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Hello there! It’s another edition of C.chat interview segment. How’s the day and trust it has been stress-free. Before moving on, the sole aim of this concept is to motivate youths out there via people’s success stories and start up experiences. We seek to teach, encourage and motivate our readers to give room for the manifestation of the Kings in them. And today, we have a Q&A segment with a great woman, the lead volunteer at “AUNTY LANRE INITIATIVE” popularly known as Aunty ‘Lanre. Sit back, read through and stay motivated.
CRYSTALVERTS: Good day, Ma. Can we know you?
AUNTY LANRE: My name is Olanrewaju Onasanya, wife to an amazing husband and Mum to a Super Star Son. I’m from a family of 8, the third of six children. I’m a social entrepreneur. I believe that life is about other people, and as much as possible, I try to help people when I can.
CRYSTALVERTS: Thanks for that, Ma. Research reveals that you are the lead volunteer at AUNTY LANRE INITIATIVE; can you please explain what AUNTY LANRE INITIATIVE is all about?
AUNTY LANRE: Yes, dear. Your research result is accurate. At Aunty Lanre Initiative, we help provide physical, emotional, psychological support to Orphans and vulnerable children living in orphanage homes in Africa. For the past 3 years, we have worked with Orphanage homes in Ibadan. Currently, we have 2 main Projects; The Orphanage Tour which holds in summer (August and September) and Children Christmas Experience which holds every last Sunday of the year, bringing together all the children from the orphanages together to give them their best Christmas experience.
Also, we partner and collaborate with other NGOs; we have worked with a sister NGO to gain full scholarships for 3 children from two orphanages into a prestigious school in Ibadan. We also partnered with a friend to enroll 6 Children into his cinematography school during summer.
CRSTALVERTS: Sounds great. Can you please explain to our readers, how you were able to start this initiative and the project you’re currently working on?
AUNTY LANRE: I started Aunty Lanre Initiative after I stumbled upon what true religion really is in James 1:27, it says True religion is taking care of orphans and vulnerable children in their time need… (My own translation).
We just concluded a skill acquisition program for children ages 7-18 in 9 orphanage homes. It took place in September (5 Saturdays in Sept).
CRYSTALVERTS: Thank you ma. This concept is wired for spurring youths out there on the path of their chosen fields. We understand fully well that AUNTY LANRE INITIATIVE is an NGO, we would love you to explain to our readers how you have been able to get sponsors, volunteers and team members to work with you.
AUNTY LANRE: Honestly, for every project, you need funds, no matter how huge or small the project is and so far, we have been employing the use of crowd funding. We get funds from family, friends, and the general public who would love to also be a part of what we do…
How we get volunteers? We simply publicize our project and call for volunteers, and they come. Over the Years, we’ve had volunteers who have been with us for a long time, majority of them make up Aunty Lanre Initiative Team Members also known as Executive members.
CRYSTALVERTS: Thank you, ma. If we are not wrong, what ignited this passion in you? Was it that you had a personal experience or something?
AUNTY LANRE: What ignited this passion? Like I always say, no matter how self-centered a person is, we all have that part of us that wants to do good. I’ve always loved kids…I’m passionate about seeing them grow into productive citizens of the country. Working in a school environment, volunteering with a group of people at a particular orphanage every Tuesday (at that time) and the desire to be productive and busy with my “Singlehood” at that time ignited the passion.
CRYSTALVERTS: Being a female and having to front an initiative as this, are there gender related challenges. If yes, what are they and how have you been able to handle them?
AUNTY LANRE: Gender related challenges? Not at all. I don’t remember any challenges faced because I’m female.
CRYSTALVERTS: Thanks for that. Research also reveals that you are married, you are into charity and Orphange outreaches, and how have you been able to combine your duty as a wife with also being a founder of an NGO?
AUNTY LANRE: Before I got married, I had started and I’m glad it was around that time I met my husband. Marrying someone whose dreams, purpose and passion aligns with yours is the key; it helps to balance the equation. It’s Called AuntyLanre Initiative but majority of the steps taken and the decisions made aren’t just mine. My husband has quite an experience with social entrepreneurship and that just butters my bread. So, for me, it’s not so difficult combining them all
CRYSTALVERTS: Which means your husband is a great supporter. Ma, These children you cater for, have history of a rather rough background and have faced several obstacles, how do you win their trust such that they open up to you?
AUNTY LANRE: How do we win their trust? Coming from a rough background is reason enough for them to build a fence around themselves but over the years, I have learnt that quality time spent, love shown from a sincere heart, and opening up your heart to them helps them open up to us. We usually say that, as much as they need food, clothing and shelter, they also have emotional and psychological needs that should be met.
CRYSTALVERTS: With the economic situation of the country and the kind of government we have today, do you think they are helping the fight against juvenile delinquencies?
AUNTY LANRE: Juvenile delinquencies?? I’m not sure I have seen that anywhere yet. Vulnerable children shouldn’t be left to roam about on the streets but should be properly taken care of to avoid Child Crimes and all.
CRYSTALVERTS: Permit us to ask, do you see yourself in government in the nearest future?
AUNTY LANRE: Being in the Social Work Sphere is already an opportunity to be in government, we can effect the change we want to see in the lives of the children we are working with. I would love to work in the Ministry of women affairs and children in future would also love to Work with the ministry of education.
CRYSTALVERTS: Thank you ma for your time, any advice for youths in general, and also for sponsorship, we would love you to drop your contact.
AUNTY LANRE: Like I say to everyone I meet, Life is about others, don’t be self-centered. Do the little you can. If you can’t feed a thousand, feed one. If all you can give is a warm smile and a big hug, your time and attention, a sachet of water, Go ahead! It starts with your little drop of water.
AUNTY LANRE: To be a part of AuntyLanre Initiative by volunteering/sponsorships or donations, Call 08166325461 or 07069688260. Reach us on facebook and Instagram at AuntyLanre Initiative, Twitter @ALInitiative_
CRYSTALVERTS: Thanks a lot ma, for having this chat interview with CRYSTALVERTS. Dear readers, we believe you’ve learnt one thing or the other.
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