Role Model of the Week: Kaltumi Abdulazeez

Meet our personality of the week…

Miss Kaltumi Abdulazeez holds a BSc in Biology from the University of Abuja, Nigeria. She is a young humanitarian activist from the northern part of Nigeria, passionate about equal opportunities.

In 2016, Kaltumi won a state honors award from Jigawa state government in recognition of the legacy she left in the sands of time. Also, in 2018 she received an award for the community activist of the year by the Woman on Fire (WOF) awards in recognition of her untiring efforts to create an enabling environment for the poor.

Kaltumi is the founder of Ladies Empowerment Goals and Support Initiative (LEGASI), an innovative non-governmental organization whose vision is to raise a generation of informed, empowered, educated, and financially independent women thus creating an improved society (www.legasi.org).

She has volunteered with peacebuilding organizations like YOCAT and Search for Common Ground. Outside her humanitarian world, she has skills in entrepreneurship, Negotiations, Communication, Emotional Intelligence, and Leadership. She is also passionate about agriculture.

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She is presently the country director for Global Peace Chain in Nigeria and an alumni of the African Presidential Leadership Program.

In her quest to right the wrong of poor leadership in her country, she recently developed interest in politics in order to participate in decision and policy making processes, and to bridge the gap of women participation in politics. She is presently the Deputy National Organizing Secretary of the Young Progressive Party (YPP).

She is presently the country representative at EiC Corporation, an international Association which promotes financial education, popular shareholding and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa and providing strategical advisory for governments.

Rm Team: Challenges faced while growing up and how you overcame.
Kaltumi: One of the major challenges I faced while growing up was public speaking due to my shy nature, but I was able to overcome this when I joined the debate club in my secondary school.

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RM Team: What is your life Philosophy?
Kaltumi: We are human first before any other thing in life. God has given us a conscience that guides us from right and wrong, but we have the final choice to decide which path to follow.

RM team: Who is your role model?
Kaltumi: Oprah Winfrey


RM team: Involvement in charity/youth empowerment (if any).
Kaltumi: REAWAKENING HOPE FOR THE VICTIMS OF INSURGENCY
Nigeria over the past few years has been faced with the challenges of the Boko Haram insurgency, a group trying to establish an Islamic caliphate in the Northern Nigeria, with senseless mass killing of people both Muslims and Christians and wanton destructions of property. While the group claimed to be Muslims and associates itself with Islam, their activities are far from Islamic teaching, belief and/or any sense of decency.

The North Eastern part of the country especially Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States were worst hit by the insurgency and its associated problems. Apart from the loss of many lives and properties, the insurgency had made many families refugees in their homeland called Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS).

The IDPS mainly from the states mentioned above are presently scattered all over Nigeria and the neighboring countries such as Niger, Cameroon, and Chad. Some of the IDPs are also located in some Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Jigawa State among which is Kiyawa LGA.

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NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE CORPS (NYSC)
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is a scheme that was set up by the Nigerian government In 1973 to involve Nigerian graduates in nation building after the civil war.

The aim of the scheme was to encourage and develop common ties among the youths of Nigeria and the promotion of national unity”.

Participants in the National Youth Service Scheme are posted to states other than their state of origin where they are expected to mix with people from different ethnic groups, social and family backgrounds, and learn the culture of the indigenes in the location they are posted to.

This action is aimed at bringing about unity in the country and help the youths appreciate other ethnic groups.
Three years ago, while serving as a youth corps member in Kiyawa Local Government of Jigawa State after graduation from the University, I came in contact with some group of women and children walking aimlessly on the street with sadness on their faces. I became concerned as to know what the problem was and then my inquisitiveness triggered my approach towards them to find answers to my curiosity.

During my discussion with them, I found out they were victims of Boko Haram insurgence that flee from Borno state to seek solace in Jigawa State. Their situation was touching and psychologically dehumanizing that I could not ignore. These Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) apart from losing their husbands, wifes and loved ones to the Boko Haram war, they also lost all their sources of livelihood and all they had to the war.

They lacked basic necessities of life. They have no home/shelter, food, clothes, water and no access to proper health care services. Begging for food was their only option and the children who should be in school to gain formal education can only think of how to beg for food for their survival.

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It is regrettable that I could not paint their ugly situation as I really wanted but trust me, what I saw was the worst form of dehumanization I have ever seen.
Curiously, I asked myself what would be the future of these innocent children if they grow up this way without Showing love to them and making them know that the society care about them and share in their problems.

I thought their situation portends more dangers as they could grow up to become something even worst than Boko Haram. So I initiate a program to help these people which was titled ‘’REAWAKENING HOPE FOR THE VICTIMS OF INSURGENCY’’.

I started by collecting their data to enable me have a focus on the total number of people am dealing with.

SUCCESSES ACHIEVED WITH MY INTERVENTION PROGRAM
In a bid to ameliorate the sufferings of the IDPs, I started going door to door to seek donation of used clothes and food from friends which I take to them but it wasn’t enough.

I then decided to use my personal funds including donation from family and friends to buy relieve materials such as detergents, slippers, rice, millet, clothes, plates/spoons, cooking ingredients, mosquito net, etc. to the women and children that could last them for a while Yet I wasn’t satisfied with the outcome so I decided to do an advocacy using the media houses, both television and radio to tell the story of the IDPs to the entire public and to solicit for assistance either in cash or in kind. Luckily I was able to get the attention of the Governor of the state through the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

We got donations of food and other relieve materials that was distributed across over 1000 women and children, including during the Muslim fasting period.
I also wrote to the Local Government Chairman, requesting for some piece of land to be given to the IDPs for the construction of camp and some part to be used for agricultural purpose as a means of sustenance for them to farm.

My request was approved and a land was allocated to us which we were unable to develop due to lack of funds.
A trauma healing program was equally organized for the young student victims in school that are suffering from depression over the insurgency attack of their school in Borno State.

It was an opportunity to share their pain and show them some love of having hope for a more secured life.
As a continued sacrifice to humanity, I further got my initiative registered as a non-profit organization to leverage on helping humanity (www.legasi.org). I have pledge to dedicate my time to improving the life of IDPs in Jigawa State and humanity as a whole because I believe my country is also my responsibility.

Hence below is my further plan:
• Provide tarpaulin for the IDPs to cover their homes from flood during raining season.
• Provide them with more relieve materials.
• Provide little grant to those wanting to rent land for agriculture and other small local businesses for their sustainability.

In order to execute the plan presented above, there is need for well-meaning individuals to support the implementation of this heavenly rewarding project to giving hope to the hopeless. It is not easy, but it worth it and together we can achieve it.


RM team: Word for the young ones.
Kaltumi: Believe in yourself and be a positive thinker because there is nothing like impossibility in achieving success. If you have a dream, do not ever allow that picture erase from your heart, pursue that dream till it comes to reality. It’s okay to fail, so have no fear, often time we learn from our mistakes and thrive to be stronger.

RM team: Where do you see yourself in the next ten years
Kaltumi: A leader and a role model to other young African women.

RM team: Worst moment/best moment (if any ).
Kaltumi: My best moment is whenever I put a smile in the faces of the less privileged. And my worst moment is when am handicapped and unable to help as many people as I want.

RM team: Passion and Driving force:
Kaltumi: Each time I get frustrated and wanting to give up, I see every reason not to because many are looking up to me. Hard work and prayers is paramount.

RM team: You can take some time to sale what you do ( advert ):
Kaltumi: I am a young female humanitarian activist, passionate about peace building, community development, youth and women empowerment.

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