Isaac Success Omoyele is the founder of Dreams From Slum Empowerment Initiative, a community based, non-profit organization located in Ajegunle. A foundation he started based on his personal experience haven grown up in Ajegunle. Omoyele started the initiative seven years but the philanthropic gesture became more prominent in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Omoyele said he was touched by the plight of teachers and so had to come up with a palliative measure to help and support these teachers especially those in private schools whose school have been under lock and keys since March 2020.
His words, “we decided to start up what we called Project Ajegunle Emergency Food Relief. The idea was to provide food to the people of Ajegunle especially private school teachers. We provide cooked food every day and every week, and we provide food stuffs to some others in Ajegunle’’.
The concept of giving out food to private school teachers, according to him, was based on
the observation that teachers in private schools have been forgotten. Most of these teachers
have not been paid salaries since the lockdown started in March. Teachers in Ajeromi-Ifelodun seem to have been forgotten by both private individuals and government because no palliatives have been handed out to them.
He noted that teachers are a very important part of the society and they have helped in molding him to who he is today and so, they ought not to be neglected.
So, he decided to reach out to them, especially, as they have not gone to work for over three months and may not have been paid salaries, of-course, they will definitely be hungry.
He added that the idea was to let the teachers know that there is a group that cares about them and have their interest at heart. The initial plan was to reach out to just about 200 of them but it was increased to 700 because there are over 200 private schools all scattered in Ajegunle.
The Ajegunle Emergency Food Relief is a project supported by noble individuals, and corporate bodies like AIICO Insurance Plc, who gave out over 640 packs of food daily for two weeks. Other donors include: Leap Africa, City bank, Dove chemical, Food Jar, The Hunger Project and some other organizations.
He explains further, “We started since 29th of March and have been doing it on daily basis, serving people cooked food. We also included an area in Orege area where several houses were recently burnt in an inferno. We used the opportunity to commiserate with the people by adding them to our recipients. We provided breakfast, lunch and dinner. We fed adults, pregnant women, the elderly, teenagers and children and they all come here at our office to get the food”,
He said the group first started with 100 packs, increased to 200 and later progressed to 1000.
So far, they have disbursed about 40000 packs of food since the initiative started. The group has fed over 700 families in Ajeromi and Ifelodun local council development area in batches of 30, 50 and 100.
Narrating his personal experience, Omoyele said the NGO started based on his personal experiences, as he grew up without the basic necessities for a student like notebooks, pen, text books and school bags. Then, he used to go to school with polythene bag and torn school uniforms, and never went to school with food and had to drop out of school for a year because his parents could not pay his school fees but he later got the school’s scholarship.
All these experiences formed the formation of Dreams from the Slum in the year 2013- to help other people who may be experiencing same in Ajegunle.
The idea behind Dreams from the Slums is to make the dreams of people that are living in slum communities become a reality. He throws more light, “We want to help them achieve this through education, empowerment and mentorship. My past experience while growing up, showed me the importance of education because if I didn’t have a chance of going to school, I would have been on the street with the other children engaging in social vices like touting or a pick pocketing. Education brought the transition and change and that is why we want to help other children change their experiences and offer them a chance to education’’.
“Dreams from the Slum have adopted over 1000 pupils back to school. We helped especially the women draw business plans and secure grants that will make them grow their businesses. We help especially the women so they would be able to help their family and children.
We equally run a school, to enable us help out- of- school children. Most of the children come at low cost and we get child sponsors for them, and others are people that can afford to pay their tuition.
We help teenage mothers too because there are lots of young girls that are pregnant and we offer them second chance to amend their lives, so we give them hope to still realize their dreams.’’