Ambassador Emmanuel George, is the president and founder of Krystal Foundation and currently a Special Adviser on Afam Power Plant to the Honourable Minister of Power in Nigeria. In this interview with Stellamaries Amuwa, he hints that his foundation is established to make a social impact in order to bridge inequality problems confronting Nigerians.
What does fashion and style mean to you?
Fashion is a way of life for me. I love wearing native being a typical northerner. As a youth leader, many times I put on T-shirt and jean trouser to participate in youth programmes. My style is appear simple and clean without any complications.
Who is your designer?
My designer is AMJ Fashions in Taraba, a young, vibrant and creative guy who makes my clothes. This is how I encourage made in Nigeria fashion brand. It’s important that I patronize home made products just like I eat delicious meals prepared by my two wives at home.
How do you unwind?
I unwind by reading stories especially in the media. Mostly editorial and cable news. I also love social events like music concerts that showcases talent among young artists. I also love attending beauty pageant shows. I must tell you that Krystal Foundation is partnering with R.N.B Entertainment and Event Managers to organize Yandang Beauty Pageant 2020 in Taraba.
What do you do?
I am the president and Founder of the Krystal Foundation. I’m also the Chairman National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Taraba State Chapter. I also served as Deputy President of National Youth Council of Nigeria, Vice President Northeast National Youth Council of Nigeria, Chairman Forum of State Chairmen Northeast zone of the National Youth Council of Nigeria and Chief Whip of Nigerian Youth Parliament (NYP) 3rd Session. In 2018, I was appointed Senior Special Assistant on Youth Development to the executive governor of Taraba State before my resignation. Currently, I’m a Special Adviser on Afam Power Plant to the Hon. Minister of Power in Nigeria.
When was the foundation set up and what has the journey been so far?
Krystal Foundation was set up in 2019 as a nonprofit community based organization. we focus on rendering community service in education, poverty eradication, youth empowerment, youth development and capacity building training, fighting against malnutrition and disease affecting our people in Taraba and environs. Together with our volunteers, we are working in all the 16 Local Government Areas in Taraba State to build this positive future for the less privileged. We save, protect and rebuild lives in times of crisis, support lasting solutions to poverty, tackle inequality and stand up together to break down the barriers that keep people poor.
What are the major initiatives undertaken so far by Krystal Foundation?
Krystal Foundation’s initiatives are focused on five key areas; Education, poverty eradication, relief assistance, drugs and shelter to the vulnerable groups in our communities. We rely on power of people fighting inequality to beat poverty.
What is your vision and where do you hope to be in few years from now?
We have a vision of creating a just society, a society where people are valued and treated equally, a society without poverty. We want a more equal society where a life of dignity and opportunity is not a privilege for some, but a right for everyone. So far, Krystal Foundation has carried out medical outreach on orphanage homes in Jalingo. Together with a team of our volunteer doctors, we have visited Orphans at orphanage of the United Methodists Church and Alheri Orphanage in Jalingo, and where we conducted series of malaria/fever tests and other diseases affecting those orphans. Our doctors administered drugs after medical checkups and further donated drugs and food items. Our goal is to invest massively in providing shelter and drugs to the less privileged people in the society. Our medical outreach covered more than 400 children being confined in the two orphanage homes in Jalingo.
What role does Krystal Foundation play in rural development?
Our endeavors has been to bring about sustainable development in our communities. Mostly importantly, communities that were affected by crisis recently. Take for instance Lau Local Government area where communal crisis has displaced many families. Krystal Foundation is developing a firm plan that help victims of crisis navigate some negative experience. In order to bring succor, we are unveiling a project called “Road To Farm.” Under this project, our foundation will provide support to families to cultivate crops like maize, rice, tomatoes and vegetables to enhance their income generation. The key focus of this project is to uplift the standard of living of local tribal and Hausa/Fulani communities that were affected by crisis.
What is Krystal Foundation doing to restore education in rural communities?
We are committed to improve the quality of education in rural communities in Taraba State. Apart from our “Road to Farm” project which I earlier mentioned. Krystal Foundation has another broad-based project called “Road to School.” In this project, we are launching a scholarship scheme to reach out to the derived and underprivileged children across communities and deliver quality education to them. Our target in the project is to reach 400 children for a start and provide them with holistic education to enhance development opportunities.
You mentioned that communities in Taraba were most hit by crisis. What role has Krystal Foundation played to ensure peace coexistence and respect for humanity?
As a CBO that we are, Krystal Foundation partner and engages religious leaders to use spirituality and promote peace. By the end of this month, we are hosting a peace conference between Christian Association of Nigeria and Muslim Council to address a spiralling wave of hatred and stereotyping of “the other” in our communities. This peace Conference is based on the assumption that true peace between Christians and Muslim is imperative when mutual trust exists between our people. The goal of this initiative is to prepare the hearts and minds of our people for true peace in Lau Local Government Area by involving religious leadership from both sides who voice a common message of peaceful coexistence as an essential element for building and sustaining peace.
We believe that religious leaders have the opportunity to teach a shared humanistic values of tolerance, understanding, compassion and peace. These are the core values embraced by Christianity and Islam in the holy books, and they are catalyst for peaceful coexistence as one family under God. We are also going to provide these religious institutions with logistics and support to advance the course of peace in our communities.
How many zones in the state has the foundation set up its programmes?
At the moment, our healthcare initiatives are being implemented in the northern zone with two local government areas in focus; namely Lau and Jalingo local government areas. But our education and agricultural development project will cut across the state and bring a desired impact on the less privileged people.
What is the way forward for the Krystal Foundation?
We live in society where lack of justice and accountability hindered the development and productivity of our people. Our foundation is established to make a social impact in order to bridge inequality problems confronting our people. We are looking for more avenues to partner with institutions as well as government to create scalable interventions in our rural communities. We are also leveraging collaborations to create a multiplier effect in community service. Everyday, we tend to review our extent of capital allocation, so that every kobo raised is optimally deployed from individual, corporate and government donations.
Presently, we are partnering with HOPE AFRESH Foundation being led by the wife of the Executive Governor of Taraba State, Her Excellency, Barrister Anna Darius Ishaku to provide interventions in healthcare, education, agriculture and skill acquisitions to our teeming youths in Taraba. Our partnership with Hope Afresh foundation consolidates on their giant strides in many programmes implemented under the Rescue Mission. It’s time to foster an atmosphere of mutual support and build outcomes-based interventions together as charity organizations in Taraba.
What appeal do you have for Nigerian Government in respect to socio-economic disparity in Nigeria?
The best and strategic way to solving many problems in Nigeria is to ensure that justice and accountability have some practical inputs in the lives of Nigerian. Leaders in Nigeria at all level should fear God and safeguard public trust to prevail in the discharge of public responsibilities. The Youth Investment Fund recently created by the Nigerian Government under President Muhammadu Buhari will assist in address many inequality issues involving youths and women in Nigeria. We also call on the federal government to create more enabling environment for ideas and talents to thrive.