“The people whose lives you have touched will always remember you,” said Dr Emile Kue, president of the Hebrews Federal Credit Union (HFCU), the first Black owned nationwide credit union. Kue, whose organization supports African businesses, was one of several guest speakers at the Upward African Woman’s (UAW) annual charity event, a California based non-profit organization founded by Monalisa Okojie.
A lawyer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Okojie created UAW in 2014 to help destitute women and children both locally and in Africa and has impacted the lives of many in her selfless quest. Her impact was recognized and celebrated at the 5th annual fundraising gala which was held in Beverly Hills and included several dignitaries and celebrities from the R&B group Az Yet to Soul crooner Chante Moore who not only praised Okojie for her work but also performed.
Since its inception, UAW has provided services for more than 1500 women, many victims of cultural, mental, sexual, physical abuse and children in several African countries that include Nigeria and Ghana.
“Our goal is to raise as much as we can and continue to empower women through educational programs and childcare services as we are self-funded,” said Okojie who shared the foundation’s numerous accomplishments during the gala as attendees were treated to a three-course meal featuring traditional African cuisines from Ethiopia and Nigeria.
Okojie also plans to expand UAW’s services to other African countries. “We have a scholarship program, we feed the homeless in Skid Row in Los Angeles and we provide education and healthcare to those in need. Every little will help us to continue to reach our goal to help as many people in need as possible.”
To learn more and donate to UAW check out http://upwardafricanwoman.org/
By Samantha Ofole-Prince/Photos by Ade James