Friday, 19 July

Alhaji Seidu Agongo: ‘A beacon of philanthropy, giver of hope, lover of humanity, fighter of poverty’

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Alhaji Seidu Agongo’s humble beginnings and deep understanding of poverty's hardships has fuelled a lifelong commitment to alleviating the suffering of others

Alhaji Seidu Agongo’s humble beginnings and deep understanding of poverty's hardships has fuelled a lifelong commitment to alleviating the suffering of others, especially the vulnerable: widows, orphans, the sick, and people living with disabilities.

Alhaji Agongo’s name is synonymous with generosity, and his numerous charitable acts, often conducted quietly and without fanfare, have left an indelible mark on countless lives.

Alhaji Seidu Agongo’s notable charitable works:

1.  Eid cash donation: During this year’s Eid celebrations on 16 June, Alhaji Seidu Agongo, distributed cash to several poor people in various Muslim communities around the country. He urged Ghanaians, irrespective of their religion or faith, to cultivate the habit of sharing with the poor, especially as the hard times bite.

2.  Last year, Alhaji Agongo made cash donations to 1,150 aged and vulnerable residents of Mepe in the Volta Region to mitigate the hardships they went through following the Akosombo dam flooding disaster which displaced several tens of thousands of residents in the area.     

3. Korle Bu Child Emergency Unit: In 2018, Alhaji Agongo funded the construction of a 30-bed Out-Patient Department (OPD) block for the Child Emergency Unit at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. This GH¢857,000 project was motivated by his visit to the hospital, where he witnessed newborns and mothers crowded in insufficient spaces. His intervention significantly improved the facility's capacity and conditions.

4.   Educational Scholarships: Alhaji Agongo’s commitment to education is evident in his sponsorship of 81 underprivileged pupils from basic to university level. Notably, he moved his own children to a more affordable school, redirecting the savings to support the education of these children. In 2019, the management of St. Paul’s Lutheran School honoured him for adopting and sponsoring 17 pupils over several years, recognising his significant contributions to their academic success and overall well-being.

5.  Empowerment of Artisans: Through the Founder’s Empowerment Project, Agongo has equipped numerous underprivileged hairdressers and seamstresses with the tools they need to start their own businesses. This initiative has provided hundreds of hairdryers and sewing machines to artisans across various regions, enabling them to achieve financial independence and stability.

6.  COVID-19 Relief Efforts: During the COVID-19 pandemic, Agongo launched an e-charity programme to support over 10,000 widows, single mothers, and other underprivileged individuals. By disbursing cash through mobile money platforms, he alleviated the financial burdens faced by many during the lockdown, ensuring they could meet their basic needs.

Philanthropic Philosophy and Impact

Alhaji Seidu Agongo's approach to philanthropy transcends religious teachings, focusing on the universal values of compassion and humanity. His belief in the power of education to break the cycle of poverty drives many of his charitable initiatives. Moreover, his support for women, especially widows and single mothers, stems from his understanding of their pivotal role in family and society. By empowering women, Alhaji Agongo believes he is indirectly uplifting entire communities. “What matters in life is the impact you make in peoples’ lives. Different people are making impact in different ways but everybody and his choice; my choice is the widows, the single mothers, the underprivileged children and also to create employment,” he said.

“Islam teaches about giving but I go beyond Islam,” he pointed out, explaining: “What I believe is that life has realities and be it the Bible or the Quran, the holy books tell us that you will be judged according to your own deeds. So, I believe that whatever blessings God has blessed me with, God knows why He has blessed me with that and, of course, God will also know the fact that the blessing he gave me, I did not utilise the blessing alone; I also tried to bless others. So, basically, that is what makes me feel human.”

Challenges and Advocacy

Despite his extensive charitable work, Alhaji Seidu Agongo has faced significant challenges, notably the revocation of the licence for Heritage Bank Limited, where he was a major shareholder. The Bank of Ghana's decision, which Seidu Agongo and many others believe was politically motivated, has not deterred his philanthropic endeavours. Instead, it has underscored his resilience and commitment to making a positive impact.

Alhaji Seidu Agongo's life and work illustrate the profound difference one individual can make through unwavering dedication to helping others. His philanthropic efforts have touched many lives, providing hope and opportunities to those in need. Alhaji Seidu Agongo’s legacy is one of selfless giving, driven by a deep-seated empathy for the less fortunate and a desire to create a more equitable society.

Source: classfmonline.com