Wednesday 23rd August, 2017
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Owunna Memorial Foundation: Service to humanity

Owunna Memorial Foundation: Service to humanity

Uninterruptedly, 24 years now Chief Peter Sunday Memorial Foundation has been in the vanguard of rendering humanitarian services to humanity. This non-governmental, non-prof­it making organization was estab­lished by Mazi Clement Owunna, a business mogul and philanthro­pist in 1993.
 
According to him, he founded the N.G.O to immortalize his late father, Chief Peter Sunday Owun­na, who survived the vicissitudes of life to become a personage who positively impacted on his environ­ment with the establishment of Star­line Nig. Ltd, a leading name in the manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and household products based at Aba, Abia State.
 
The founder, a quintessential gentleman and humanist is not celebrating the 24th anniversary of the Foundation, but as a friend, this piece is my own way of patting him on the back for giving back to the society quietly without making noise or grandstanding it. Those of us who are very close to this scion of Owunna dynasty will tell that he has compassion, missionary zeal and the consuming passion to put the people first in whatever he does. This dis­position informed his sustenance of the foundation despite excruciating business climate these years.
 
According to Dr. Van Aghazu, who runs the day to day activities of Chief Peter Sunday Memorial Foundation, the organization’s pro­grams are premised on five critical areas; namely: Education, Medical Scheme, Community/Infrastructur­al development. Micro credit, Eco­nomic and Youth empowerment.
 
In education for instance, from inception, emphasis were placed on selected courses like Medicine, Pharmacy, Accounting and Econo­metrics, where the country was seemed to be lacking in man pow­er development. However now, the foundation has extended its scope to other areas such as Law and En­gineering.
 
These past 24 years, the Founda­tion has been touching lives of the weak and down trodden in the so­ciety. As a matter of fact, he ploughs back 50% of his profit to humani­tarian ventures. In 2014, alone, the Foundation built and donated a 150 million naira Recreation Park to the Imo State University, Owerri, where he served as Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council. In 1998, his Foundation built and equipped a multi-million naira Lecture hall for the medical students at the Abia State University Medical School, Aba. Between 2014 and 2015, it do­nated over 500 motor cycles and cash gifts to the youths of Okigwe Senatorial District of Imo State.
 
From its inception till date, the Mi­cro credit scheme of the N.G.O’s in­tervention has been up beat with pov­erty alleviation programmes, such as disbursement of cash donations, Hair dressing and Barbing instrument, Generating sets, Sewing machines and Tricycles to indigent members of the society.
 
Within this period under re­view, over 20,000 indigent people have benefited from their free med­ical outreach schemes. As am do­ing this piece, the process of select­ing beneficiaries for the Foundation’s 2016/2017 Bursary/Scholarship pro­grams for undergraduates in Nigeri­an Universities is on. For you to qual­ify, must be certified as indigent, brilliant and of good moral standing.
 
In addition to this, Chief Peter Sunday Owunna Memorial Founda­tion has also instituted several priz­es at various Universities for the best overall graduating students. It is cur­rently working with some Universi­ties to endow the Chief Peter Sun­day Owunna Memorial Foundation, chair in BUSINESS ETHICS.
 
Mazi Clement Owunna’s main motivation in reaching out to the youths and vulnerable in the society is to encourage them be useful to them­selves by engaging in meaningful en­deavors which will make them shun vices and remain focused. That by doing so, they will stand out among their peers in the society.
 
It is not an overstatement to say that it is because of his numerous works of charity that he has been severally honoured by the govern­ment and the society. He is a Mem­ber of the Federal Republic, MFR, re­cipient, National Productivity Order of Merit NPOM, chieftaincy title of Nnaziruzo of Okigwe and most re­cently a Papal Knight by the Cath­olic Pontiff.
 
•Mr. Ogaraku writes from Ow­erri, Imo state

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