Anike Foundation: The Beginning
Dr. Segun Ige’s dream to contribute to the development of education in Africa became a reality in 2007 when Anike Foundation was established as a Massachusetts nonprofit corporation. This unique organization was created by enlisting volunteers from around the globe and establishing partnerships with like-minded organizations in order to achieve common goals.
Dr. Ige founded Anike Foundation in honor of his mother, the late Mrs. Marian Anike Gbenro, a woman who was responsible directly or indirectly for the education of many generations of Africans. Dr. Ige grew up in Nigeria, in circumstances similar to those of the people that Anike Foundation now helps. His mother was his guiding light, helping him complete his education under very difficult circumstances until he got his PhD in Mechanic Engineering and settled in the USA. Inspired by how much his mother had done for him, Dr. Ige started Anike Foundation. Naming the foundation after his mother, Dr. Ige says, “What other way could I honor her than to start a foundation that would give education to other Africans…”
Dr. Ige founded the organization with a simple mission. As he explains, “Education in Africa is very poor. Education in developed countries in very good. What can we do to bridge the gap? Move materials where they are plenty and abundant to where they are not.”
To achieve this goal and ensure Anike Foundation’s success, Dr. Ige established two pillars of strength:
partnerships and volunteers.
Anike Foundation thrives by forming partnerships with African grassroots nonprofit organizations (NGOs) and accredited institutions of learning whose mission and objectives are aligned with theirs. They do not discriminate on the basis of race, culture, religion, gender, gender orientation or disability. To date, the Foundation has more than one hundred and fifty (150) partner organizations in 20 countries in Africa, two partner organizations in the US and two in Europe.
Equally important is the use of volunteers. The Foundation has no employees. All work is completed by the Board of Directors and approximately thirty volunteers in twelve countries, from various backgrounds and cultures.
While Anike Foundation has contributed to the improvement of education for thousands of Africans since its founding in 2007, Dr. Ige and his volunteers are determined to help more. Dr. Ige shares his big plans for the Foundation’s future: “1) Have at least one partner organization in every African country by the year 2020; and 2) “… attract more and more corporate donors to the extent that, by 2020, we would be a multi-million dollar operation.”