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Black Foundation opens in Lagos, set to strengthen education, eradicate poverty



In a bid to support out of school children and the less privileged, popular music teacher Emmanuel Akapo has set up the Black Fragrance Foundation. The unveiling ceremony, which was held recently in Surulere, Lagos, was an opportunity for the founder to speak on the vision and mission of the foundation, which aims to bring succor to the needy.

Akapo informed that the Black Fragrance’s vision is to contribute significantly to the global effort to end poverty in Africa, and to secure a brighter future for children, through access to quality and inclusive education. Already, UNESCO statistic in Nigeria shows that 15 million children between ages 5 – 15 are out of school.

While assuring that the Foundation has resolved to take up the challenge of fixing the situation, he highlighted several measures that have been designed to achieve their goal.

“Lack of quality education and poverty are a time bomb and we want to contribute significantly towards abating these challenges in Nigeria, though not through the usual aids and handouts approach, but through a social entrepreneurship model. We run as a social enterprise that seeks to foster sustainable development in Nigeria through entrepreneurial and social innovations that improve access to education, strengthen the creative economy, and develop enterprise.”

He said the foundation would create goods and services in the creative industries and plough back a huge chunk of its profits into empowering the underserved in our society.

“Our education program is centered around improving access to, and improving the quality of basic education. Basic Primary Education is provided largely by the government, however, many government funded schools in Nigeria have practically collapsed over the years because of poor funding, leaving children from poor homes with no option than to receive their education in such poor facilities or roam the streets.”

Making reference to Rwanda, where private schools are shutting down because government Schools got empowered and revamped by the Kegame administration, Akopo lamented that, “it is a thing of pride in Nigeria to send kids to private schools. As means of economic empowerment, the foundation has established a design academy known as Black Fragrance School of Design and a design company by the name Black Fragrance Designs International in support of children.”

The objective of Black Fragrance Creative Economy Support Program, he noted, is to create sustainable creative businesses, which will grow and lead to job creation. This will in turn contribute to the diversification and growth of the economy and lead to poverty reduction.

“This is the reason we set up the design school; to help meet the needs of upcoming and aspiring designers by empowering them with the technical and business skills they need to thrive in the creative industry,” he said.

Courses offered in the school include Fashion Design, Shoe and Bag Making, Cake Design, Interior & Event Décor, Photography, Web Design, Games and Mobile App Design, etc.

“Our vision goes beyond providing training, to further grooming, mentoring and supporting our graduates to become successful entrepreneurs. Our coaches at Black Fragrance are successful and renowned designers in their own rights, who have chosen to share their passion, skills and experiences with students in an organised academic institution,” he said,

Meanwhile, Black Fragrance has also signed MOU with some of Europe’s biggest creative design institutions, where students can proceed to further their education to various degree levels.

“Black Fragrance will be selling goods and services in the creative industry and a major part of the profit realised will be invested into the social course of improving access to quality education for children in underserved communities,” he said.

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