by crossriverwatch admin
Frances Undie is a 300 level Accounting undergraduate in the Ogoja Campus of Cross State University of Technology, CRUTECH. At 21, she is the Founder of a non-governmental organisation, ‘Frankiz Reach-Out Charity Crew’. In a recent interview, she told crossriverwatch that she lost her dear friend to cancer and she is standing up to the challenge with her crew to eradicate cancer in Cross River State.
CRW: Tell us a bit about yourself and your NGO.
Frances: My name is Frances Undie. I am 21 years old from a unique region in Cross River State known as Obudu where we have a cattle ranch in Nigeria. I am a student and a humanitarian. The name of my NGO is Frankiz Reach-Out Charity Crew.
CRW: What motivated you into a cancer concern at 21?
Frances: Well, cancer is a disease caused by uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body which may be caused by alcohol, physical carcinogens such as components of tobacco smoke, drinking contaminated water, and eating food contaminated by viruses, parasites and bacteria. I got motivated after I lost a close friend of mine to the deadly disease. We never knew she had the disease for a very long time and when we found out it was too late and we lost her due to late detection. I also lost an aunt, a distant one but her case was due to the funding involved for treatment. I decided to conduct a research on the disease and found out it had taken away a lot of loved ones and people who had equal rights like everyone to live. I decided not to only learn about the disease but also help my immediate environment by conducting talk sessions, campaigns and advice on early detection and also purchasing and launching the first mammogram machine in Cross River State.
CRW: What are some of the challenges you have faced since you started the campaign?
Frances: Wow! The challenges are numerous. First and foremost, I will scream FUNDING! It poses a big challenge to me and my crew. It’s not an easy road coupled with the fact that am just a student without a job; so most of what I have done is from my pocket money and assistance from my friends. I’m still facing that challenge and will appreciate all the support I can get. Considering my age, it’s also a challenge because people expect to see someone not my age in such a dream but I have chosen to stand up to the challenge and give it the best I can. Particularly now with this kind of society today, people find it hard to give because of the lack of trust and scams going on, but I believe I can stand up to that challenge also because I just have a dream I want to achieve.
CRW: Have you written to or approached any government agency for assistance or collaboration and what has been their response?
Frances: I haven’t written to any government agency. I’m still trying to get feedback from the grass root agencies which I have applied to. In the case of collaboration, I have not given it a thought but if push comes to shove and I find a dedicated agency, I would love a collaboration.
CRW: How would you want the public to support the work you are doing?
Frances: The public I believe are the only people who can help me achieve my dream. I don’t think I will be able to achieve my dream without their support. I want them to help me preach my gospel about the importance of early detection because cancer knows no age, size, status or gender; it can happen to anyone. I will also appreciate their donations; be it in cash or in voluntary services of telling other people about this good cause and encouraging them to support us.
CRW: Tell us about your plans for the future. What do you want to make of your life?
Frances: Hmmmmm! This is a big question. I’m not the type that plans. I prefer to dream and realize my dreams. I have a lot which I hope to achieve. I won’t only stop in this project of a purchase of a mammogram machine. I hope to take up other projects and also print the motivational books I have been working on and am considering script writing also. But first, I intend to make my environment a comfortable place for everyone. One will think am in the medical line but am not really, am currently studying Accounting. The thing is, I think big and believe I can. Hahahaha!
CRW: What is your advice to other youngsters from Cross River State?
Frances: Youngsters are the future of tomorrow and the change everyone envisions; we are the better Nigerians and I want to say they should never stop dreaming. You can be the best. You can create an impact and a change. Don’t stop believing in yourself. You can be anything you want to be. You have a talent and a potential to aim high and reach new heights.