RIB Foundation is a non-profit organization established to embark on the following three (3) major activities beginning from its official launch on December 11th, 2016:
- Educational Support And Entrepreneurship Education
- Empowerment Of Indigent Youth & Women
- Enterprise Development Services
The importance of community based poverty reduction interventions cannot be overemphasized in Nigeria, especially in less industrious states like Kwara. Poverty goes beyond lack of income. It encompasses economic, social, and governance dimensions. Economically, the poor are not only deprived of income and resources, but of opportunities. Markets and jobs are often difficult to access, because of low capacities, capabilities, geographical and social exclusion. Limited access to education affects the ability of the poor to get jobs and to obtain information that could improve the quality of their lives. Poor health due to inadequate nutrition, lack of portable water, hygiene and health services further limits their prospects for work and from realizing their mental and physical potential. This fragile position is exacerbated by insecurity. Living in marginal conditions with no resources to fall back on, shocks become hard or impossible to offset. The situation is made worse by the structure of societies and institutions that tend to exclude the poor from participating in decision-making over the direction of social and economic development.
Poverty in the midst of plenty is one of the central challenges in today’s global economy and society. Fighting poverty is both a moral imperative and a necessity for a stable world. In recognition of this, the international community adopted several International Development Goals during the 1990s, and in the 21st century. However progress in meeting these goals has been slow and uneven across regions, while some parts of the world have retrogressed, with poverty increasing in many countries of Africa, and mortality rates deteriorating in Nigeria due to various deficiencies. If trends of the past decade continue or worsen, the International Development Goals are not likely to be achieved. The local and global community needs to make a concerted effort to accelerate progress and more effectively address the causes of poverty at community, country and global levels.
Achieving sustainable, inclusive and broad-based growth and opportunities in our communities require a sound macroeconomic framework supported by its elites and non-governmental organizations. Policies that promote low inflation, realistic and stable exchange rates, reasonable fiscal deficits, effective integration into the global economy, and private sector activity, are all needed. Investments in the physical and financial assets of poor people are also necessary, adequate schooling and skill development, secured nutrition, improved sanitation, preventive health care, infrastructure and credit.
In 2016, the resolve to contribute in solving some of the socio-economic gaps in Kwara South senatorial district of Nigeria led to the creation of Rafiu Ibrahim Bilal (RIB) Foundation by our distinguished senator, Dr. Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim FCIB. The foundation presently plays a major role in achieving seven (7) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG); that is eradicating poverty, reducing hunger, good health and well-being, providing quality education, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic goals and partnerships.
In education, the foundation is supporting young boys and girls from primary school to post tertiary educational levels in infrastructural and mental development. This includes but not limited to kitting of 3232 primary school pupils with stationeries, uniforms, sandals and renovation/reconstruction of at least a dilapidated classroom block for conducive learning in each town of the seven (7) local government area in the senatorial district. At secondary school level, the foundation hopes to construct computer based test (CBT) centers to facilitate e-learning and online tests in selected areas where there exist no CBT center at the moment. However, 656 free JAMB forms were given to less priviledged Senior Secondary school students across the 164 senior secondary schools in Kwara south writing the 2018 UTME with numerous free West African Examination Council forms. Scholarships have also been planned for 70 successful candidates of the country’s 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) throughout their stay in the tertiary institution of their choice.
The foundation has also provided vocational and entrepreneurship trainings and funding to over 200 graduates and non-graduates through collaborative efforts with the Entrepreneurship Development Center (EDC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria in order to promote creative thinking among our people for them to recognize and tap into the abundant opportunities around them as well as to promote a sense of self-worth and accountability while also preparing our youths and women to be self sufficient and contribute to the economic development of their immediate communities.
We have also provided portable drinking water through the provision of numerous motorized boreholes across the seven (7) local governments in Kwara south; improved sanitation through provision of modern toilets in our markets and collaborations with local health NGOs on awareness, advocacy and prevention of communicable diseases, screening and treatment of ailments like Hypertension, Diabetes, Cataract, etc; and increased infrastructural development of legacy structures like community schools, libraries, town halls, markets, royal palaces among others especially as regards renovation, reconstruction with necessary upgrade in order to avail us with a healthy community where our goals on qualitative education and enterprise development can be actualized.
It is our believe that in a few years from now our communities will produce numerous healthy and motivated employers of labour who hitherto had limitations that either accounted for their inefficiency or failed businesses through our community impact programmes and the support of well meaning individuals within the society, local and international donor agencies in the reduction of poverty and improvement of human capacity.