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FEATURE: Monimak Global Foundation: Making marks in promoting youth and sports development

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MoniMak Global Foundation is a Non-Governmental organization, which is being supported by individuals.

The platform, which is making its marks in the promotion of youth programmes through sports and other support services, is owned by Mrs. Yemisi Monisola Makanjuola.

The Foundation is all about love, putting smiles in people’s faces, giving hope to the hopeless, voice for the voiceless, and caring for the children and the elderly. It’s also a platform created to bringing back to life that thing ‘you did not or cannot discover’.

The Foundation was established ten years ago, and some of its activities include the organization and celebration of Christmas at Children Reception Centres (Motherless Babies Homes) and presentation of gift to the kids, every December 25th. This gesture has been actualized in Maya, in Ikorodu, at Agric, also in Ikorodu, at the Children Reception Centre, Ga’a Akanbi in Ilorin, and at Omu-Aran Motherless Baby Home, among others.

Also, every 1st day of the year, the Foundation visits Hospitals to give food and drinks. This gesture has also been extended to the Destitute Home, Oke-Igbala and Omu-Aran Prison in Omu-Aran.

“We counsel and pray with them and give them food and drinks”, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Foundation, Mrs. Yemisi Monisola Makanjuola explained.

MoniMak Global Foundation explores the grassroots to discover, groom and give hope to talented youth in all sports.

Mrs Makanjuola, who is representing the professionals on the Board of the Kwara State Sports Commission is blazing the trails through sports from her youthful days. She was a former athlete, graduated into coaching, and now, administrator. She was appointed into the Sports Commission board in August last year.

Mrs Makanjuola was a fine athlete during her active days in softball and baseball, as well as handball.

She was the first female softball coach in Nigeria and she is presently the 3rd Vice President of Nigeria Baseball and Softball Association, (NBSA) and Kwara State Vice Chairman for Association of Women in Sports (NAWIS). She is also the NAWIS representative on the Board of Kung-Fu Federation of Nigeria.

She took part in First Nigeria U-12 handball championship, Ilorin, in 1981 and 1982 in U-15 handball championship, Minna, Niger state.

Mrs Makanjuola finished in 2nd place, at Baseball and Softball National Open Championship, Ilorin, in 1991 and a first place finish in 1994 at the National Baseball and Softball Championship, Warri, Delta state.

She participated in the 1993 Africa Baseball and Softball Championship, Harare, Zimbabwe and also in 1995 at the All African Games, in Harare, Zimbabwe. She Captained the team to the All Africa Games.

Makanjuola was the first female Nigerian softball coach to be selected for exchange programs with Bridgewater State College Massachusetts, USA between 1997 and 1999.

In November last year, she launched a bold bid towards broadening the scope of the Foundation, especially at the grassroots, with a round-table meeting among major stakeholders in Ilorin.

At the gathering, she revealed that her Foundation seeks to partner with the sports reporters in a bid to achieve its lofty goals of resuscitating school sports as a way of reducing crime in the society.

“I believe members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) are critical members of any Nation’s sporting family, and it’s important to partner with SWAN in order to achieve the desired results in sports development” says the former Nigeria International Handball player.

“Sports have shifted from mere instrument of recreation to a huge income earner, which has equally helped in national and international integration. My Foundation, MoniMak Global Foundation is out to bring back school sports as it was, and by this, crime rate in the society will reduce. School sports is dead, and we will try our best to bring it back.

The Foundation took a major step towards the introduction of baseball and softball late last year in Omu-Aran, with demonstrations during the finals of the maiden edition of Olomu Sports Festival.

Mrs. Makanjuola said that the demonstration was an opportunity for her Foundation, especially on the backdrop of her intentions to introduce the game to the community.

She also pledged to pick up from there, to organize training for Games Masters and Games Mistresses, in a bid to fully bring the game to the community.

“We will train the Games Masters and Games Mistresses, and do the follow up as they train their players in schools. By the grace of God, this year we will plan for a mini local festival, where talents will be discovered.

“It’s encouraging, more so now that we have a Governor that has passion and understand what sports is. With this, I am more challenged and ready to give it all it takes to run with that vision.

To MoniMak Global Foundation, Promoting Youth Development and Empowerment is key, as the system helps to achieve four core programs: Domestic Grants, International Grants, School-Based Programs, and Disaster Relief Program, all of which she plans to achieve with the support of the state government, especially in the areas of infrastructure, the State Sports Commission and all the stakeholders at large.

The Foundation sees baseball and softball as powerful vehicles for youth development, teaching important life lessons like teamwork, respect, keeping a commitment, and how to win and lose.

According to the vision of the Foundation, sports help build self-confidence, offer a constructive alternative for the key after-school hours, and give kids positive role models.

While appreciating her husband for his support, she commended the Governor of the State, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for changing the narratives of sports development in the state, saying that his performance has inspired her to do more.

“I want to appreciate the government for encouraging an enabling atmosphere which supports sports and youth empowerment. I also want to thank my husband for giving me the necessary support on this journey. My thanks equally goes to the Executive Chairman of the Kwara State Sports Commission, Mallam Bola Mogaji, other Board members of the Commission, as well as the athletes, coaches, Organizing Secretaries and other stakeholders for supporting our cause.

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