Our mission is to act as a catalyst for the empowerment of the rural and urban poor woman and youth, for poverty reduction, employment generation and sustainable socio-economuc development of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria
Over the last fifteen years of its establishment, the Foundation has recorded series of achievement in areas of empowerment programs for women such as leadership and capacity building training for women and youth, provision of small-grants, micro-credits, donation of income generating equipment like fishing boats and other fishing accessories; skill acquisition for youths like computer training, welding fabrication etc. and the implementation of micro-projects in rural communities that impact directly in the lives of rural women and youths.
My aunt once told me a story about my father that resonated with me. He found her crying and aftering finding out she had been beaten by a boy in school, followed her to ensure that she got justice. Coming from a very humble background, I was very conscious of any form of oppression because of my status and got into endless fights that were not necessarily mine but in defence of others. This was a behavioural character I obviously inherited from my father and what I believe drove me to resign my highly sought after job as an officer in the public service of Nigeria, to taking up employment with the International University Exchange Fund (IUEF) in 1977.
Having been recommended for the job by a colleague of mine who knows my disposition towards helping the oppressed, I started as a Student Counsellor in charge of over 250 refugee students from the Soweto Uprising in South Africa of 1976. I then went from working with the IUEF to the Southern Africa Relief Fund (SARF) taking care of Refugee Students and visiting Refugee Camps in Southern Africa. Here, I came face to face with the anguish of
displaced people, particularly children, due to the war. This job sensitized me to extend hands of assistance to my immediate and extended family and I continuously have a stream of young family members staying with me to further their education or acquire skills to have a better life.
With the end of Apartheid, I was posted to the National Planning Commission of the Presidency where part of my duties was collating activities of all the various departments including the International Organization Department that coordinates International NGOs. I got to know of the work these Agencies where doing providing direct intervention in areas of community development, social services and helping in the general amelioration of poverty in the country. I knew that I needed to start an NGO.
The Morgan Smart Development Foundation was endowed in 2001 with N2m of my personal funds and named after my late father Mr Morgan Smart Urhobo. The inauguration of the Foundation coincided with my employment with the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC as the Delta State Coordinator. My work with the NDDC gave the MSDF the platform to work extensively with the Women and Youths in the Niger Delta, adding value through its various activities.
Dr Omawumi Evelyn Urhobo (MNIM, FIMC)
Our Core Values
Transparency and accountability to all stakeholders in the Design, Implementation and Reporting of projects and activities
Sound and participatory project conceptualization and delivery
Provision of leadership training and capacity building
Equal employment opportunity and all round human resource development
Passion and zeal
Innovation and creativity