Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, will join the global celebration of #GivingTuesday in December, 2015.
Interestingly, 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.
According to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man and great philanthropist, #GivingTuesday is a day everyone should know and care about. According to him, ‘The idea is pretty straightforward … take a break from spending and donate what you can to humanity.’
In his #GivingTuesday Message from the White House, President Obama stated thus: ‘since it launched in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a case study in community organizing 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 contribution. #GivingTuesday will take many forms, but all will be energized by a common impulse to make life better, especially for those in need. This year 2015, #GivingTuesday also could be described as #GlobalTuesday because the event will encompass citizens of countries around the world who are customizing 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 Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria) believes that such national participation is truly appropriate for Nigeria, given the culture of compassionate consideration that Nigerians are known for. 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 thrust of its work for the immediate future. This is an on-going WAR, and will also be the main focus of #GivingTuesday 2015. When the goals of the BIG WAR have been accomplished, subsequent #GivingTuesdays will focus on other pressing areas, including education, the care of the elderly, the welfare of the physically challenged, etc. The call to action of the BIG WAR is encompassed in the word “ACT!” which stands for Attack Cancer Today, Attack Cancer Together and Attack Cancer Totally.
To be really effective, the #GivingTuesday celebration in Nigeria will be marked on the first three Tuesdays in December (December 1, 8 and 15, 2015).Starting on Tuesday 1st December, and for the next 15 days, all Nigerians – either as individuals, families, members of a corporate organization or any other association – are urged to donate towards this national effort. Contributions can be made in three ways: Via Sms: by sending the word ‘ACT’ as an sms to “44777” at N100/sms; Via Electronic transfer using the code “777526” at the ATM or online at quickteller.com; Or Via cheque or Direct bank transfer in favor of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (First Bank of Nigeria Plc; Account number 2026761622, sort code- 011152390).
On Tuesday December 8, 2015 the #GivingTuesday National Concert/Banquet will hold at Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos. This Concert will feature the crème de la crème of the Nigerian entertainment industry. To represent the youth would be Ozzy-bosco, the child star and prodigy. In addition, Zuriel Oduwole, ‘the World’s Most Powerful Girl’, will deliver a speech about giving at the event..
At both events, philanthropic personalities and corporations from all over the Federation will have the opportunity to impact the #GivingTuesday effort by making their donations to the “BIG WAR Against Cancer in Nigeria”. Corporate organizations may sponsor the event, or also adopt the option of purchasing group tickets for their staff and customers.
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 over 200 die daily!. The Nigerian 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 Organization (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 ten Major Cancer-related killer diseases (Malaria, Diabetes, Renal Disease, Obesity, Schistosomiasis, Human papillomavirus (HPV), Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Helicobacter pylori and Hypertension). We cannot achieve this unless we ACT! (Attack Cancer Together!)“By moving forward together we have the potential to show Cancer: It is not beyond us.”- Union for International Cancer Control.
‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give’ – Winston Churchill