this is the third in the series and I am most excited with the things this young man has been able to do for those kids in Sogunro.

In this episode, Polyglot, student, volunteer and social entrepreneur Peter Olagunju takes us through his life, his experiences and why language for him is an important too in the business of volunteering. 

 I hope you find his story inspring.


I am Peter Olagunju and I am studying Russian in the European Studies Department of the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.

Schooling for me is a very interesting. It is interesting because I am studying a new language, Russian. I used to speak a bit of Portuguese and wanted to study it in a University. At the time I wanted to put in my application to UI, I found out that UI does not offer Portuguese. Many factors contributed to my choice of Russian. First is that I have a thing for European Languages. Second, I have always wanted to work as a Career Diplomat. My first day in class as a Russian student was really very fun for me.

I started volunteering last year, that is 2015. My decisions was premised on my love for helping people. Often times when I traveled from one state to another, I noticed some small villages and settlements inside thick bush and I never stopped wondering whether they had health facilities to cater for their health needs, schools for the little children and whether these people were economically empowered. This would usually draw tears from my eyes. I couldn’t stop thinking of how to help them. As I did not have resources to execute these, I decided that I was going to join any organization that helps such people.

I started volunteering with Project ASHA last year, 2015.
It has been eye-opening and educative. The knowledge and experience I have garnered can never be bought with money nor can be quantified.

Sogunro has become my second home. I was part of the Volunteers that started the Sogunro project. The love I have for the people of Sogunro is amazing. The Sogunro project taught me to love, taught me to respect people and to give. Honestly, I should tell you that it has never been easy for me considering that I have to travel from Ibadan to Lagos almost every other weekend to volunteer in Sogunro. 

I have learnt to interact with people of humble backgrounds like we have in Sogunro. One of the sessions I led (where there were always over 50 young women and girls) changed my orientation about young women and girls. And it was in that session that I first danced all my life! Yes, you heard me right! That day, I was teaching the women sex education. I was telling them about their bodies and how they must jealously keep it. 

They opened up to me, answered the questions I asked them and even gladly obliged details of sexual abuse they have had from men. To drive home the point, I led them in a song which they gladly sang and danced to. Suddenly, one of them said I must dance. The others agreed and then I was left with no choice. And yes, I did dance. They were very happy. That day, they became a new child to me that I gently and lovingly nurture. \

Sogunro has had an history of exploitation by selfish individuals who had documented their story, told the stories to sponsors who they got money from but never gave back to the village.  When we got to their community, we first had to win their trust. When we did that, they gladly opened up to us. Project ASHA has not just impacted the young women of Sogunro but the community at large. The different sessions we hold with them has taught them interpersonal skills, respect for people, love, trust, unity. Many of the young women have now learnt to look inward to identify what disempowers them as women.

This, they have identified as the first step to getting them out of poverty, all forms of abuse and violence against women. From enlightenment campaigns to knowledge sharing and talent exhibitions, the women of Sogunro are set to take over their world. They will no longer be ordered around by cheating and jobless husbands neither will they be abused by randy uncouth men.

The future holds beautiful things in stock for them.  With their knowledge and exposure, they have been set on course to empower themselves by themselves.

Besides volunteering, I am a Freelance Journalist, I compere events and I also care for children living with the Down Syndrome. My colleague, Chinyere Azike and I, co-founded The Nechamah Foundation that caters for children who have the Down Syndrome. 

I believe an uninspired person is already dead though still alive. ASHA means life to me. I draw inspiration from Vweta Chadwick and every member of the Project ASHA team.

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  1. Well, that was a very first time I've heard about that. you know, it was pretty interesting for me. Thank you!

  2. That was cool! I really appreciate those goals. I'll think on joining some of those initiative groups. That is a healthy thing.

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