Joan Anuoluwa Ologundudu: Engineering mindset geared towards development
Joan Anuoluwa Ologundudu, Founder and Director of Lifesaver Intervention Initiative is a Coach, Counselor, Behavioural Scientist and Creative passionate about bringing timely truth for timely intervention. Over the years, the Perspective Engineer, a pathway she coined for herself as a person who helps people to see and think not just from a different perspective but from the right perspective has helped people across borders to gain the right perspective and lead a purpose-driven life.
In this interview, she speaks on how she came about the Lifesaver Intervention Initiative and her projection for her organisation
Tell us a little about yourself, Lifesaver Intervention Initiative, and what it is about
How did you come about it?
Lifesaver started on March 13, 2014. I was in my final year at Kogi State University Anyigba. I started going to schools to educate young adults about being value-driven. I thought students to be solutions-driven. My first school visit was at Our Lady Secondary School, Anyigba, Kogi State. I began to raise awareness among young students and adults to see themselves as the solution Nigeria and even the world needs.
The initiative has led to several skill empowerment projects, and promoting United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 8, 11 and 12.
Tell us about some major projects you’ve done and the impacts you’ve made
Over the years, we’ve done many programmes. We gathered Queens in Jos, and educated the young ladies and women on discovering purpose, being value-driven and God-focused. We also taught them about cake baking. This was done in 2016. I was a Youth Corp member and was able to get the support of fellow Corp members.
In Lagos, we carried out more projects. We taught the students of Able Hands School cake baking and up-cycling of plastic bottles.
In 2019, we had a teens outreach in Ilaje where we taught the teenagers about cake baking, entrepreneurship and life skills.
We also had an outreach at Rubygold College at First Gate, Jakande, empowering them with entrepreneurial skills and life skills.
In 2021 and 2022, we embarked on a project lead for Leap Africa’s YDOS program.
Also, in 2021, we won an award and sub-grant from Leap Africa for our project on up-cycling plastic bottles into window blinds. The projects we have done on Lifesaver also won me a Sustainable Development Goal Advocate Award from Brace Up the Young.
In December 2022, we partnered with the Chosen Initiative to carry out a Christmas outreach at Miyaki, behind Iyana Oworo and taught over 100 women and young girls about cake baking.
We currently have an online adult hub and a teen hub. The two communities are over 500 members strong. We share God’s word, global opportunities, job opportunities, scholarships and any useful information that can improve the lives of our members and it’s all free of charge.
We have carried out school tours in Kogi, Plateau, Oyo, Lagos and Ogun states; teaching young adults and students to see themselves as the solution Nigeria and even the world needs.
Currently, the initiative has volunteers who help with their two virtual communities with over 500 members.
From its inception till date, Lifesaver has been able to reach over 4500 people physically and more online.
Our current project is the ‘Leading For A Change’ Leadership Certificate course. It’s completely free of charge and participants who start and complete the course are also awarded certificates free of charge. We have been able to award individuals not only from Nigeria but other African countries as well. Our goal is to have transformed individuals who will transform the various social institutions across society.
You seem to have done and still doing so much. Have you ever felt like quitting? If not, What has kept you going?
Yes, I was ridiculed by some people around me because of the message and mantra we teach students in schools. When I share updates on my status about everyone taking responsibility to build a new Nigeria, some people reply and tell me it’s only getting worse, and that I’m wasting my time. Then I heard a message from Fela Durotoye, a nation-builder himself. His words spurred me to go on with the vision.
Our mantra, ‘You are the solution Nigeria needs, you are the solution the world needs’ came to be after listening to Fela Durotoye in 2017. As a nation builder, his messages inspired Lifesaver to continue the good work in the birthing of a new Nigeria
How do you source funds to carry out your activities?
We get support mostly from members of the community and myself. The sub-grant from Leap Africa, which I mentioned earlier also helped with funding.
Aside from the people ridiculing, what other challenges have you encountered in the line of duty and how have you been able to surmount them?
The biggest challenge was getting the opportunity to secure more time in schools for our entrepreneurial empowerment. They could accommodate time for us to speak but there wasn’t enough time to teach skills. We encountered this challenge in some schools we went to. The other challenge was a few times we needed more physical help at our outreaches. The last challenge is to get more funding to run more projects.
What’s your projection for Lifesaver in the next couple of years, in the area of training and mind development of people?
Our projection for the next 10 years is to raise mentors for one million teens, empower 20,000 individuals with leadership skills through our Leading For A Change Leadership Certificate Course and equip our community members with life skills.