AFRICA’s most populous nation, Nigeria, will join the global celebration of #GivingTuesday in December 2015.
Tuesday is regarded as the most auspicious weekday. This is because on the Third Day of Creation the phrase “and God saw that it was good” is mentioned twice. All the other days have this phrase mentioned only once (except for the second day, Monday, where it is not mentioned at all).
Moreover, in most religions and mythologies, the number three is the number of divine perfection. Tuesday being the traditional third day of the week (Sunday being the first day) is therefore regarded as a day ‘full of divine grace.’ For example, in the folk rhyme Monday’s Child, “Tuesday’s child is full of grace.
Little wonder then, that, in 2012, the United Nations Foundation designated the first Tuesday in December as #GivingTuesday, a day to engender and celebrate generosity globally. #GivingTuesday is also a way of expressing gratitude for life, and for all the progress recorded in the outgoing year. Worldwide, the movement is endorsed, supported and promoted by political, social and business leaders, who come together to champion fund-raising for community development.
For instance, President Barack Obama endorsed the #GivingTuesday movement in a Message from White House, stating that since it launched in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a case study in community organising in the 21st century…#GivingTuesday offers a moment on the calendar …to reflect and give back. Some might choose to volunteer their talent, others might make charitable contributions…#GivingTuesday will take many forms, but all will be energised by a common impulse to make life better, especially for those in need. This year, #GivingTuesday also could be described as #GlobalTuesday in 2015 because it is reaching beyond our borders. This year, the event will encompass citizens of dozens of countries around the world who are customising their initiatives to their cultural norms and local needs. So, without regard to ethnicity, nationality, faith or political affiliation, millions are poised to be engaged in this worldwide moment.
The American billionaire and catalytic philanthropist also lent his voice to the #GivingTuesday movement thus, “There’s another day you might want to know about: GivingTuesday. The idea is pretty straightforward … take a break from spending and donate what you can to humanity.”
The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria) believes that such national participation is truly appropriate for Nigeria, given the culture of compassionate consideration that Nigerians naturally practise. We find, for instance, that when the press publishes an appeal that some individual needs funds for a certain health procedure, such funds are usually over-subscribed. As you already know, CECP had earlier launched the BIG WAR Against Cancer in Nigeria as the focus of its work for the immediate future. This is an on-going WAR, and will also be the main target of GivingTuesday 2015.
To be really effective, the #GivingTuesday celebration in Nigeria will be marked on the first three Tuesdays in December, (i.e., December 1,8,15) 2015. Starting on Tuesday December 1, and for the next 15 days, every Nigerian – either as an individual, family member or member of a corporate organisation and other group – is urged to donate towards this national effort.
Contributions can be made using the following platforms: Sms shortcode “44777” on any of the major mobile networks (Airtel, Etisalat, Glo, MTN) by sending the word ACT” as an sms to “44777”; Electronic transfer using the code “777526” via ATM or online at quickteller.com; direct bank transfer to the First Bank project account in favour of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria). Account number 2026761622, sort code- 011152390.
On Tuesday December 8, 2015, the #GivingTuesday National Banquet/ Concert will hold at Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos. This Concert will feature the crème de la crème of the Nigerian entertainment industry including Banky W, Genevieve Nnaji, 2Face Idibia, Waje, RMD, MI, Ruby Gyang, Wizkid, Davido, Omoni Oboli, Reminesce, Audu Maikori, Kunle Afolayan, Kiss Daniel among others. Then, on Tuesday December 15, 2015 the events will be rounded off with the #GivingTuesday Presidential Banquet to be held in Abuja.
For general information, it should be noted that CECP is an approved body listed under the 5th Schedule of the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA). Therefore, all corporate donations to CECP are tax deductible.
Nigeria has one of the worst cancer statistics globally. Over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer annually, and about 80,000 die (10 deaths every hour!). This death ratio (4: 5) compares unfavourably with that in other nations, and is a result of poor facilities. For example, India has over 120 Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCC), mostly established through private philanthropy. Sadly, Nigeria has no CCC, and so Nigerians spend over $200 million annually on treatment abroad. Recent data by World Health Organisation (WHO), shows that within four years Nigeria has had a steep rise in the number of deaths from the common cancers. In 2008 breast cancer killed 30 Nigerian women daily; by 2012 this had risen to 40 women daily. In 2008 prostate cancer killed 14 Nigerian men daily; by 2012 this had risen to 26. In 2008 liver cancer killed 24 Nigerians daily; by 2012 this had risen to 32 daily.
The “Big War” aims at “Taking holistic health care to the Grassroots” using Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC) and Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCC). The first phase involves raising funds for 37 MCC, one for each state and Abuja. The cost of one MCC is $600,000 only (N120,000,000).
The Mobile Cancer Centre (MCC) is not only a tool for the prevention and early treatment of cancer, it is also a means of preventing the 10 Major Cancer-related killer diseases (Malaria, Diabetes, Renal Disease, Obesity, Schistosomiasis, Human papillomavirus (HPV), Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Helicobacter pylori and Hypertension). “By moving forward together we have the potential to show Cancer: It is not beyond us.”– Union for International Cancer Control.
“Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.” – Cree Indian Proverb
• Dr. Nzelu (Executive Secretary, CECP-Nigeria) can be reached via email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org