A father gave his little boy 50 cents and told him he could use it any way he wanted. Later, when the father asked the boy what he had decided to do with the money, the boy told him he had lent it to someone. Who did you lend it to? His father asked. I gave it to a poor man on the street corner because he looked hungry. The boy responded.
Oh, that was foolish. You will never get it back. The father chastised his son. But, daddy, the Bible says that people who give to the poor lend to the Lord. The boy fired back. His father was so pleased with his son?s reply that he gave the boy another 50 cents. ?You see,? the son retorted, ?I told you I would get it back. Only I did not think it would be so soon?.
Giving in itself can seem foolish at first whenever it is done. But the dividends usually outweigh the investment. However, not only is the act noble, it can be done in a variety of ways. For instance, you can give your time, talent and treasures. Whenever and whatever you have chosen to give does not matter. What matters is your intent.
That boy gave what he had. But it was invested, and such investment usually reaps bountiful harvest. However, giving transcends personal level. Organisations get involve too. As a company does your business gives to the poor or takes from them? Let us examine two companies that have taken giving back to another height recently.
In Nigeria, the level of unemployment is more than 60 per cent as over 1.8 million graduates are joining the labour market yearly. The National Bureau of Statistics? (NBS) data showed that the unemployment rate was at 14.2 per cent in the last quarter of last year, up from 13.9 per cent in the preceding quarter.
It?s the ninth consecutive quarter that the unemployment rate in Nigeria has increased. The government agency reported that the rate rose from 13.9 per cent in the third quarter to 14.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year. So, what is the way out of this logjam?
Inlaks, a spe...t organisation that deploys dynamic and highly scalable IT infrastructure, established ATM Academy to train youths. It focuses on giving the youths the right skillsets and capacity to become self-reliant and thus curb the rising unemployment rate. Located in the belly of Ikeja, Lagos, ATM Academy trains several Nigerian youths on how to build, repair and service ATM, power solutions, printed circuit board and software installation.
To encourage the youth recruited from different parts of Nigeria, Inlaks chose to pay the trainees monthly stipend to attend classes for six months. After graduation, Inlaks absolved the youth into its workforce where they continue their learning and development. One of the standout students told me he had earlier thought the programme was a scam.
Now, this graduate is one of the ambassadors propagating the good works of Inlaks ATM Academy. As a leader of his class, he and his course-mates are now proficient, and can conveniently install, repair and service an ATM, even when blindfolded. Inlaks ATM Academy is a multi-million naira, multi-class project that has become an avenue for removing restive, unemployed youths off the streets. Another class is in session. Ring my bell if you are interested.
As if that is not enough, Airtel Nigeria is also into the act of uplifting the downtrodden and the less privileged Nigerians through its corpoprate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, Airtel Touching Lives, aimed at promoting the culture of giving among Nigerians.
Airtel Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Segun Ogunsanya, said the company is committed to helping the poor in line with its vision of creating empowerment opportunities and making life better for Nigerians. To demonstrate this, it has touched the lives of Olusegun Aina?s family.
The family lost three children and their belongings in an inferno. They were homeless. Through Airtel?s platform, the family now owns a multi-million naira, ultra-modern two-bedroom apartment. Airtel paid outstanding medical bills incurred by the surviving family members.
Your business can improve the lives of the poor by training or drying the tears of bereaved Nigerians. As Ogunsanya said: ?We can make our society a better place if we join hands and collaborate to uplift the downtrodden around us.? Like the boy, you would get it back.