Sunday, January 09, 2011

Project Back to School

The Nigeria education system is plummeting, but what can the masses do? Should we fold our arms and wag our tongues at the government leaders? Olamide Ogunleye does not think so.

In 2009, Olamide launched “Olamild Entertainment,” an organization founded to provide in-depth information about Nigeria entertainment industry by showcasing Nigerians who are making impact in their chosen fields and motivate youth to greatness.

However, a growing concern about the condition of the Nigeria education system inspired her organization to initiate a youth empowerment project tagged ’BACK TO SCHOOL' in partnership with the Yoruba Youth Corporation [YYC] the umbrella body of all Yoruba youths in North America

“We are of the belief that youth education and empowerment cannot be left in the hands of government and parents alone, we all have roles to play in making the children of today good leaders tomorrow.” She stated.

For over 3 months, Olamide rallied around friends and colleagues, to donate school supplies, money or in-kind donations for under-served public schools in Lagos and Ibadan.

Although she has been based in the States for the past eight years, Olamide noted that it was not the usual “West to the rest” approach of sending aids to “poor Africa”. “If I was based in Lagos, I am sure I would have done the same thing…If God has blessed you why not be a blessing to others?”

From January 10th to 12th, Project Back to School team of volunteers will be in Makoko and Amuwo, donating school supplies to children. Aside Lagos, they also plan to replicate the programme in Ibadan.

The project will help reduce illiteracy rates, as the students will receive enough supplies to last them for the 2011 school year. A minimum of 200 students will benefit from the first phase of the project. 

Fela Durotoye launched a similar project in 2006, tagged Project “RAISE”- an acronym for Revive Academic excellence In Schools & Educational institutions. Last year, the organization launched “Project Raise One Million,” an initiative that seeks to encourage one million tutors who will volunteer to teach students in preparation for the JAMB UTME and SSCE. Students converge at different learning centers in Lagos, which include Surulere Girls Secondary School, Government College and Eric Moore School.

While RAISE targets secondary schools, "Back to School" targets primary school pupils. About Fela’s work, Olamide said “He inspires me a lot.” 

“He who opens a school door closes a prison.” Victor Hugo, a Human rights activist and Poet, once said. Like Olamide Ogunleye and Fela Durotoye, everyone must take positive action to save the Nigeria Education system and keep more school doors open, to empower the Nigerian youth.

To learn more about Project Back to School visit for RAISE visit

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