I was born in Nigeria, but my family relocated to the US when I was still a toddler. Culturally, I’m mostly American, but thanks to strong family bonds, I’ve been able to keep a connection with my tribe, the Igbo people of Nigeria.
Umu Igbo Unite (UIU), an organization dedicated to bringing Igbo people of the diaspora together, is one of those sources of connection. UIUCares, the service arm of UIU, focuses on sustainable programs that bridge and improve opportunities for Igbo communities back home and in the diaspora. I'm fighting to give others the same opportunities I was fortunate enough to receive in my life.
UIUCares Has 4 main focuses:
- Wealth Creation
This year’s initiatives are focused specifically on improving technology access, partnering with organizations that use telemedicine to provide medical consulting free of charge, and adding scholarships for students in University of Nigeria.
Medical Mission Trip with the NHCF
UIUCares joined the Nigerian Healthcare Foundation Inc. (NHF) in their annual mission trip to Imo State, Nigeria.
During the two-week medical mission they saw over 1500 people – 95% are individuals from remote areas who would never have otherwise received medical attention because it is either inaccessible or costly.
Through this program, donated medicines and medical supplies reach impoverished and isolated communities where even basic medical care is inaccessible to the poor or often non-existent.
In December 2014 UIUCares visited two orphanages in Igbo Land and provided clothing, toys and just some good will and cheer to the orphans and their caretakers. The trip highlighted above was an expansion of this initial effort.
Bridges International Academies Scholarship
UIUCares has sponsored 21 students through its Bridge International Academies Scholarship. The students received a complete elementary education with the funds raised for the scholarship drive.
International Student Scholarship Fund
UIUCares learned of the struggles that international students had with paying their full tuition, particularly with the ever-fluctuating value of the Naira. In 2017, they were excited to launch their first UIUCares International Student Scholarship fund.