- A co-working hub in the Ajegunle slums of Lagos is creating opportunity for both professionals and artisans who need space to flourish
- Isaac Omoyele, the founder of Dreams From the Slum who built the hub said it aims to help people with low income have a place to work
- He said his initiative is also helping girls who do not have access to sanitary pads in order to end period poverty in the Ajegunle slums
Ajegunle, a notable area in the city of Lagos is a tale of two extremes, a place where opposites attract.
It is a place where Nigeria’s brightest and biggest stars flourished to national and international stardom. Musicians from Daddy Showkey, Africa China to Nigeria’s football international, Odion Ighalo all called Ajegunle home at some point.
But Ajegunle has another sour point. It is a place equally notorious for crimes, teenage pregnancy and vices of all sorts.
The mere mention that one lives in Ajegunle gives people the jitters and many adjust to take a second look at you.
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Born in the slums to make impact
But it is also a place where one man is making a massive impact in the lives of the disadvantaged in the community.
Isaac Omoyele, the founder of Dreams From the Slum, has empowered thousands of residents in the community with his initiative that has taken many youths off the streets and given them better chance at life.
His profile on social media is replete with exploits of helping the needy in Ajegunle stay off drugs, early sex, teen pregnancy and other vices that drown talents in the community.
For the past nine years, Omoyele has been on a rescue mission in the community he has called home since childhood.
Having suffered deprivations as a kid in the area, and dropped out of school at some point, he intends not to allow his childhood experiences to replicate themselves in the lives of Ajegunle kids and teens.
Recently, his initiative, Dreams From the Slum launched the first Co-working Hub in Nigeria where artisans can co-work with high-heeled professionals.
Inspired by challenges, Omoyele wants to end suffering for slum kids
Omoyele tells Legit.ng during a visit to him that the hub is in line with the mission of his initiative which aims to empower the low income and the non-income in Ajegunle.
According to him, many youths who have learned one skill or another end up being frustrated because of a lack of tools or no tool and conducive place to work.
He said the hub provides an opportunity for artisans to come to have access to tools to work with and pay stipend as little as N1,000 per day.
He says it complements their efforts at rescuing the disadvantaged in Ajegunle who either sell off their tools after acquiring a skill or just dump them at home for lack of activity and return back to the streets.
Artisans in the mix
From tailoring, photography, hair making, graphic designers, Omoyele says everyone has a place at the hub to hone their skills.
“I was inspired to start Dreams From the Slums through my personal experiences. As someone who went to school on empty stomach, I did not want any child to go through what I went through growing up as a child. I dropped out of school due to hunger, but for the providence of a kind-hearted man who picked me up, I may not have the opportunity to give back as I am doing today.”
Giving food to the hungry
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Omoyele says his initiative started a food bank that provided three meals a day to residents who could not afford food due to the lockdowns.
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He said the food bank still provides meals for children from 16 years under and have recently added a sanitary pad bank to end period poverty for girls.
The social media buff said the next step will be to give shelter to those suffering abuse.
Student remembers old man who cared for him 27 years ago
Legit.ng has reported that a few months ago, a Ugandan man, Henry Mutembe moved the internet after narrating how a man who is totally unrelated to him became his father figure.
Mutebe lost his biological father as a young child and when the time came for him to join secondary school, he was enrolled in a school where parents were allowed to visit their children on Sunday.
With Mutebe's mother being focused on working hard to raise the children by herself, she could barely get time to visit her son and this is where Wilson Dhabangi came into the picture.