The Philanthropy of Cecilia Ibru (Part Two)

This is Part Two of a series. Read the first article here.

Initially registered as a not-for-profit organization in 2006, the Michael and Cecilia Foundation has pledged to create “effective, innovative, and entrepreneurial human capital by providing educational opportunities in Nigeria and abroad.” Information about the Foundation’s efforts in disease prevention and higher education is shared below.

1. Helping Nigeria Stay Healthy. The Foundation’s programs that focus on the prevention of such diseases as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, malaria, and tuberculosis include seminars and flyers, counseling, and referral services. In addition, the Foundation has worked to educate Nigerians about preventable diseases, including poliomyelitis and other illnesses that can be eliminated through immunization.

2. A New University. Alongside its primary and secondary educational programs, the Foundation also seeks to create a new university for Nigerians in the Delta State region. The new university will include an innovative work-study program designed to help students achieve their educational goals while providing access to employers in the private and public sectors. The Foundation’s development plan expects the Michael and Cecilia University to eventually grow to an enrollment of 5,000 students.

About Cecilia Ibru: Before joining her husband Michael in creating their non-profit foundation, Cecilia Ibru served as one of Nigeria’s most prominent businesswomen and entrepreneurs. An alumna of London University and North East London University, Ms. Ibru currently resides in Nigeria with her family.

“The Michael and Cecilia Foundation Promotes Education,” by Cecilia Ibru

The Michael and Cecilia Foundation works to alleviate poverty in Nigeria and other countries. One of the foundation’s primary goals is the establishment of a university. Believing that knowledge is the key to fighting poverty effectively, organization leaders hope that the world-class university will offer practical education in private- and public-sector skill sets, giving young Africans the knowledge they need to create and maintain stable economies. The foundation plans to institute a work-study program at the university, a model that does not yet exist in Nigeria. When the university opens, this sort of program will give students the practical experience they need to secure positions in the job market and take a leadership role in their communities. At present, the foundation works to forge partnerships with other top schools around the world as it settles on particular curricula and teaching methods. The university soon will open with resources to support 150 students, and its 10-year development plan envisions that it eventually will educate about 5,000 students at a time.

About the Author: A retired banking executive, Cecilia Ibru now works with the Michael and Cecilia Foundation. In recognition of her contributions to the country, she was inducted into the Nigerian Women Hall of Fame.