With a sense of fulfilment, she wrote, “We did it. On Friday, we formally handed over the School Library to the children of Bethesda Nursery and Primary School, Ijaiye Ojokoro, Lagos. The children were overjoyed.
It was an awesome experience for the less privileged children and their parents, when they saw their new library and all the books you donated”, Felicia Obozuwa, Vice President and the Division Head of Human Resources and Change Management at First City Monument Bank (FCMB) told her other female colleagues (FCMB Women Network) in a communication to update them on one project, outside many other social interventions the Bank has taken as a regular commitment.
The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (GMD/CEO) of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc, Mr. Ladi Balogun, at an event organised for children earlier this year, reiterated the need for the introduction of systems that would guarantee the well-being of Nigerian children and youth from cradle to adulthood. He stressed that as an integral segment of the society, the educational, socio-economic and other welfare needs of children must be accorded the deserved priority.
An inquiry into history reveals that the culture of assisting children and the less-privileged at FCMB is no coincidence. It has been traced to its heritage, the founding father, well known for caring and giving to children, women and the less-privileged. A noteworthy donation is the total handover of OTNPC (Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre), a fully built and equipped paediatric hospital to the University College Hospital.
As part of its corporate citizenship and to support children in particular, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), continues to invest in children, make valuable donations, and provide scholarships, healthcare, educational infrastructures and other forms of assistance, with orphanages among others as platforms to consistently deliver these gestures.
In 2007 and as part of it CSR inititaives, FCMB initiated an annual scholarship scheme for deserving secondary school pupils through the Bethesda Child Support Agency, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that provides free and qualitative education to orphans and vulnerable children in communities across Nigeria. The aim is to support these children with an enabling environment to develop and acquire essential skills to facilitate their escape from the vicious cycle of poverty.
It is estimated that FCMB’s belief that children must be equipped with essential money management skills necessary to live a prosperous future, is the main focus for the bank’s active promotion of financial literacy. Last year, FCMB held a session at the Community Secondary School, Aka Uffot, Uyo, where the Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Segun Odusanya taught the children financial literacy. The Bank also donated 30 computers to aid the children’s learning in commemoration of the Children’s Day.
This year, Government Girls’ College Dala, Kano State is the beneficiary of the Bank’s gesture in this respect. The Executive Director, Abuja and North, Mr. Adam Nuru was there earlier in March to educate the children on financial literacy. The renovation of the school assembly hall, being sponsored by the Bank, is currently on going.
To further promote financial literacy among children, First City Monument Bank Limited (FCMB) also initiated a schools’ excursion programme where pupils of primary and secondary schools across the federation are received at its various branches and taught banking and entrepreneurship to prepare them for the future. The children have the opportunity to experience banking and are able to ask questions to enhance their financial knowledge.
Beyond the bank’s institutional interventions, its staff members voluntarily contribute and participate in initiatives targeted at providing succour to children. Some of the past beneficiaries include Modupe Cole Memorial Child Care in Akoka, Lagos, Freedom Foundation, Sosaid Charity Homes, Compassionate Children’s Home, Nkpogu in Rivers State amongst others.
Particularly, the FCMB Women Network is well known for its active contribution in uplifting the educational standard of less privileged children in Nigeria. For this year’s Children’s Day, FCMB Women donated 350 brand new school packs including school bags, notebooks and other essential writing materials to less privileged children across the country.
FCMB also recognises that play is essential for children’s proper development. The Bank therefore actively participates in school fun-day events and has in the past graced schools such as the Lycee Francais Louis Pasteur De Lagos (i.e. the French school) in Victoria Island, Saint Saviours School Ikoyi, Corona School Ikoyi and Gbagada, Lagos to name a few.
As part of the Bank’s lined up activities to celebrate this year’s Children’s Day, on May 27, FCMB, led by Mrs Yemisi Edun, an Executive Director of the Bank, hosted and entertained some less privileged children at the Bank’s corporate headquarters in Lagos. Mrs. Edun encouraged the children to take their education seriously while speaking to them on banking, entrepreneurship and leadership.
Addressing what informed FCMB’s interest in children, Mrs. Edun at the engagement with children said, “children are the bedrock of any society and must therefore be carefully and deliberately nurtured to grow into responsible citizens. They need all the pruning, care and affection to develop into whole adults that will be useful to themselves, their families and the society as a whole.”
Also in celebration of Children’s Day, FCMB has initiated a nationwide special art contest themed: ‘I see my Future’ for school children with the goal of nurturing and inspiring a purposeful future. The competition open to children between the ages of 6-12, is said to be part of FCMB’s effort to encourage the culture of saving from an early age. All FCMB Kids Account holders who maintain a balance of N5, 000 from now till July 14, 2015 will have the chance to win prize monies.
It is a known fact that women are often naturally more concerned and sensitive to the needs of children. It is not surprising therefore, that FCMB, a bank with up to 40 percent female in its workforce, would be passionate enough about children, especially the less privileged in the society, to go the extra mile to ensure their total wellbeing