Scroll to top

Family, Inspiration and Mission

Introduction

The Chinyere and Chinelo Ikoku Foundation and The Alvan Azinna Chibuzo Ikoku Foundation are a set of private, independent, nongovernmental and nonprofit organizations that serve the public interest in Africa, its global diasporas and a range of shared societies. They work in tandem with each other and withĀ The Chinyere and Chinelo Ikoku Charitable TrustsĀ to fulfill their originating charitable missions.

The Family

The Ikoku Foundations were founded by Alvan Azinna Chibuzo Ikoku, the eldest son of Professor Chinyere Ukeagumo Ikoku and Dr (Mrs) Chinelo Cecelia Ikoku, both late, who dedicated their own lives toĀ education, research and service within and for the above communities, societies and continents.

The Ikoku Charitable Trusts and The Ikoku Foundations have remained under further development and management by the Founder in collaboration with their two other children, Ijeoma Chinwe Ikoku and Chinyere Ukeagumo Ikoku Jr.

Overlapping and Overarching Mission

The Ikoku Foundations therefore have an overarching mission developed from several generations of work within and for the above communities, societies and continentsĀ ā€” a set of overlapping careers and experiences in education, research and service marked as much by systemic difficulties and personal loss as they have been by impact, success and a sustained belief in better futures. The result is our emphases ofĀ support for good works that help the public understand Africaā€™s essential place in a global future, one that is to be more knowledgeable, environmentally sound, just and equitable, and furthermore of clear ethical benefit to varied peoples inhabiting shared and complex societies across the globe.

Our Relationship with Africa

Our charitable purposes are thus inspired by a desire to deepen public knowledge and recognition of the full and varied range of peoples with continental as well as global relationships to Africa. Such philanthropic work has as it core objective our further understanding and improvement upon a history of peoples who contributed to the cultural, intellectual and material conditions of contemporary life in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australasia and Europe.

Our Relationship with Global Communities

We draw further inspiration from a range of peoples who continue to contribute to the cultural, intellectual and material conditions of life in communities, societies and continents. Who have done so despite an equally long history of systemic difficulties. Who nevertheless maintain an unyielding belief that the betterment of their human condition will foster the betterment of those living around them, and will enhance the futures of the regularly underserved,Ā underrepresented, underresourced, stigmatized, marginalized and disenfranchised. We thus learn from our example a vision of the public good and a shared but just community that is our hope and goal.

Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge, Lagos, Nigeria, February 23 2019 (Babatunde Olajide)

Approaches to Good Works

Establishment of the Foundations

The Ikoku Foundations were established by Alvan Azinna Chibuzo Ikoku, in honor of his parents, Professor Chinyere and Dr (Mrs) Chinelo Ikoku, and in direct response to ongoing, present-day and past infringements of civil liberties, civil rights, human rights, and fundamental freedoms and rights. The Founder also acknowledges and draws inspiration from a history of such infringements, diminishment and abrogation of freedoms, liberties and rights endured by varied persons and peoples in Africa, its global diasporas and a range of interconnected societies.

Guiding Principles for Philanthropy

Such conditions and inspiration for the establishment of The Ikoku Foundations are reflected in the principles and terms set forth by the Founder, Alvan Azinna Chibuzo Ikoku, in the Originating Declaration of Trust of the Chinyere and Chinelo Charitable Trusts and in the Founding and Governing Code of Ethics. These principles and terms ultimately guide our philanthropy and any activity conducted in relation to The Ikoku Foundations.

Originating Grant and Subsequent Growth

As part of the aforementioned Declaration of Trust, the originating endowment for The Ikoku Foundations ā€” to hold and manage all assets for The Ikoku FoundationsĀ ā€”was thus derived from Alvan Azinna Chibuzo Ikokuā€™s own funds and from his parentsā€™ lifelong work teaching and researching in university, public and private spheres.

And as stipulated in the Declaration of Trust, subsequent enhancements to the originating endowment of The Ikoku Foundations are to be made via the dedication of donated assets to Trusts Areas of Philanthropy and Public BenefitĀ created by the Founder, each focused on improvements in the following:

  1. education and research;
  2. agriculture and sustenance;
  3. civic society and governance;
  4. contributions to public knowledge;
  5. cultural and technological innovation;
  6. energy and infrastructure;
  7. human and environmental health;
  8. humanistic inquiry and expression;
  9. ethics of research and care;
  10. rigor of public opinion and civic discourse;
  11. strengtheningĀ of human and civil rights and civil liberties; and
  12. development of youth communities.

The Trusts Areas and The Foundations

Thus, much of our good works are administered, developed and funded under the auspices of our Trusts Areas of Philanthropy and Public Benefit ā€” which are notĀ separable lines of account ā€” but areas that help us focus attention, commitment, resources and assessment as we conceive, conduct and periodically review our charitable efforts.

And our Trusts Areas of Philanthropy and Public BenefitĀ also frame the manner in which we make decisions regarding projects and good works. Together ā€” and through thoughtful consideration at the level of the executive leadership, boards and committees ā€” The Ikoku Charitable Trusts and The Ikoku Foundations identify concerns within the Trusts Areas to be addressed by their administrative, funding and operational priorities, then develop such decision-making and planning into philanthropic projects and good works, to carried out primarily by The Ikoku Foundations themselves.

Further in The Trusts Areas

To learn more about our Trusts Areas of Philanthropy and Public BenefitĀ ā€” including an introductory description, access to projects and reports ā€” please do see our separate site section on The Ikoku Foundations, where we provide a starting point in theĀ General Page on the Trusts Areas.

Actor in Macbeth Costume
Macbeth, Undated (New York Public Library)
Wide Staircase with Statue and Urns on First Landing
Stairs, British Museum, London, United Kingdom, 2018 (Monty Lov)
Girl Kneeling in Busy Street
Tibetan Girl, 2017 (Journey Yang)

Approaches to Good Governance

Mandate and Scope

One primary mandate and attendant set of fiduciary responsibilities of The Chinyere and Chinelo Ikoku FoundationĀ and The Alvan Azinna Chibuzo Ikoku FoundationĀ is to carry out, fulfill and operationalize the charitable, good and philanthropic works decided on and funded throughĀ The Chinyere and Chinelo Ikoku Charitable Trusts.

Philosophy and Approach

Our philosophy and resultant approach to governance here is to design a governing structure commensurate with a set of charitable purposes and works operating within and across communities, societies and continents. And so our governance must be capable of being attentive to needs, engagement, participation, impact and review at the local and global levelĀ ā€”Ā across the complex states and societies where our communities reside, living shared, interdependent lives.

Structure and Boards

This has led to a decision to have The Ikoku Charitable Trusts and The Ikoku Foundations governed, respectively, by a Board of Trustees and a set of Advisory Boards of Directors. Details of the three-board system can be found on our page for Governance.

Documents and Policies

For immediate access to all corporate documents and policies, please see our Governance and All Policies pages.

Further Details on Governance

And for further details on our Founding and Governance ā€” including history, structure and documents of formation and governance ā€” please do start with our General Page on Governance

Woman Bending Down to Tend Crops
Sierra Leone, 2017 (Annie Spratt)
Child in Costume Looking at Camera
NiƱo, Cusco, Peru, 2018 (Ben Ostrower)
Woman Seated on Mat on Floor, Holding Fan
Seated by Kpone Katamanso District Assembly Office, Tema, Ghana, 2017 (Nathaniel Tetteh)
People Holding Peace Banner and Respect Sign
Women's March, Boston, USA, 2017, (Alice Donovan Rouse)

Also at The Foundations

As stated earlier, The Ikoku Foundations are dedicated to fostering philanthropy and good works concerning Africa, its global diasporas and a range of shared societies ā€” toward the betterment of lives across the globe. And so in accordance with the above, The Foundations provide the following:

I.

Nonprofits Dedicated to Africa

Independent, private, non-profit organizations that serve the public interest in Africa and its global diasporas ā€” by advancing education and research and by also supporting creative ideas, civic endeavors and emerging communities, organizations and societies.

II.

Support for a Global and Just Future

A founding mission and ongoing emphases of support for good works that help the public understand Africaā€™s essential place in a global future, one that is to be more knowledgeable, environmentally sustainable, equitable and of benefit across communities in just societies.

III.

A Vision of the Public Good

A vision of the public good that accounts for the past while ensuring a just and shared future. That draws inspiration from peoples who, despite a history of systemic difficulties, maintain an unyielding belief that the betterment of their human condition will foster the betterment of those living around them and will enhance the present and futures of the regularly disenfranchised, marginalized and underserved.

More About Us

The Ikoku Foundations

About Us ā€¢ Governance ā€¢ Policies