Tosin Allen is an entertainment promoter, events manager and movie producer. After moving to Abuja from Lagos, she focused more on humanitarian works. She set up the Audrey Allen foundation and today, even the presidency has taken note and endorsed her work. In a chat with Lukmon Akintola, she talks about her passion for orphans, physically challenged and vulnerable children in the society.
The independence day just passed, what were the things your foundation do?
We visited some orphanages in and around Abuja and we gave our love to the children there. We tried to make them happy and enjoy the independence day like all of us. God has been really kind, we got a lot of new clothes from shop owners around Abuja and we distributed to kids in various homes
What is new with your foundation?
We are planning a fund raiser mid next year
What are you raising funds for?
We just got a landed property somewhere outside Abuja and we are hoping to develop a children's hospital, school and a home for displaced children That is a big project, who and who are you reaching out to for the fund raising Everyone. Corporate organizations, government parastatals, financial institutions, private business owners the press and anyone who believe in what we do.
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How are you going to find displaced children?
They are all over, it is very alarming.It also helps that we are partnering with the press who refer these victims to us. We also get calls from all over
What is your whole foundation about?
I’m most delighted to introduce to you the Audrey Allen Foundation for Children. The Audrey Allen Foundation, AAF, is an NGO with affiliation with about 25 partner NGOs that are only into child-related issues such as polio, HIV and AIDS, child prostitution, child abuse; both sexual and domestic, child trafficking, autism, Down Syndrome, leukemia, heart diseases, and a host of others. As a mother of NGOs, Audrey Allen Foundation (AAF) is saddled with the burden of sourcing for funds for our partner NGOs for the actualisation of projects as the foundation has identified paucity of funds and other resources as a limiting factor towards the effective implementation of projects.
What strategy do you make use of to have a difference?
The core mandate of the Audrey Allen Foundation is using entertainment – movies, music, comedy shows, print media publications and other special events – to raise funds and other resources for our affiliated NGOs who are gravely faced with serious scarcity of funds in the execution of their projects.
You seem to work more with abused children, why do you take their case so seriously?
This is a very personal one but I'm willing to share it so I can be an inspiration or a sort of motivation to others who have been victims as children. I was sexually abused at a very tender age so it really resonates to me when I work on such cases. It's a very sensitive also of people would rather not talk about but I think it's time someone spoke up In d past, we have funded debates in secondary schools, promoting the girl child education, condemning any form of abuse. I am in fact working on a movie project. I have been working on it for months. It addresses the major issues that affect the modern day child. It exposes a lot of things parents don't see or over look.
How has the government been supporting the foundation?
We have gotten an endorsement from the presidency through the office of the special adviser to the president on youth and student matters. Our goal is to tour all 36 states of Nigeria visiting secondary schools for screening which will be followed by seminars. The end material will be translated into the three major languages for easy understanding and access Who are the trustees of the foundation? Our trustees include Mr. Samson Siasia, Adeola Agoro, Brian Okwara (Mr.Nigeria 2007) and Femi Brainard Actor/Writer. We also have a lot of supporters.
What are some of the challenges you are grappling with managing the foundation?
The major challenge is funding because we realised that people have lost faith in charitable organisations due to fraudulent activities.
It’s like you have left entertainment for good?
No, I am the MD/CEO, called Allen Touch Events. We organise events, and I told you earlier, I shooting a movie soon, so entertainment is still part of me. I’m a workaholic and I’m very passionate about anything I do. So I put in everything I have got into it and I cope very well.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Tosin Allen is a determined woman who would strive to achieve her goals against all odds. My mum and Oprah Winfrey are my role models.
Who are the influences in your life?
I grew up watching Oprah on the television, inspiring and helping people through her selfless contribution to the society as well as the talk show. I lost my dad when I was barely three years old, and since then my mum has been my rock; she sent me to the best schools even though it was almost beyond her means. She was determined and her desire was to ensure that I got the best of everything in life.
When is Tosin Allen getting married?
I’m not getting married anytime soon. I was 30 this August but thet does not phase me. I am more concerned with my work for now.
Where will you like to be in the next five or 10 years?
I would love to continue to touch lives to bring about the necessary changes. This would include providing for over 80 children-related Non Governmental Organisations in and outside Nigeria. I would also love to own a children’s hospital and be able to affect over 10millon lives directly or indirectly through our movies, music, social media platforms and child development programmes. In addition, I would love to achieve a number of personal goals in life which include being married with children.