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.