collectively over 60 men and women from across the globe dug deep into their pockets and contributed their “widow’s mite”. I concede that participation could have been higher, but “a journey of a thousand miles, begins with one step”, and I submit that we took one great giant step.
Having said that, we have to pivot from a reactive mode to addressing medical emergencies to a longer term and more proactive plan.
The logical thing is to avoid doing fundraisers, lest we open up a “Pandora’s box” I worry that, there is a limit to the amount of fund raisers we can call in response to life threatening medical situations. No one knows what tomorrow holds, and we pray that we are all healthy all the time, and live to be 100 in great health. However, stuff happens, and the benefit of belonging to a great association, is that we can leverage our strength in numbers to ameliorate a difficult life threatening situation for a member, when they need it. It is noble to worry about the welfare of our alma mater, but it is also common sense that we look out for the welfare of our members.
So what is my point?
Here is an idea that I have raised with a few people, and discussed briefly with the National President Chima Onyekwere, but I want to put it out here for discussion, because it is either we embrace it fully or we dump it. No half measures lest it will fail.
The idea is to create a Medical Emergency fund, domiciled in Nigeria under the following terms:
A minimum of 1000 people must participate
Each participant will be required to contribute N10,000 annually to the fund - This will potentially generate N10,000,000 every year
In return, if a participant requires “life saving” medical intervention, the fund, upon confirmation by our resident alumni doctors will disburse the sum of N1,000,000 (One million Naira) direct to the hospital.
No request will be entertained from any alumnus that is not a current participant in the fund
Where an alumnus contributes for a while, and cease to contribute annually, they will be entitled only to the amount they paid in. e.g If Joe Bloggs contributes for 5 years and in year six, does not contribute, then in year 7 requires medical intervention , he or she will be entitled to only N50,000 i.e. amount contributed into the fund in the years current.
Fund shall not be used for non critical interventions, nor for post life ceremony. The objective is to save life. Strict guidelines must be drawn for what it cannot be used for
The fund shall not kick in until a minimum of 1000 have paid into it. Where a minimum number is not attained, the monies will be returned, and the fund discontinued
This fund must be administered from one point i.e the National Association. So contributions must be made in Naira only irrespective of place of abode, and disbursements will be made in Naira too. For those in the diasporas, the remitting of the money shall be the responsibility of the individual
The fund must not be invested nor diverted to other alumni matters, must remain liquid to meet, where required, established commitments
Fund will be managed by the National Association and domiciled in a reputable bank.
OK, this is a quick “back of the envelope” idea. So wrap your minds around it, critique it, and add ideas that will make this workable. For example. what are the legal issues, ..are we constrained in anyway from doing this? Can we get full participation and why not? Etc.
Think about it, if individually you set aside N10,000 every year (goat head pepper soup, aka isiewu money) , it will take 100 years to save up N1,000,000. I know people in the diasporas have medical insurance etc, but trust me in a life and death situation, $6,000 (N1,000,000 equivalent) can help defray deductibles etc.
One thing I know is that we can not respond to every emergency situation with fund raisers, we simply do not have the capacity to do that, so the choice is ours.
Lets bounce this around and lets see what we come up with.