Major ETM, Industrial Engineering Alumni Organization Brings Food and Safety to Nigerian Children

When Mubarak “Mo” Muhammed founded the Grassroots Africa Basketball Foundation (GRAB), he planned to provide shoes for children in his hometown of Suleja, Nigeria. However, as he and GRAB grew, they expanded their efforts beyond shoes.

Since its inception, GRAB has provided shoes for over 100 children, renovated basketball courts in the area, and adopted a nearby children’s shelter.

Muhammed used the skills he learned in Louisiana Tech’s engineering and technology management and industrial engineering programs to drive his organization to success.

“The entrepreneurial engineering skills I learned in the Industrial Engineering and Engineering and Technology Management programs helped me redefine GRAB’s vision into a sustainable plan. As an engineering student at Louisiana Tech, I strengthened my leadership, planning and communication skills, and I am able to apply manufacturing and quality processes to reduce costs on GRAB projects.

Through proper project planning and research cost analysis he learned at Louisiana Tech, Muhammed reduced GRAB’s operational costs. The organization completed the first refurbishment of the court, reducing costs by almost a third from the original cost estimate. GRAB made cosmetic changes and installed new fiber rims, exterior lighting, benches and a field security fence for around $ 4,500. The renovated field is a college-sized regulation field with borders, markers for three-point lines and free throws, and the GRAB logo in the middle of the field.

After completing the refurbishment of the court, Muhammed and GRAB set out to help repair the nearby Angwan Zumra center in Suleja, a center that provides shelter and meals for underprivileged children.

Muhammed also credits his training to Tech for his ability to develop a communication plan that helped GRAB members share ideas and plan a dormitory renovation for the center via Zoom calls and see ideas perfectly executed.

“So far we have spent $ 13,000 to install and build 12 well ventilated and electrically powered hostel rooms for the kids. Our initial cost estimate for this project was $ 25,000. We cut costs almost in half using the skills I learned in Louisiana Tech’s Engineering and Technology Management program. I must also thank the GRAB Foundation team in Nigeria for a job well done.

Centers like Angwan Zumra lack clean water, food for a balanced diet, beds and safety devices due to poor funding.

Muhammed said he hopes GRAB will help alleviate some of these problems through campus fundraising and campaigns with Greek organizations to rehabilitate the center.

The rehabilitation will be carried out in three phases: providing a new roof for the sleeping area; install doors, windows and gates for security; and the installation of electrical infrastructure. For the second phase, GRAB will provide 300 mattresses – one mattress for each child in the center – will install lockers that the children can use as cupboards, and install a water system that will provide them with drinking water. In the third phase, GRAB will implement a cafeteria plan, employ two chefs, provide two months of groceries, and bring in a GRAB Ambassador to educate chefs and children on personal hygiene.

Once GRAB completes the rehabilitation, the organization will introduce educational platforms on YouTube and teach them skills to help them prepare for a career.

Muhammed estimates that the phases will cost $ 12,000; $ 9,000; and $ 14,000, respectively. GRAB has run fundraising campaigns, sold raffle tickets at baseball games, and applied for grants to raise funds.

Learn more about the latest GRAB Foundation initiatives at organization website or @grabfoundation on Instagram.

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