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Adetoun: I am passionate about service to humanity, mental health advocacy

By Esther Ijewere
09 July 2022   |   3:42 am
Dr. Adewoye Adedolapo Adetoun is passionate about using her multi-potentiality and excellent tools to build and strengthen individual and corporate brands. She is the MD of Prontotherapy, an offline/online based service provider where ‘on the spot’ therapy is being rendered to individuals/corporate organisations via talk therapy sessions and suicide rates are minimized/completely erased. She is also…

Adewoye Adedolapo Adetoun

Dr. Adewoye Adedolapo Adetoun is passionate about using her multi-potentiality and excellent tools to build and strengthen individual and corporate brands. She is the MD of Prontotherapy, an offline/online based service provider where ‘on the spot’ therapy is being rendered to individuals/corporate organisations via talk therapy sessions and suicide rates are minimized/completely erased. She is also the founder of Eyinju Foundation, an NGO borne out of her passion for mentoring/motivating/sensitising younger ones on the importance of being relevant/thriving in the society, as well as running Feed The Destitute bi-monthly programme via the foundation. She also runs a successful travels and tourism, Tush Travels And Tours. The YALI network and American Psychology Association member, who has certifications in different courses, shares her inspiring story in this interview with Esther Ijewere.

Childhood Influence
Not really. I am privileged to be the second of four children and we practically went through a lot, from silver spoon to abject poverty before picking up back to average.

Growing up for me was just there; I hawked a lot. It was from one problem to the other, one church to the other, though prayer works. I was literally the ‘GOAT’ in the house and was always in the black book for doing things, but my troubles were for good.

Inspiration Behind Prontotherapy And Eyinju Foundation
Prontotherapy is a mental health firm with specialisation on The Mind, Self Awareness/Personal Development and Relationships. What inspired it was me wanting to help people in the little way I can to stay sane regardless. A lot is happening in different homes; people are daily falling into abject poverty and depression. People are tired and contemplating suicide, so I decided to contribute my own quota and leave the rest for God.

With self-awareness comes Self Discovery and when one discovers himself/herself, you would be able to leverage on your strengths whilst you work on your weaknesses. You will be able to put your gifts and abilities to good use instead of doing nothing and whining when you have a gold mine on the inside of you wasting away. God has deposited everything we need to be great in life on the inside of us; we just have to do our part by finding it and making good use of it to his glory.

At Eyinju Foundation, we sensitise young adults between the ages of 7-19years on Puberty, Talent discovery, Opposite Attraction, Self Love, Abuse of all kinds, Rape Prevention, Thriving in a negative environment and Emotional Intelligence. A lot of parents focus on book, but refuse to understand that every child needs to have IQ, EQ and SQ (Intelligent Quotient, Emotional Quotient and Social Quotient). If it’s not at par or balanced, then there is already a problem somewhere, which will definitely affect the society sooner or later. Also, the Feed The Destitute is just a bonus initiative we inculcated into the Eyinju Foundation.

Being A Member Of Several Organisations Across The Globe
I am really all about service to humanity; I started volunteering when I was 17. So, serving humanity naturally became a part of me; it gives me a sense of self worth and it’s been an amazing ride all along even with challenges I encounter. I realise that we all can actually make a difference from any sphere of influence if only there’s a will. I don’t have to be the President of a club or organisation before I can make a difference if truly I want to make a difference. I can always be a part of a sect that’s willing and then we get things done.

This has impacted my life positively, because I am someone who manages relationships well; I am very blunt to a fault. I know when to stop and when to keep going. I have been able to define my ‘What’, ‘Why’, ‘When’, ‘How’ and ‘With Whom,’ so, I seldom have clashes with people or organisations.

The Journey So Far
It’s not been easy, which is expected, but it’s been enlightening and rewarding. When I do things for people who cannot reward me and ‘Thank You’ is all they have, I feel like I have birthed a life. God takes all the glory still, because I am a sucker for Christ and I talk to him about everything and anything and he’s been the one helping me so far.

Ripple Effect Of Training Over 300,000 Youths
Training that number of people in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya is a privilege for me and I do not take it for granted. The feedback has been amazing and satisfying, as it made me know that my team and I have not been working in futility. We have had people tap into their inner self to say, “I am doing this because I can,’ and stick to it.

With Eyinju, my inner caucus, which consists of some destiny and purpose supporting friends, has been able to gather funds to sponsor about 36 SMEs, paid for WAEC for 63 Students and Common Entrance Exam for 12 Students. We have also been able to single-handedly pay for 18 people who needed training on sewing, catering and make-up.

Challenges
Just like every other work in life, there will always be challenges. Instead of panicking, I simply take it to GOD in prayer and like the awesome GOD that He is; he always makes a way. Money is good and it’s a defense. When I newly started Eyinju Foundation in 2017, I would practically take my salary from Tush Travels And Tours and use it to run projects in terms of logistics, accommodation, feeding and training materials.

I remember sometimes in 2019 when we needed money to pay for some projects we partnered with some organisations on. It was like two weeks to deadline and I began to panic so much that when I remember what’s to come, I have heart palpitations, because they actually didn’t beg me to commit; I was the one who was moved by the spirit to. I kept praying and talking to people to solicit for funds. Everyone I spoke to promise to get back, but help wasn’t forthcoming. So, I gave up when it was 48hrs to the deadline. As I was composing an email to send to them, I was shedding tears, because at that moment, I felt like a failure. I found myself in the situation of self loathing and went to bed only to wake up to something huge from a friend in the States and my joy could not be quantified; I was hyper all day and people noticed.

Another challenge I encounter in this line of work is rejection. Some people decline the help you want to render thinking we are diabolical and we will collect their destiny (the African belief syndrome) once they receive help from us. There was a time my team and I bought food and decided to share it with the community, some people rejected it and said they are not hungry. Some even think we are politicians when we go out for outreaches and we will have to explain ourselves over and over again till they understand we are for the people. Sometimes too, we encounter language barriers, but all in all, God has been faithful and we are grateful we are useful vessels.

Other Projects And Activities
We are still sticking with our WAEC and Common Entrance Fees Payment for 20 students and Feed The Destitute (Bi-monthly). A new project we recently took on is Pad Up A Girl and the reason I want to do this is because I realise that in 2022, some students still don’t have money for sanitary pad and make use of tissue or cloth during menstruation, which is so dangerous to their health. Some don’t even have an idea of what menstrual hygiene means. I believe God will show up as usual, because it is capital intensive and a few people I spoke to are already interested.

Why I Love My Job
I enjoy everything about everything I do, from planning to execution, because when I am on my own reminiscing about everything, I laugh and cry at the same time. I am just grateful that this small girl is doing good things for people.

Three Women Who Inspire Me And Why
A lot of women inspire me to be honest, but the striking ones are: Dr Kemi Dasilva -Ibru – The founder of Women At Risk International Foundation. I was very much aware when WARIF started in 2016 and I instantly fell in love with all what they stand for. I have a history of rape, hence the reason I could relate with what they do and how they do it and the impact it would make and is making in the society.

I was happy that a woman could dedicate her life and service to other people in order to save them and that made me fall in love with her, though I haven’t been privilege to meet her one-on-one, but I have been to their facility in Yaba thrice and I have referred countless people to them for help.

Racquel Kasham Daniel: Racquel is an amazing personality is all I can say and what she’s doing for people and community is simply commendable. I met her on the day of her engagement and we have kept in touch since then.

Ejiro Osakede: She was one of the people who trained me on Public Speaking in Dec 2014, at Pro-Emcee Academy and I have followed her bumper to bumper. Even when she did an outreach in Ghana and hosted us, she was so supportive, always pushing the narrative, ‘You Have A Voice, Use It’. She is an advocate for hope; she spreads the message like butter on bread.

Volunteering For Several Organisations And My Passion For Community Service
I have been volunteering since I was 17years, so it has become part of me. When I have free time, I make use of it to serve other people. Life is all about give and take. What you give, the universe multiplies it and brings it back to you in multiple folds so people need to be careful and watch what they give.

Community service is what people need to commit to, because if we don’t take care of what and who is around us, it will still come back to haunt us in ways we won’t envisage.

What Can The Government Do To Support Stakeholders In The GBV Sector
If the government wants to be fully involved in this GBV of a thing, they should: {A} Provide more shelters and care centres for survivors.
{B} Increase the capacity of police to deal with crimes of gender based violence
{C} Challenge the normalisation of violence against women and children
{D} Challenge gender stereotype and roles
{E} Challenge sexist jokes and remarks about women
{F} Support training and employment program for women

What We Can Do Better As A Society To Educate Women On The Importance Of Leaving Abusive Marriages
A lot of women need a mindset paradigm. Many were raised for husband house, meaning they were raised for men and to please men, so instead of acknowledging the fact that they are a person who needs to discover her womanhood and strengths and blossom as an entity, they would rather have a man be their Alpha and Omega, forgetting it takes two to tangle and each person’s duty in the home can never be substituted.

So, when they experience DV, they find it hard to leave their abusers, because most of them see their abusers as their benefactor. Some also don’t leave due to fear of missing out, fear of opposition and stigmatisation. When they go through self awareness and personal development training, which is one of my expertise, they become more informed and can make their decision from there.
One Thing You Could Change In The Advocacy And Development Sector
Develop a grassroots strategy with focus on building relationships

Being A Woman Of Rubies
I am a Woman of Rubies, because all the times the gemstone occurred in the bible, it was associated with attributes of wisdom and beauty, which I am sure I have. I can also boldly call myself a woman of rubies, because I have a unique and specific purpose for which I was created, which keeps unfolding in bits as I keep growing.

It’s so amazing having to be a convener of hope and tranquility to people and I do not take that privilege for granted at all. Ruby is known to increase creativity, spirituality, confidence and wisdom and all these are what I stand for gidigba.