Mrs Mabodu Ololade, the founder of the Auntie Lola Foundation, a non- governmental organisation, a teacher and bond lover with great interest in her students’ development.
In a brief interview with Kunle Adelabu, Publisher/Reporter-in-Chief, THE IMPACT newspaper, she spoke about how Auntie Lola initiative came into being, impacts of the foundation’s programmes and summer holiday plan for children. Excerpts:
THE IMPACT: What’s Auntie Lola Foundation all about and how did you come about the idea?
Mrs Mabodu: As a bond lover, I always see myself wanting to do more for the children. Looking at the private schools and seeing the opportunities that they have which allowed them to showcase lots of talents in their students, but coming to the public schools, I see lot of opportunities quite alright but they are not that exposed. This is the area that I wanted to do more to help. That is how Auntie Lola Foundation came into being.
THE IMPACT: Now you have organised two editions of Auntie Lola Foundation Special Career Programmes, how would you describe responses of students to it?
Mrs Mabodu: The turnout has been so great. The first edition for example, I had some students that walked up to me to tell me that they don’t know what they wanted to be in the future and I think that is what is really lacking in public schools. They don’t know because they are not exposed to such important area. This is what we set out to assist them with and motivate and encourage them to start dreaming about their future to take their minds away from yahoo and other immoral conducts. The exposure came up during the programme that we had with them which recorded massive turnout. Students, who before the programme did not know that they wanted to become had reason to call a profession to themselves. We are not saying that is what they will actually become in life, but the idea is for them to see a life in them and call a future to themselves.
The second edition was great. We had it with students in special school who proved that there is ability in disabilities. Seeing them wanting to become doctors, footballers, actresses and singers really moved me to tears.
The turnout for the whole editions has been so wonderful.
THE IMPACT: After these two editions, what next for Auntie Lola Foundation?
Mrs Mabodu: There are still lots to unfold. Last year summer, we started with vocational training and it’s not going to stop. We have seen how students are being used for hard labour during holidays. So, we thought that if these students have holiday to themselves, they could learn some skills. They can use their hours for self evaluation and improvement. We have vocational training, competitions, scrabble game and book reading club under the Auntie Lola Foundation. We are going to continue with that in our public schools in Ikorodu and of course, the dream is to take it over.
THE IMPACT: Since it’s an NGO, how do you fund this laudable projects and what is your appeal to privileged individuals in term of support?
Mrs Mabodu: Well, the foundation is a selfless service. It’s a non governmental and non – paid Foundation. I have been financing it from my pocket and supports from well – wishers who believe in what we are doing. I am a teacher and my salaries go into selfless service. Because there are still lots to give out to the community, I would like to appeal to the public to see what we are doing as trying to change our children for better, if not all, quite a number of them, so sponsoring the foundation will be well appreciated. We will like their support and encouragement.
THE IMPACT: Thank you ma’am for your time.
Mrs Mabodu: Thank you so much.