Shamsuddeen Ibrahim founded the Numeracy Aid Foundation (NAF) in Yola City, Adamawa State, Nigeria. Formerly known as Shamsuddeen Ibrahim Numeracy Foundation (SINF), the foundation fosters interest and knowledge of numeracy and other related fields among underprivileged children in Nigeria and other African countries. NAF is especially beneficial to children at the elementary level of education by providing the necessary teaching tools to facilitate teaching and learning.
Ibrahim attended AIMS Ghana (2017-2018) where he gleaned an MSc in Mathematical Sciences, specialising in Disease Modelling. An AIMS Mastercard Foundation Scholar alumnus, he came to AIMS with a BSc in Mathematics (First Class honours) specialising in Disease Modelling from the University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria (2010-2015).
Mama, the face behind Ibrahim’s love for mathematics
The inspiration behind Ibrahim’s interest in mathematics is his mother. She performed mental calculations in her business to determine total prices for goods customers purchased and arrive at the change to return based on the money they gave. Ibrahim considered her good in mathematics and vowed to become just like her. “Because mathematics is in everyday life and it helps in developing our logical thinking, my mom inspired me”.
During his college days, Ibrahim’s primary challenge was raising funds for his education. Ibrahim chose to study at AIMS after interacting with some AIMS alumni who impressed him with their achievements. The learning environment at AIMS and quality of lecturers, their experience, exposure and expertise, as well as their international status also influenced him. He remarked, “The environment at AIMS is very conducive to learning and therefore is very enticing as a study institution”.
Post-AIMS work engagement
After AMS, Ibrahim joined the Inspire Paradigm Academy in Yola in August 2018 to teach and coordinate mathematics for KS4 and ICTs for the school. He leads the development and management of teaching and learning curriculum for the entire Academy.
About the Numeracy Aid Foundation (NAF)
The Numeracy Aid Foundation (NAF) fights numeracy phobia, fosters healthcare and reduces hunger among children and their parents by providing education, health services, shelter and food. NAF operates in north-eastern Nigeria where there are insurgence activities perpetrated by the dreaded notorious terrorist organisation Boko Haram.
Provision of relief food, countering misinformation on COVID-19 and online learning platform
When COVID-19 broke out, NAF embarked on relief food distribution to the people of Adamawa. The total lockdown and cessation of movement declared meant that the population in the informal economy who barely make enough for the day with little or nothing to save for food had little to eat. Albeit available, government assistance was insufficient. Hence, other players joined in to help in alleviating human suffering. NAF has so far provided food to 595 people from poor households and raised awareness on the dangers of and preventive measures to take on COVID-19. “There is a need to reach more households; hence, NAF has embarked on a fundraising campaign to solicit for more funds to reach more than a thousand families or five thousand individuals,” said Ibrahim.
NAF’s intervention has been vital in curbing further spread of the pandemic in the community.
During the COVID-19 lockdown and schools closure, NAF engaged 89 students from deprived backgrounds from the north-eastern states by providing them with teaching, printed numeracy and literacy materials in itsonline and offline numeracy and literacy learning platform.
Provision of sanitary pads to schoolgirls in the Triple Pad Project
The NAF Triple Pad Project has reached 541 secondary school girls in north-eastern Nigeria through the provision of information on menstrual hygiene. By providing them with sanitary pads for use during their monthly periods, NAF has helped these young girls stay in school.
Ibrahim’s leadership skills
Ibrahim represented his class in the AIMS Ghana student council. He inspired and mentored 13 youths to start businesses with an online presence for increased exposure and coverage. Additionally, he assisted 15 youths in implementing business ideas in keeping with his desire to empower young people to use their skills to earn a living.