In the bustling landscape of entrepreneurship, few stories captivate and inspire as much as that of Rufai Kasim, a Ghanaian visionary currently making waves in the United States. Beyond business success, Mr Kasim has distinguished himself through the establishment of the Carlo Van Foundation, a philanthropic endeavour dedicated to restoring hope and making a meaningful impact in the lives of those in need.
According to him, the Carlo Van Foundation was born out of a deep sense of gratitude and a desire to uplift others. Witnessing how kindhearted his grandmother was and how she made everyone’s problems her own. “I grew up wanting to be part of a positive change. I want to sow a seed. Live a legacy. So my next generation will reap what I sowed.”
The foundation with Corey Jacob will, from January 5, 2024, embark on a charity project to benefit the flood victims in the Volta region with cash gifts, donate to prisons and some communities with solar lights, and also, in collaboration with Afrikicks, is giving out over 5000 pairs of shoes to people on the street and 2000 chess. “My foundation focuses on making an impact in their lives.”
Born and raised in Accra, Ghana, he relocated to the USA to live with his father and his two siblings. He went to college and studied criminal justice. With a priority to impact people’s lives, he was in the process of joining the Navy, but his entrepreneurial spirit took over; he started drop-shipping while in school. His love for it got him to start a clothing brand, Carlovan Clothing, a luxury and street brand patronized by most celebrities and personalities. “It portrays positive vibes. It was to connect people on the same frequency of love. That was my mission. Inspire motivation to restore hope. It had a whole vibe. I had people rocking it, and they loved it.”
To connect the dots by bringing the diasporas back to their roots and investing in the motherland, he motivated and encouraged Michael Blackson to come to Ghana, get a house, and build schools. “Michael Blackson, who has now built a free school, started with me. I am proud and happy knowing I was part of this change and making it happen.”
As a seasoned entrepreneur, after he got set up by his friend and got robbed, “when I came to buy Michael a house, I almost lost my life. I was tied up, pistol-whipped, and cut with a machete. I was hopeless. I got PTSD from this, but I decided to turn this traumatic experience into something positive.”
After the traumatic experience, he indeed used lemons to make lemonades; he created Carlo Van Security to restore hope for people to live comfortably knowing their families and businesses/homes are safe. “The change that’s happening through me. God is using me to connect the bridges, and there is more coming. The joy I see in my customer’s face or hear is priceless after installing security cameras and providing them with other security services.”
In pursuit of an impact lives, Mr Kasim founded the nonprofit Carlo Van Foundation Ltd whose mission is to be a beacon of light. The foundation gives solar lights, to schools and communities.
Mr Kasim through his initiative to impact lives is bringing Corey Jacob to Ghana in January 2024 to help create opportunities that will benefit millions with the Carlo Van Foundation