MEET THE SOGUNRO HEROES: PART TWO: LYDIA OKORIE

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"With realization of one's own potential and self-confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world." Dalai Lama XIV

Yevo! Yevo! Yevo! The returning school children shrieked when they saw me, even the ones who couldn't go to school join in the taunt nay chants; a new name added to the litany of names an albino would have to bear.

From Afin o je iyo, onye ocha, obobo, ebo, ocha, bature, anasara to orisha, now Yevo!

Well, typical of me, I acknowledged and returned the cheers as I walked upon huge layers of dirt now turned road with open gutters and heavy presence of poverty and malnutrition. This was the scenario that greeted me at #Sogunro a shanty community that sits somewhere around Iwaya area of Yaba, Lagos.

My darling friend Vweta Chadwick runs Project ASHA, a community intervention program for women and girls in underserved communities. Its main focus is Empowering Women of the Future. Severally she had invited, Friday November 18, I obliged.

So I had read and watched reports on residents of Makoko, a waterfront community which Sogunro is part of. Inhabitants are made up of mostly Egun people of Badagry, Ilajes of Ondo State and a large number of Republic of Benin and Togolese settlers.


Through Project ASHA, young girls were made to believe in themselves, to reach deep and explore their potentials and see the world beyond the waterfronts. As I taught some students how to pronounce some words and watched the exhilarating dance steps of the Egun people at the Sogunro Musical put together by the ASHA Initiative, I was inspired by the resolve in the minds of these girls to recreate their world.

through my many interviews with the projrct volunteers, one thing kept resonating, and that is; ASHA is all about inspiring hope and transforming lives and I must stay mine was affected too. Lessons abound everywhere and I sure took home valuable lessons. If these girls can raise their heads above the dirty waters and environmental hazards that perhaps define their habitat and focus on the future they want by exploring their potentials, I see no reason or excuse on your part.

Lest I forget, you can find your way to Sogunro and see the many things you can do for them.

That day as I left for Ijebu Ode, Ogun State Southwest Nigeria for another function, the happy voices of those kids bring joy to my heart and smiles on my lips. Perhaps for the first time in many years, the feeling is devoid of any bias or anger. So today, go ahead and call me Yevo! I will answer because I am a Volunteer!

But just before you do, please meet this amazing College student who believes she  through teacher mentorship, we can really improve the lives of the young ones. At only 21, she has so much faith in the actualization of the dreams of the Sogunro girls. 

Keep grinding and soon you ball!

OjisiEmezie 


Let's me you. Give us an introduction on who you are, a background about you.    
My name is Lydia Okorie. I was born 29th of July 1995 at Akoka in Lagos Mainland.  I am a  400level student of English at the University of Lagos. I am the last of five children. I am a native of Nkanu- East local government in Enugu State.

Any educational qualifications? How's schooling  for you?
BA English (2017). Schooling for me has been exciting and challenging. Various tasks to be completed before specific times.

When did you start volunteering, can you remember why you took such decisions?
I started volunteering in July. I became a volunteer because I felt there was more to being alive and the passion to put smiles on the faces of people is quite ardent

How long have you been involved with the Project Asha?
 I have been with Project Asha for about six months now.



What has the experience been to you?
The experience for me has been fulfilling. I have come to realise that although there are various means these people could be empowered, I'm glad be able to play my part.

What does Sogunro mean to you and how long have you been involved with the Project?
Sogunro to me has been remarkable. I remember when I first came to the community, the people were less cooperative. I see the progress and I'm glad. I have been involved with the project since July.

How much impact do you think Project ASHA has had on the Sogunro community?
impact has been tremendous. From empowerment, health, exposure and many more. Project ASHA has given the women and girls in Sogunro community a platform to express themselves.

Describe the Sogunro Girls, what do you think the future holds for them?
Sogunro girls are amazing. It amazes me when I see their zeal to become something great irrespective of their environment. I believe the future is what we make of today, so for the girls, the future holds more beautiful things as they continue in various developmental projects designed for them by Project ASHA.

Aside Volunteering, what does Lydia do?
Aside volunteering, I teach.

What does ASHA mean to you?
To me, ASHA is a vehicle to the actualization of one's dreams.       

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4 comments

  1. Dis is a nix Programme which shud b embraced by all and sundry..... It is good to b in a volunteering services for the betterment of humanity..... Keep the light shinning...

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