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“I grew up in Ajegunle and sat in class with some students who could not afford to continue their education” – Chimanma Rushworth-Moore

By Esther Ijewere-Kalejaiye   |   08 October 2016   |   2:52 am
Chimanma Rushworth-Moore

Chimanma Rushworth-Moore

Chimanma Rushworth-Moore is the founder of Gold Fish Initiative, Growing up and schooling in Ajegunle made her develop passion for children who don’t have access to basic education. She believes education is the only way to bridge the socio-cultural gap that exists between the rich and less privileged. She shares her story with us in this inspiring interview.

Yes. Absolutely, a whole lot of factors. I grew up in Ajegunle, in Ajeromi Ifelodun local government area and I sat in class with some students who could not afford to continue their education, either because their parents were too poor to afford to send them to school or perhaps their parents were illiterate and did not see the main essence of education. When my father then passed away after my secondary education, things were tough in my house, having lost the breadwinner, my mother being a teacher had to fend for all of us, this was a time when teachers sometimes went unpaid for 9 months in Lagos state, in my darkest our I made a promise to God to help children from the poorest communities, if I myself survived my own ordeal. My prayers were answered.

Meet Chimanma
My names are Chimanma Nina Dobeiwu Gold Rushworth-Moore…, long I know, only a few fit into my passport. I was born in Lagos on the 15th day of November, 1978. I am the 3rd of 5 Children. I had my primary Education in Local Authority Primary School, Ajegunle, Apapa, Secondary Studies in Federal Government Girls College Owerri, and University education in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State.

Inspiration behind Goldfish Initiative?
Having lived a fraction of my life in Africa and another fraction of my life in Europe, I have seen a great divide between the African child and their European counterparts. I believe education is the only way to bridge the socio-cultural gap that exists. And in today’s world for a child to prepare for the future to be able to dine with Kings, they must at least be able to read and write.

Other project and activities?
I keep having light bulb moments on projects I want to carry out, but I will mention a few. Talks are on ground to build a school in a very remote area, where the children have to walk for almost 1hour and half t get to the nearest school, also the Goldfish Scholarship Scheme has recently taken on 3 children under their scholarship scheme in Kwara State, a video will be done shortly showing how these children are faring with taking up the challenge of learning and going to school for the first time. My dream is to have at least 20 children from each 36 states under this scheme, and to increase this figure as time goes on. I’m also setting up a Goldfish Initiatives reader and writers club for children in primary schools for to enable them have the fire to read and write. This will be aired either on radio or Television.

Giving up
Yes. There have been times when I have been afraid that this project/dream is too big for me, because I’m just one person but then I remember the words of the greatest boxer that ever lived – The great Muhammed Ali, and I quote “ if your dreams don’t scare you, they aint big enough”. Also sometimes there are people who tell me that I cannot change the world, perhaps they have a reason for saying that, but I believe we all can make the world a better place, if we all tried, one step at a time.

For me it’s very simple. It’s the Thank yous, the smiles, the laughter, and the gratification that I have altered the course of a young life positively, for the journey that lies ahead. That keeps me going,.. That drives me.

As we all know, no NGO can survive without funding. At the minute the Goldfish Initiative is self-funded, and that can be challenging.

What makes you a woman of Rubies?
I’m a giver, I have a big heart for everyone, everyone is equal in my eyes, and I believe anyone can be great and successful, if that are supported and aided. The son of a labourer today can be the next president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I always believe…im always hopeful, im never negative.

Final words
Right from the dawn of time women have been specially created by God. We have the ability to influence and change the times we live in positively. Let us use this gift and power with the utmost prudence, because together the world will be made a better place if we put in that effort. We are all Unique, with something special to offer….every single one of us.

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