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Oluwatoyin Olayemi: Volunteering has taught me to be kind and compassionate

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Oluwatoyin

Oluwatoyin Olayemi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Delta State University, Abraka. The multitasker is a fashion designer, an experienced, competent, and passionate Teen Coach and Child Safety Advocate trained by Piece of My Heart Foundation. She is currently the programme manager at Piece of My Heart Foundation (POMHF). Driven by a love for change, humanity, helping teenagers live a healthy and purposeful life, Oluwatoyin Volunteers with POMHF to coach teens. She is keen on helping to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4&5 by helping Women and children understand the concept of sex education, seeing that children have a healthy and safe upbringing void of abuse via sensitization. Oluwatoyin also reaches out to teenage girls via her @chatwith_toyin platform. A Yali Member, public speaker, passionate youth advocate, and serial volunteer with years of experience, she shares her inspiring story in this interview.

Meet Oluwatoyin
Oluwatoyin Olayemi is the 4th child from a family of seven, parents inclusive. I’m a graduate of Library and Information Science from Delta State University. I am a passionate lover of Jesus Christ, a change maker, a hope giver, a teen coach, and a fashion designer. I live because Christ lives in her.

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I am the program manager @piece of my heart foundation, I have a platform where I reach out to teens @chatwith_toyin and I’m also a co-founder of Rhakel’s couture.

What Inspired Me To Study Library And Information Science (LIS)
I studied LIS because I didn’t have any choice. I did Pre Degree, I was admitted to study Geography and Regional Planning, but I didn’t have Geography in WAEC, so I was transferred to LIS, which is the second option for social science students who enrolled for pre-degree. That was how I became a Library student.

Passion For Volunteering
Volunteering has taught me to be kind and compassionate; to love more and to appreciate God more for who and where I am. Volunteering has also helped me to appreciate the gift of men, people! We can’t do without people in our lives.

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Challenges
As a young entrepreneur, there are so many challenges we face in Nigeria. Some of the perceived challenges include lack of information on what entrepreneurship entails, taxation and regulatory issues, limited understanding of the market structure, and lack of proper mentorship amidst others.

Being A-Teens Coach
Being a Teens Coach was birthed from the desire to see young people tread on the right path; to lend a helping hand through the journey of teenagehood. For me, I had no one to put me through life; I figured life out myself with the help of God.

My former boss said he graduated at 19 because he got it right on time. He had a mentor that helped him through his journey early enough.

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Challenges Of Being A Teens Coach And Child Safety Advocate
Some teenagers are hard to help; they feel they know everything and do not like people intruding into their life’s affairs. So, you have to be very strategic to help the ‘I know it all’ teenagers. Another challenge is that parents feel they know all too. For example, I am not married and don’t have my own kids yet. Because of this, some parents will be like ‘what do you know about children’? Go and give birth to your own first before you talk to us. Most of these parents aren’t willing to come out of their ignorance.

Finance: Sometimes I wish to reach out to young girls in the slum, but I don’t have enough resources to make my desire a reality.

The right of women and children should be well preserved by the Government and perpetrators should be brought to book irrespective.

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Decline Of Library Usage By Students, My Opinion As A Library Studies Graduate
We Nigerians do not like to read; we aren’t even familiar with the library. The only way out is for parents to imbibe a good reading culture in their children. Thereby reading won’t be a challenge when they are grown.

Secondly, the Government should establish more libraries in all cities and make them very conducive for learning. This will help increase our appetite for reading.

Thirdly, they should make it free. I wanted to visit the Museum recently and I was asked to pay a sum of N300; that is not encouraging.

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The Impact Of Growing Up In Nigeria
Beautiful question. Growing up for me was not fun; I played though, but I went through a lot.
I battled with self-esteem for a long time; I was a slow child and wasn’t doing well academically. I had so many battles that I can’t even state here. I didn’t have anybody to put me through life, which led to my desire to help young ones.

What I Would Change If I Were The President Of Nigeria For One Day
1. Projects and Programs on a paradigm shift in mindset. This country can only be better when we have the right mindset towards life.
2. Our Educational System
3. There should be a market price policy whereby no individual can just wake up to inflate the prices of goods and services; nothing should be monopolised.
4. Equal right to life. Ensuring that the human right is preserved.
5. Electricity

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Three Women Who Inspire You And Why
There are so many wonderful women in my life, but I will mention just 3 as requested.
1. My mom. The super industrious and super amazing woman, a businesswoman par excellence; Very meticulous and accountable.
2.DDK… Debola Deji Kurumi is one woman that inspires me so much. How she balances her ministry, family and organisation so well amazes me.
3. Adebara Adebimpe. Her passion, her resilient spirit, her commitment is second to none.

My Five-year Vision
I see myself ministered to over 5000 teenagers. I see myself taking Rhakel’s Couture to the next level and I also see myself doing whatever He (God) says I should do.
If You Were Allowed To Address A Group Of Young Females Five Years Younger Than You, What Will Be Your Advice To Them?
This is the best time to marry yourself and birth the best out of you. You are enough with God on your side.

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