Tell us about yourself and KLCI? I am an educator and have 12 years of experience as an active citizen as well as using experiential learning to teach basic life skills. I grew up from the Makoko slum and spent my teenage years in Bariga, another slum. I also have worked and served majorly in under-served communities. My experience during all this time sparked my mission to start Kayode Alabi Leadership and Career Initiative. KLCI was borne out of my personal experience that with access to quality education, skills and opportunities, children in under-served communities can change the circumstances they inherit. KLCI offers alternative education to curb the deficiency in Nigeria Basic and Secondary Schools. We believe children in under-served communites are leaders and changemakers. We believe they can be solutions to many of their problems and transform their society. Hence, we use volunteer mobilization approach to offer mentorship and career programmes, education for sustainable development seminars and boot camps. We also provide scholarship opportunities for out-of-school children. This is to help children develop life skills and prepare them for the workforce and future of works. We also use advocacy to call on Government, Civil Society Organizations, Private Individuals to prioritize education of rural children. What drives your passion in life? First and foremost my background. I grew up in the slum and during this period I saw youths not being able to gain meaningful employment, I saw children not learning in school. Some of them drop out. I saw young people engaging in violence and committing different atrocities. I nearly ended that way too, but with access to education, scholarship, personal development programmes. My life changed. If I can, they can too. What experience made you start the initiative? As far back as 2007, I was exposed to personal development programmes by Hope World Wide, where vulnerable children are exposed to leadership and self esteem trainings. We were also trained as HIV & Aids Peer educator. This sparked my mission to teach other young people these and also led a sensitization programme on HIV/AIDS. I also taught in a basic school in Igbogbo, a rural community in Lagos. This exposed me to problem that children in under-served communities face. I got admission to study Human Kinetics Education at the University and that also exposed me educational foundation problems, history, educational psychology etc. In 2015 I taught in a village, I witnessed the deficiency in Nigerian Secondary Schools. Children do not even know or understand what they want to do with their lives. I have volunteered with couple of NGO’s too working around education. In 2017, my engagement with students of Matogun Community, Ogun State Nigeria and connecting with my story sparked the need for an intervention and KLCI was birthed. Tell us about KLCI's journey so far. We have organised various projects to achieve our mission. Project LECT (Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Character Training): Project LECT is a mobile career and mentorship symposia that expose students in under-served communities to stories of people who have been able to change their circumstances and also counsel them based on their area of interest and strength. They also learn about Global Citizenship and how they can be active citizens and solve global challenges. Skill2Rural Boot camp is a platform where they develop 21st century skills and teachers and students co-create innovative designs to the problems they face within their communities. 10 Days Rural Education Campaign: A movement of young people using the power of social media and powerful quotes to call on Government, Private Individuals and Civil Society Organization to prioritize Rural Education. KLCI Scholarship Trust Fund: Providing scholarship opportunities for the poor of the poorest. Share a personal/KLCI success story with us Really! I have had several personal success stories from winning the Carrington Fellowship to winning the U.S Consular General Award. However, I want to share one of our success stories at KLCI. Early 2018, we reached out to a School in Olambe through Project LECT and later Skill2Rural Boot camp. From there, Rejoice Otitoloju, a participant got the spark to start 'Say No To Girl Child Abuse' Initiative that seeks to educate young people in schools in rural communities through sex education and campaigns. Over 500 had been reached through the initiative. She also won an essay competition scholarship to attend a Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Technology Bootcamp in Lagos city, Nigeria. This is the kind of change we want to see. Where children in rural communities can have access to opportunities and change their communities. This is the kind of story we want to hear. Ultimately, we are proud to have gotten a mini grant from Peace First to made this happened. How do KLCI raise funds for projects? Support from the board Crowd funding/donation, Online training and courses charge, Grants. However, we thrive with partnership and our strong and passionate volunteers. Tell us about your personal/KLCI thorn story. Many times, I had liked to share our organizational failure. I could recall in 2017, after our first reach out, we set out with all passion to reach out to 1000 students in 10 schools. We submitted letters but we only got one school on board. Others didn’t give us the opportunity. We went back on board. We did proper stakeholders engagement and today we have reached over 2000 and 20 schools. We also made the 1000 targets a yearly target rather than monthly. It is not about the numbers but impact. It’s not about reaching out but doing the right things e.g. Need Assessment, Stakeholders engagement. I have learned that passion is not enough but structure and committed team members. The team members are responsible for our success stories. How do you intersect being a Leader and Manager at KLCI? I am not only the leader; we are all leaders at KLCI. It’s just about giving other people the opportunity to lead and express themselves. I am not also the only manager, our board of executives are capable. I am glad to have high flyers on my board, they have made us. So KLCI is people owned and that’s how I Intersect. Something I had like to share, the truth is you can do it alone, you need people. Good people and I am proud to be surrounded with good people at KLCI. From our volunteers, to the board and donors. They are the true MVPs. We started in bits but today we are movement. Malala said, “Even when the world is silent, one voice is powerful” Don’t be scared to stand up for what you believe. When you do, people will fight your fight.
By Kayfactor | 2019-06-10 | 10:27:56 am