Olusegun Adebutu is a philanthropist and advocate for women with special needs. He is the founder of the Oladiran Olusegun Adebutu Foundation, a platform he and his team use in reaching out to underprivileged Nigerians. In this interview with YNaija’s Impact365, we learn more about the NGO, its mission and future projects.
Tell us about Oladiran Olusegun Adebutu Foundation
With poverty alleviation at the forefront of our intervention, OOA Foundation’s goal is to give a voice, hope, and hardship relief to vulnerable members of our host communities through programs that rapidly scale up and impact positively in the short, medium and long term in order to eradicate poverty, educate healthy and secure children and build prosperous communities.
Oladiran Olusegun Adebutu Foundation, preferably known as OOA Foundation is a non-profit and non-political organization, established and registered with CAC in the year 2014 and based in South West, Nigeria.
Since 2014, OOA Foundation has been involved in philanthropic initiatives ranging from educational support, health support, nutritional support, psychosocial support, recreational support, shelter, provision of clean water and household economic strengthening. It is our mandate to give the vulnerable members of our host community a voice, hope and hardship relief.
Our vision is to reduce poverty among vulnerable children, youth and women in our host communities and our mission is to support orphans, vulnerable children, youth and women with increased access to quality education, primary health care, nutrition, social and economic strengthening through sustainable development activities.
What inspired the decision to set up the NGO?
The founder’s passion for helping others, especially children and women who are more vulnerable. The principle he lives by is (in his word) “In life, you need to embrace your humanity, you can’t go through life thinking it’s all about you, and once you recognize that there are people that have the right to be happy, and you have the ability to help them through that journey, it’s a no-brainer” inspired the setting up of the foundation.
What are the projects OOA Foundation has worked on and how wide is your reach?
The OOA Foundation is poised to reshape and implement sustainable development activities to include poverty reduction, zero hunger, increased access to primary healthcare, quality basic education and create an enabling environment for gender equality, portable water and sanitation.
The organization has worked on the several projects since its launch in 2016 some of which include:
Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Care and Support Program
OOA Foundation responds to the needs of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) through the specific intervention program; the OVC Care and Support Program (The Leave No Child Behind Campaign). OOAF executes this intervention by providing improved access to essential services (quality education, primary health care, food & Nutrition as well as psychosocial and recreational support); strengthening the capacity of families to protect and care for these children (Household Economic Strengthening; HES); mobilizing and supporting community-based responses, and raising awareness to create a supportive environment for stigma reduction (creating awareness about sexual abuse prevention).
In 2016, OOA Foundation implemented programs that supported OVC across 6 Local Government Areas (Abeokuta South, Abeokuta North, Odogbolu, Imeko Afon, Ikenne and Yewa) in Ogun State, Nigeria through its Care and Support Intervention Program. The project site includes, Ilaro, OwodeYewa, Oke-Ilewo, Iperu, Ikenne, Ibefun, Kuto, Lafenwa, Olomore, Imeko, and Odogbolu.
To date, the program has reached over 300 OVC with improved access to Education, primary health care, nutrition, recreation, psychosocial support and clean water & sanitation.
Trained 18 service providers and caregivers by equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed in providing appropriate integrated care for the OVCs across the 6 LGA in Ogun State.
During the course of 2016, the OOA Foundation was involved in the charitable course that was tagged “Priceless gifts”. Through our priceless gifts, the foundation awarded scholarships to 12 children of Eduguide International School located in Sagamu, Ogun State.
Women’s Empowerment through “Household Economic Strengthening (for female-headed households)
OOA Foundation is addressing poverty amongst vulnerable women and female-headed household in our host communities through empowerment and skills training. The project has benefited hundreds of households across the 6 local government in Ogun State.
Youth Empowerment via Social Mobility Enterprise
OOA Foundation is also addressing unemployment amongst low-skilled rural youth in rural communities through empowerment and skills training in different locations across the country.
Currently, OOAF is providing 150 low-skilled youth from the slum community of Makoko in Lagos a work/study path out of poverty through Social Mobility Enterprise.
Do you follow up with beneficiaries of your goodwill to ensure they don’t relapse?
OOAF works with caregivers and Community Care Volunteers (CCVs) in each of our host communities. These CCVs are trained and supported to care for the OVCs in their communities. OOAF also undertakes routine/regular supportive supervisory visits to each community to monitor adherence to stipulated quality and standards.
Nigeria fell into a recession in 2016. Between that time and now, has there been an increase in vulnerable women and children and how has this affected your work?
Nigeria is one of the poorest and most unequal countries in the world, with over 80 million or 64% of her population living below poverty line. The situation has not changed over the decades but is increasing and outrageously with the economic recession experienced in the last year. Poverty and hunger have remained high in rural areas, remote communities and among female –headed households and these cut across the six geo-political zones, with prevalence ranging from approximately 46.9 percent in the South West to 74.3 percent in North West and North East. The increase in vulnerable people has helped us to initiate plans to move to other geopolitical zones as fast as we could.
Have you received any help or support from the government at federal/state levels since inception?
What are the biggest challenges OOAF is facing?
Funding has been the biggest challenge faced so far as the organisation currently gets its funds from philanthropic gesture and in-kind supports.
What plans and campaigns do you have for the rest of 2017?
– OVC Care and Support Program for the Orphans and Vulnerable Children in the IDP camps in Adamawa and Yobe state
– Youth empowerment via social mobility enterprise in Ibefun, Ogun state, and in Adamawa and Yobe state for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
– Livelihoods reactivation through household economic strengthening amongst the IDPs in the North East states of Adamawa and Yobe