The EMBA Class of 2016 organised a variety show to raise money for BEGIN, a charity founded by one of their fellow students.
2016 EMBA Kasim Hussain shared with the cohort that he was funding a college education for two Nigerian girls who were otherwise unable to afford college tuition. Kasim solicited suggestions from the cohort for his new charity’s name and eventually settled on Bringing Education to Girls In Nigeria (BEGIN). The main goal of the charity is to encourage young women from poor families to get their education before they get married. Kasim estimated that it would cost $6,000 to fund each girl.
Sure that we could raise the funds to send one more girl to college, Ali Harrison and I suggested to the 2016 EMBAs that we organise a variety show to raise the $6,000. Kasim, Enzo Lamberti, Rashid Zuberi and Ricard Martin quickly offered planning assistance and a large segment of the 2016 cohort took part in some way.
- Ali and Enzo hosted our event and kept everyone apprised of our fundraising progress throughout the night.
- Steve Lile manned the sound system and Maximillian Ge cheerfully took professional photos on no notice.
- Robert Adediran opened the show with a singalong and Nofel Izz sang More than Words.
- Samir Khan and Vanessa Marcie performed stand-up comedy.
- Sebastien Long offered a memorable analysis of the cohort’s social media trends.
- Melissa Stringer and Sam Fityan took to the stage to sing about Chicago when technical difficulties kept our salsa dancers from performing.
- Rashid led the fathers in the cohort in “dad dancing” to close the event.
- Erin Bradley, Carlos Redondo, Enrique Garza and Ricard organized a cash bar to raise additional funds.
- Hitesh Sanganee ordered pizza to feed all in attendance.
- Others helped set up, clean up or stock the bar.
- Professor Simon Learmount donated the funds he won off our cohort during a Management Praxis lesson.
More than 100 EMBAs from the two cohorts attended the show, which was held in the basement of Pembroke College one Saturday evening after a 2016/2017 EMBA mixer at Cambridge Judge. Organised by busy EMBAs with no budget, the One More Girl fundraiser was a testament to what a group of like-minded individuals can pull off with a bit of inspiration. No one was in charge but the show almost fell into place organically as people volunteered to support BEGIN.
Some contributions were made in advance of the event but the goal was to reach $6,000 that night. During the evening, an anonymous 2016 EMBA pledged to fund a second girl’s college education if we met our goal, but swore us to secrecy. Having started with a goal of raising $6,000 to send one more girl to college, we ultimately raised enough to send two girls to college. After fielding 88 qualified applicants, BEGIN has selected the recipients of the $13,441 raised by the EMBAs.
Maryam’s family had to borrow the funds needed to take the Nigerian university entrance exams. Maryam comes from Northern Nigeria, which has the lowest female university attendance rate in Nigeria. Her father earns less than $50 per month as a security guard. Maryam will now be able to attend Nasarawa State University to study Chemistry.
Sa’adatu, also from Northern Nigeria, will study microbiology at Nasarawa State University. Her father, a cap washer, was unable to send her to college. She planned to commence her studies in January 2018.
Five orphaned girls, aged 6-9 years old, are now attending elementary school in Keana, Northern Nigeria, on scholarships from BEGIN. BEGIN has committed to send these girls to elementary school, secondary school and university.