Friday, 30 October 2020

How l Set Up NOBU Foundation To Help The Needy - Olasunkanmi Busari, The CEO


Tell us about NOBU Foundation. What is it all about?

 Nobu Foundation is an idea that was born out of personal experience, a close relative had issues with eyes and whole family got involved and rallied to provide support but there was not much improvement regarding her eyesight despite several efforts made. Likewise about 3 years ago I was getting calls from back home to assist another individual that had issue with his sight, but one common theme in both cases was that intervention was late, because like most illnesses or diseases, early diagnoses of eye problems is critical.

This incident also caused reflection on my part as there are several thousands of people who have have issued with their eyes but as we all know that in Nigeria, the government has a lot on it's plate and cannot really give people an adequate level of eye care that they deserve. I also felt that as much as it is the government's responsibility to look after the Citizens, we also cannot leave everything to the government because we can achieve a lot more if we make our own contributions to the Society in our individual capacity and this was what led to establishment of Nobu Foundation.

The vision of our foundation is to help people that have issues with their sights by especially focusing on raising awareness about eye issues and promoting early diagnosis. We do this by organising community outreach programs in conjunction with eye specialist hospital in Nigeria and visit places like town halls and markets as you know majority of our mothers and fathers that are not as educated would not have the time for eye check, they may not consider it important even some of them may be put off by the optician's fees.

 We used the outreach programs as opportunities to raise awareness about taking care of eyes and we also provide free eye tests,  free eye glasses for required beneficiaries, free eye drops where required and based on the result of the test for example in case of cataracts, appropriate treatments requiring surgical operations is paid for by Nobu foundation.

Apart from our outreach programs with sometimes get calls from hospitals including Luth as sometimes when people go to the hospital for eye treatment and they not able to afford the payment, they are then referred to Nobu foundation for support and assistant. There have been several instances but one particular case that comes to mind is that of a 2-year old child boy who was referred to Nobu foundation for assistant by one of our partner agencies. This boy has been having eyes problem when he was just 11 months old but got diagnosed with bilateral cataract when he was 2 years as he grows older, his sight was leading to blindness and requires surgical operation on both eyes, the parents were not in a position to finance the operation, so Nobu foundation was able to come to the aid of the boy and his parents and he had a successful operation on both eyes and has since regained his sight now.

In as much is eyes is very important our Foundation do adopt a holistic approach and we also embark on poverty alleviation programs, supporting the needy and widows support programmes as well.

We are a humanitarian and non-discriminatory NGO and we aim to serve all humanity where we can.

We started 3-years ago and most of our activities have been based in Lagos metropolis but we have an intention to cut across Nigeria and reach out to most states.

Tell us about you


My name is Olasunkanmi Busari the CEO of NOBU Foundation, I am married with 3 children and I live in the United Kingdom. I work in one of London local authorities Children's services - Children and Families in Need to be precise.

My professional background is social work but I am currently a team manager. I had my primary, secondary and higher education in Nigeria and I hold HND diploma in marketing. I later went to University of Kent in UK to study social work where I obtained my degree in social work in 2008. In 2010 I embarked on post qualification degree in social work at the University of East London and subsequently attend UEL again in 2011 for specialist working with children and families and careers and vulnerable young people - towards achieving Masters in social work. In 2016, I attended a Leadership and Management course in Goldsmith University of London where I obtained level 5 in leadership and management.

Tell us about your growing up years and where you were born?


I was born in Mushin Lagos State. My parents are from Abeokuta Ogun State. I later moved moved to leave with my paternal grandmother in Ilasamaja from the age of 5 years until adulthood. Although I briefly lived with my paternal aunt in my teenage years as well but I later returned to Ilasamaja. My mother sells in Daleko market not far from Ilasamaja and she is a frequent visitors to us, while Ilasamaja was my late fathers 2nd home I must say. I really love my grandma but I have a very strong attachment with my parents especially my mum, when you see her you will think we are twins as she still looks as young as ever.

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