It all began over jollof rice in the summer of 2012.
Shortly after the UEFA European Football Championship 2012, some passionate young Africans and I (Dr. Edema) sat for a meal in Kharkiv Ukraine. Over dinner, we discussed the advantages of a unified Europe, which we had witnessed during the games that were hosted by Ukraine and Poland.
The unity amongst European countries had brought about a surge in infrastructural development to Ukraine, enhanced socio-cultural relationships between nations, empowered local businesses and strengthened the purchasing power of the Euro.
As dusk fell, the sweet taste of jollof rice turned sour as our conversation drifted towards unity in Africa and the plights of a number of African students in Ukraine. I recall there was a case of a young 18 year old that volunteered to taste an alcoholic concoction in a club, shortly after, he was rushed to the hospital and died before dawn.
In another case, the student survived but was confined to the psychiatric hospital for 4 month before he was sent back to his home country.
These and similar stories made me realize that something was fundamentally wrong with the mentality/up bringing of young Africans and something needed to be done.
By the time dinner was over, we decided to organize an event, which will be focused on empowering the next generation to grow, lead and succeed. People showed up and that was the beginning of the Maximum Living club, which later was wrapped into Maximum Living Incorporated.
Becoming the first and only foreign students-led organization to intervene during the Ukraine - Russian crisis, in 2015, by directly catering for 250 internally displaced individuals and 3,000 people indirectly.
Over a 5 years period, we were able to achieve some notable feats. Including but not limited to:
- Organization of monthly workshops, seminars and conferences to fulfill our mission.
- Launched MLcare, an NGO on a mission to give destiny gifts.
- The MLcare Charity Ball that was attended by 300 internationals delegates from 24 countries.
- Awarded the Ambassadors Humanitarian Price in Ukraine.
- Awarded with a Medal of Honor from the government.
- Edema became the first foreign student invited to speak at the Kharkiv Administrative Conference hosted by the government of Ukraine
- Hosted a charity event to sponsor 77 girls to school in the South Kivu, D.R Congo.
- Hosted seminars in multiple cities across Ukraine and international seminars in Hungary, Austria and Nigeria.