Toyin Saraki turns global ambassador of the poor

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• Leads Wellbeing Foundation Africa to White House Global Devt. Summit

By SUNDAY ODIBASHI

THE Founder and President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), Mrs. Toyin Saraki, has continued to develop unparalleled profile among Nigerian women and celebrated First Ladies in her ceaseless commitment to ameliorate the lives of the poor and vulnerable section of the population.

Toyin, wife of the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has remained unconstrained by the absence of executive privileges as wife of a former governor, unlike virtually all other former governors’ wives, in her humanitarian services to indigent citizens. She has demonstrated that the pet project which she started as wife of a governor many years ago was borne out of a vision for humanity than political motive.

Amidst her several global activities, including presentations at the United Nations, in her recent activities, Toyin Saraki, Founder and President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), and Stephen Sobhani, Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, were honoured with an invitation to participate at the White House Global Development Summit, which held in Washington D.C. on 20th July, 2016.

The Summit brought together development leaders, public and private sector partners, civil society organizations, diplomats, and entrepreneurs to discuss the progress achieved by the Administration’s approach to development and chart a course forward to continue the progress in the years ahead. There were a series of panel discussions all through that highlighted President Barak Obama’s global development initiatives. Strive Masiyiwa introduced President Obama, who spoke at the summit.

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Toyin Saraki spoke on the progress made in moving towards achieving global development goals, and also emphasised the fact that there was so much left to be done. She also reiterated the importance of midwives in reducing the burden of maternal and newborn mortality, while achieving the sustainable development goals.

The importance of educating, equipping, deploying and empowering midwives and other healthcare professionals in Nigeria and across the sub-Saharan Africa region was also at the heart of Mrs. Saraki’s messages.

“Each time I attend a White House event, whether to celebrate creative arts, or to share solutions and measure SDG progress in global health, youth, power, energy, food security, youth, governance, partnerships or global development, I am reminded of the extraordinary leadership that President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama have given, of themselves, through their efforts, and the unique partnerships made possible by the United States of America’s development agencies to improve the lives and livelihoods of women, men and children around the world. I treasure these words spoken to our congregation of partners as the core principles and a guiding testimony of Wellbeing Africa’s efforts,” declared Toyin Saraki.

Stephen Sobhani spoke on the need to ensure that reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) remains a global health priority, while also commending the progress made in the health sector, globally.

The White House Summit on Global Development focused on global health, energy, food security, good governance, partnership, and youth engagement, amongst other areas. All participants, including development sector leaders; public and private sector partners; civil society activists; diplomats; and entrepreneurs were encouraged to celebrate shared contributions that have led to dramatic progress in these sectors.

“And so today, we reaffirm our belief that in the 21st century, no child should go to bed hungry, and no child should die from a mosquito bite, and no one should be denied opportunity because of where they are born or what gender or religion they are, or the color of their skin or who they love. All of us are born equal and we’re all connected. And if a schoolhouse door is closed to a young girl, then we’re all diminished. And when a mother can’t buy medicine for her sick child, or a family flees violence whether in Syria or El Salvador, in a sense that makes us all poorer and all less secure. That’s what we believe, and that’s what brings us here together,” President Barack Obama had declared.

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