By Sam Parker

Interview with Gede Foundation founder

We sat down with Jennifer Douglas Abubakar, the founder of Gede Foundation and wife of Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, for an extended interview on her philanthropic work with Gede Foundation.
What’s philanthropy to you? How would you define it?

Philanthropy is helping the less privileged through a worthy cause by devoting time, resources or advocate for a good cause that would benefit the society. In general, contributing to a greater good for the benefit of human kind.

Why did you set up the Gede Foundation?

Gede Foundation began in 2002 as one of the pioneer non-governmental organizations to cater to under-served and highly stigmatized populations. Part of our fundamental objective when we started was to provide a one-stop shop for high quality treatment and care in HIV/AIDS, training, advocacy and research.

In addition to serving those infected with HIV, I would like to add that one of Gede’s accomplishments is seeing that over 5,000 orphans and vulnerable children in Nigeria got back into schools, while others learnt marketable skills as a foundation to productive lives. Without Gede and our vision for orphans in the beginning, the likes of World Bank, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, USAID (SIDHAS), UNICEM and Addax Petroleum Foundation wouldn’t have been confident to invest huge amount into OVC programmes using Gede as grants recipient.

Today, Gede’s drive to be constantly at the cutting edge of under-served and highly stigmatized health burdens, has recently seen the Foundation embrace and address growing concerns over mental health and its general impact not only with people living with HIV/AIDS, but the general population at large.

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