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Letter from the editor

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Anita Kouassigan


During the course of my projects relating to Nigeria spanning over 15 years, there has been (unconsciously) a common theme every time, and that is, I am drawn to work that ultimately results in some kind of social impact. While two of my earlier ventures (Minerva Recruitment and Time Out Nigeria) were also profitable, in the end, a difference was made somewhere.

With Minerva Recruitment, I tried my best to close the unemployment gap by getting as many people who’d almost given up hope of getting a job into interviews. I also offered them free mentoring and advice about how to improve on their CVs, credentials and think about the direction they were heading. I rewrote many CVs outside of the ordinary course of my business.

As Managing Editor for Time Out Nigeria, I worked hard to seek out the unknown artists and artisans, owners of small hotels and providers of leisure, entertainment, food & beverage and touristic activities who needed a platform to share their work and passions with the world without having to pay for it (in our reviews and features).

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More recently, with my engagement as a media campaigner and a content writer, I realised that there is a gap in the market and that there’s a need to report more about the many ways positive social impact results can stem from profitable businesses that may otherwise be hidden, and, therefore, Guardian Angels is born.

Going forward, Guardian Angels is looking to feature and partner with companies and individuals who are committed to creating more awareness about their CSR and work as philanthropists so that more beneficiaries can have access to this valuable information and not miss out on grants, schemes and initiatives, and causes that can better their chances in life.

Our aim is to work with a range of local, regional, and international brands and people, and our potential partners can include: Corporate Social Responsibility Champions; Angel Investors; Venture Capitalists and Private Equity Funds interested in contributing to the sustainable development of Africa, of Nigeria and wider Africa (Impact Investors); Philanthropists; HNWI Foundations and Corporate Foundations. Before you turn the pages, I just want to thank my two main contributing editors:

Adenike Sotade, who has been the most professional editor to work with. She is the Saturday Editor of The Guardian newspaper, and is in charge of Guardian Woman where I have been a contributor for six months. Remote editing is not an easy task, and she has been very reliable and given good directions as I familiarise myself with the house style.

Nana Ocran is a London-based writer and lecturer. She is currently leading on a British Council commissioned People’s Stories Project (PSP) as part of UK region’s arts programme in sub-Saharan Africa. She was my excellent editor for our Time Out Nigeria titles, and it’s great to be working with her again as a remote editor and guest contributor for this maiden edition. As a non-Nigerian looking into Nigeria positively, she tends to notice important details that we Nigerians ourselves may miss. Thank you for reading – especially to those who are joining us later today to support us at our launch – and I hope you enjoy reading our very first edition!

It is, perhaps, part of human nature to help others. However, this belief that humans are routinely altruistic is constantly challenged by today’s negatively-charged news. Therefore, if we are willing to take a step back and assess all that is going on in our world, we will find there is a significant amount of good.

If there is any doubt that humans are born with a drive to help others, simply study the way children behave. Harvard University psychologist, Felix Warneken, has come to the conclusion that “young children are about as helpful and giving as human beings ever get.” 

Holding this to be true, if parents engage in promoting the welfare of others – the very definition of philanthropy – then their children are likely to emulate this behaviour. So how early can children engage in philanthropy, and how much of their benevolent actions can be attributed to their parents? Anita Kouassigan decided to explore this question, about how young children start showing their philanthropic traits – if any.

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Anita Kouassigan
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