Legend Golden Care Foundation

LGCF unites with other CSOs to lend its voice to the advancement of the SDGs at the United Nations Civil Society Conference in Kenya

Legend Golden Care Foundation (LGCF) team joined over 4,000 activists, advocates, and influential voices from around the world at the United Nations Civil Society Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, to share solutions for a better future. Representing LGCF, our Executive Director, Mrs Kanayo Olisa-Metuh, and our Program Manager, Patricia Akor, attended the #2024UNCSC, where they called on governments to protect and expand civic space to ensure grassroots engagement in the 2030 Agenda. Throughout the day, our team actively participated in focus group sessions, sharing their ideas and solutions with the diverse array of civil society organizations present at the conference. As an organization committed to promoting peace, justice, and accountable institutions, we recognize the vital role that civil society plays in ensuring accountability for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Executive Director, in her submission during one of the sessions, stated, “The end game of the UN SDGs is that no one should be left behind, and I dare say that by 2030, most of the global south will be left behind. We can’t take away the importance of the community. We are talking about parts of the future; it will be meaningless if we don’t make any impact. How are we going to make that impact? Is there a way we can come up with different coalitions across various thematic areas so that by the time we leave here, we’d know we are leaving with something tangible?” Truly, it was an incredible experience at the #2024UNCSC in Kenya. We’re grateful for the opportunity to contribute and learn, and we’re excited to continue driving the 2030 Agenda forward. Watch Highlight Reel Here

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Mohbad’s case mates

By Mrs. Kanayo Olisa-Metuh  The news of Mohbad’s demise hit Ikemefuna Okafor hard, when it filtered into prison. He was a fan, had fashioned his rapping around Mohbad’s easy-flow style. They were both the same age, a mere 27. Ikem grieved at the icon’s death, but also, his own. For, in his mind, Ikem too was dead.  Four years to the day, Ikem had been picked up by a SARS patrol near the studio. His was the stock look of his trade – ripped jeans, dreadlocks and tattoos. Explanation fell on deaf ears, the beating increasing the more he tried. He was a suspect. For what exactly, no one said. Until he met his “case mates”, two months later, on his first day out of that stinking police cell, in court. The case mate system – that astonishing phenomenon of our criminal justice administration. Complete strangers, randomly and separately arrested in far-flung places, charged together for an offence that never occurred. The reason? To clear space in police cells for new detainees. Once charged to court, detainees now “accused persons” – are moved on to prison, to the torture chamber called awaiting trial facilities. Robbery was the case they gave Ikem, with two other unfortunates, his case mates. An only child of a single-mother hawker, Ikem had no one to bail him. Emaciated, wracked by disease, body covered in rashes and sores oozing pus, he currently looks something from the “feem” Resident Evil. Long gone are the dreads, replaced by suppurating blisters on a prematurely bald scalp. The melodious voice? Distant memory too. Ikem only croaks now. Apart from that one day in court, Ikem has never left prison in four years. Longer residents of the Awaiting Trial (Male) cell told him that it was common, that his case file, if there ever was one, is probably, nay certainly, lost. Like theirs. At first, Ikem prayed for salvation. But the longer the days from his arrest, the less he did. Eventually, he stopped. The mental and physical torture, the suffering, pain, and anguish were just too much. He is convinced he’s been cursed. Perhaps a generational curse. Because what else can make people be this wicked to a fellow human being? Ikem and thousands like him, and their case mates, are still in a Nigerian prison near you, right now, this very moment, suffering indescribably. As of this year, out of 74,872 inmates in Nigerian prisons, only 22,933, less than one-third, are convicted prisoners. And 51,939 are awaiting trial. And by law, they are all presumed innocent. Until you see prison conditions in Nigeria, you will probably not know what real suffering is. And when you see the ATM cell in most prisons, you will wonder how much worse hell can get. Nigerian prisons, now re-baptised “correctional centres”, are emblematic of our greatest failings as a nation and people. They are a testament to our uniform inability, whatever the tribe, tongue or creed, to care about problems that afflict the masses, talk less of solving them. As you “feel among” today by fulminating on Instagram, albeit rightly, over Mohbad’s untimely death, spare a thought for his innocent Nigerian “case mates”, wishing for death as a release from the Nigerian correctional facility. Like Ikemefuna Okafor, erstwhile rapper, and fine boy, to whom Nigeria happened in the worst possible kind of way. Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction; Ikemefuna Okafor and the events are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead or actual events is purely coincidental.

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Collaborative Approach to Accelerating Justice Reform in Nigeria

Collaboration is at the heart of the Accelerating Justice Reform in Nigeria (AJURN) approach. The project actively engages with key government agencies and other stakeholders to forge partnerships that can drive impactful reforms. Courtesy visits have been conducted to build relationships and foster understanding among stakeholders.  An instance worth noting is a visit aimed at fostering collaboration between Legend Golden Care Foundation (LGCF), Hope Behind Bars Africa (HBBA), and the Director General of the Legal Aid Council. This visit was part of the Accelerating Justice Reforms in Nigeria project, to enhance access to justice for pre-trial detainees. During the meeting, both Legend Golden Care Foundation and Hope Behind Bars Africa reiterated their dedication to partnering with the Legal Aid Council. The objective is to facilitate legal representation and support services for individuals in pre-trial detention.  Access to Justice Initiatives: Accelerating Justice Reform in Nigeria (AJURN) is actively working towards enhancing access to justice for pre-trial detainees facing financial constraints. Through the mobilization of pro-bono lawyers, the project seeks to ensure legal representation for those who need it the most.  An illustrative instance involves a young woman accused of having a suspected stolen SIM card. Our team in Maiduguri, Borno State, led by Yakubu John Esq, represented her. Pleading non-guilty, the team promptly presented an oral bail application. The court granted bail to the defendant, pending the resolution of the core issues in the case. The Accelerating Justice Reform in Nigeria Project is poised to make a substantial impact by addressing congestion issues in custodial centres and advocating for diversionary measures. Through the collective efforts of LGCF and Hope Behind Bars Africa, this initiative embodies a commitment to a fair and just criminal justice system in Nigeria. As we move forward, we remain dedicated to the principles of collaboration, advocacy, and positive transformation in the pursuit of a more just society. Stay tuned for further updates on our journey towards a reformed criminal justice system in Nigeria.

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The Grand Finale of the Hope for Freedom Tournament 2.0 – A BEYOND THE WALL INITIATIVE

The Grand finale of the Hope for Freedom Tournament 2.0 was incredible and satisfying. Every cheer during the event fueled our determination to push forward with the Beyond the Walls initiative, a project by Legend Golden Care Foundation. Our esteemed guests from the Nigerian National Assembly, Nigerian Correctional Centre, and other remarkable individuals were not just pleased but committed to supporting our cause. The tournament, which spanned six weeks, culminated in an unforgettable Grand Finale on Friday, September 9, 2023. We were honoured to have the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Corrections, Hon. David Umar, and the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Justice, Hon. Barr. Sunday Umeha, all in attendance. The presence of the Controller General of Corrections, FCT Command, Ibrahim Idris, added to our delight at the event’s success. Mrs. Kanayo Olisa-Metuh, Executive Director of Legend Golden Care Foundation, passionately emphasized the project’s profound impact, stressing its invaluable psychosocial support for enhancing inmates’ self-esteem and promoting rehabilitation through a positive mindset shift. In a world where justice often feels elusive, the Legend Golden Care Foundation (LGCF) stands out as a beacon of transformative efforts within the “Beyond the Walls Initiative.” This self-funded, five-year project goes beyond conventional criminal justice reforms, aiming to reshape lives within correctional facilities and bring about positive transformations beyond physical barriers. Our sincere gratitude to all contributors for bringing this vision to life. Together, we leverage the power of sports to inspire hope and catalyze transformative change, building bridges towards a brighter, more equitable future. Bridging hope and justice, Legend Golden Care Foundation’s (LGCF) Beyond the Walls Initiative focuses on reshaping lives and fostering positive change.

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Creating Awareness and Change: A COURTESY VISIT TO SILVERBIRD

Legend Golden Care Foundation (LGCF) is excited to share the latest developments in our commitment to championing social justice and fostering positive change. Through collaborative efforts with our dedicated partners, we recently embarked on a courtesy visit to Silverbird Communication, establishing a partnership aimed at community impact. During this visit, we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Victor, the Business Manager, whose warm welcome set the tone for an insightful discussion. In our conversation, we explored potential avenues for collaboration, aligning our shared commitment to making a positive impact on communities. As we move forward, LGCF remains dedicated to making significant strides in various areas crucial to the well-being and empowerment of individuals and communities alike.   A summary of some of these programs includes the following: Awareness and Advocacy: Through various media channels, we aim to educate and engage the public on the importance of human rights, legal aid, and the acceleration of criminal justice processes. Our programs focus on raising awareness and promoting the active involvement of communities in advocating for social justice Legal Aid and Human Rights: We recognize the significance of providing legal aid and promoting human rights principles. Our dedicated team of legal experts works tirelessly to ensure access to security and justice, emphasizing non-custodial measures to speed up criminal justice processes. Policy Analysis and Public Policy Advocacy: We actively engage in public policy analysis to influence positive change. By fostering gender equality, social inclusion, and rehabilitation, we aim to dismantle barriers and create a more just and inclusive society. Social and Human Capacity Development: Our commitment to socio-economic empowerment extends to comprehensive programs encompassing entrepreneurship, mentorship, life planning skills, and leadership development. We believe in nurturing individuals to reach their full potential. Women’s Economic and Financial Empowerment: Emphasizing the importance of gender equality, our initiatives focus on empowering women economically and financially. Through education and entrepreneurship programs, we strive to create opportunities for women to thrive. Research and Digital Technology Integration: Embracing the digital era, our Research and Digital Technology (RDT) Program leverages technology for impact assessment, evidence-based advocacy, and knowledge dissemination. We have transitioned to digital reports for convenience and efficiency. Education and Livelihood: We believe in the transformative power of education. Our programs encompass education and livelihood initiatives that contribute to the overall development of communities. We invite you to join us on this transformative journey towards a more just and equitable society. Together, we can create lasting change and empower individuals to lead fulfilling lives. Stay tuned for more updates, and thank you for being an integral part of our shared mission.

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THE JOURNEY TO MUSA: A CALL FOR COLLECTIVE ACTION IN NIGERIAN EDUCATION

In today’s world, knowledge is the gateway to opportunities. It cannot be emphasized enough how important it is for children to attend school. Education is a powerful tool that drives personal growth, societal development, and national progress. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, a country with a rich cultural heritage and diverse population, the issue of out-of-school children poses a significant challenge, which makes it all the more important to stress the significance of giving every child access to education. Education is crucial for these young minds, as it not only helps them acquire academic knowledge but also nurtures their potential. During Legend Golden Care Foundation’s (LGCF) visit to Yola, the capital of Adamawa State, we found “Musa”. The story of Musa, though not unique, sheds light on a persuasive issue where modest amounts, such as 20,000 Naira, can determine a person’s educational fate. Education is a basic human right, yet the lack of resources creates a cycle of poverty, hindering many Musas across the country.  Countless individuals encounter formidable challenges in accessing education, students are often prevented from pursuing their dreams due to financial barriers. While transforming the entire education system seems daunting, changing one life at a time is sure to cause a ripple effect towards the grand end goal.   Children who are not attending school face various difficulties, such as limited access to healthcare, increased exposure to exploitation, and higher chances of engaging in harmful activities. The primary objective of bringing such children into the education system is not only to fill the classrooms but also to provide them with an opportunity to lead a better life. Education is a powerful tool for promoting equality, and ensuring that every child has access to schooling regardless of their socio-economic background can help Nigeria create a more inclusive society. Education empowers children by providing them with the knowledge and confidence necessary to overcome obstacles and dream beyond their current circumstances. Addressing the issue of out-of-school children in Nigeria requires a collaborative effort from the government, communities, and various stakeholders. It is essential to undertake initiatives aimed at improving infrastructure, providing scholarships, and raising awareness about the importance of education. These steps will help ensure that every child in Nigeria has access to education and can attend school.  Musa (not his real name) has been enrolled into the  Legend Golden Care Foundation (LGCF) scholarship support program, making him the 75th recipient. Addressing the issue surrounding education requires collaborative, collective efforts. Not everyone has the access or the ability to go to the trenches like we did, but you can partner with or support this cause together through donations. The presence of children in schools across Nigeria is a symbol of hope and a promise for a brighter future. It represents a commitment to breaking the chains of poverty, empowering young minds, and building a nation where every child’s potential is recognized and nurtured.

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Girls’ Empowerment in Technology (GETECH) – Empowering the next generation of tech superstars

The ‘Girls Empowerment in Technology (GETECH)’ initiative is a groundbreaking program aimed at preparing secondary school girls for immediate employability upon completion of their secondary education. Through strategic partnerships with esteemed organizations such as the High Tech Center and TechHer NG, GETECH is not only equipping participants with vital tech skills but also cultivating their leadership capabilities. In a world where the tech industry’s influence spans across sectors, GETECH serves as a crucial avenue for young women to bridge the gender gap and contribute actively to this burgeoning field. By fostering tangible skills and empowering mindsets, GETECH is on a mission to reshape the narrative of gender equality and technological prowess in Nigeria.   A significant milestone has been achieved through GETECH’s efforts, with a successful six-month training program in Desktop Publishing and Web Development for 78 students from the Government Secondary School Mpape, Abuja, Nigeria. This training has laid the foundation for these young women to navigate the intricacies of the digital realm confidently. As GETECH progresses, we are excited to announce the commencement of the pre-internship phase, where participants will gain hands-on experience and practical insights, further bolstering their skill sets. By nurturing the talents of young girls and providing them with the tools to thrive in the tech arena, GETECH is actively contributing to a more inclusive and forward-looking tech industry, fostering a legacy of gender equality and technological empowerment.

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