Age is just a number and no hindrance to serve mankind and make the lives of others better.
In her 93rd year, Mama Sarah Obama – the step-grandmother of United States president Barack Obama – is busy travelling the world raising funds and awareness for her Safeguard and Widows Organization (SOWO).
On her first visit to Canada recently, she attended several events, including dinners hosted by the Friends of Mama Sarah Obama, Knights Table of Peel region and the Ontario business community and a Rotary Club of Mississauga luncheon. She also was at the GoodLife Fitness Toronto marathon and a Mother’s Day brunch in Ottawa.
Her organization supports education & literacy, youth & women empowerment, food security & environment sustainability, culture & sports and health care initiatives.
“When I looked at the situation around me in Kenya, I told myself I had to do something to help people who live in my country and beyond,” Mama Obama, who doesn’t speak English, said through an interpreter. “Education is the top of the list and my focus is to empower people.”
Though she never attended school, the nonagenarian’s organization is supporting 1,100 primary school children with learning material and uniforms. Her organization also pays school fees for 22 secondary school students and six university/college students.
While they are not related, Barack Obama refers to Mama Obama – the third wife of his paternal grandfather – as “Granny Obama”.
She says she sees the president every time she visits the United States.
The last time she saw him was in November in New York when she received a United Nations Education Pioneer Award and a Doctor of Letters degree Award for championing the plight of the vulnerable in Kenya.
“On every occasion we talk, I encourage the president to continue to work hard and do what the people elected him to do,” said Mama Obama.
When asked what she attributes her longevity to, she gave credit to God.
“I am a very spiritual person and He has extended my life so that I can serve others,” said Mama Obama.