December 13, 2019 / 07:00 PM / Oando Foundation / Header Image Credit: Oando Foundation
In commemoration of the 2019 International Volunteer Day, Oando Foundation led a team of Oando PLC employee volunteers to engage with pupils of Metropolitan Nursery and Primary School, Sari-Iganmu, Orile; an Oando Foundation adopted school. The initiative themed "Trash to Art" was aimed at refurbishing the Early Child Care classes in the school, providing age-appropriate educational materials, and increasing creativity among learners through arts and crafts using fun based activities such as still-life drawing, class painting, creative collages, sketching and coloring, amongst others.
Mandated by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 1985, the International Volunteer Day (IVD) held annually on 5 December, is a global observance that offers organizations and individuals the opportunity to promote volunteerism; encourage Governments to support volunteer efforts and recognize volunteer contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and international levels. It is viewed as a unique opportunity for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among communities and other spheres of influence.
Oando Foundation, through its Adopt-A-School Initiative (AASI) continues to support the Federal Government's efforts towards the actualization of the Universal Basic Education goal. However, there still exists a plethora of challenges directly impacting the quality of teaching and learning in primary schools including the absence of early childcare classes to cater to the needs of young learners aged 0-5 years in most public primary schools. Where available, these classes are mostly ill-equipped, lacking the requisite human and material resources to stimulate learning in a child-friendly and age appropriate environment.
This year's Volunteer Day presented a unique opportunity for Oando's employee volunteers to make a lasting impact by working with teachers and pupils of Metropolitan Primary School to refurbish their early childcare classes for better learning outcomes, whilst also equipping them with relevant skills in arts and crafts to promote individual creativity. Pupils engaged in various activities ranging from class painting and redesign to sketching and colouring, decorative paper chain making, face painting, still-life drawing, and card making. In addition, Oando donated age-appropriate furniture and instructional materials to support the students' learning needs. At the end of the event, pupils showed off their individual and group creations with great excitement, eager to share their newly acquired skills with others.
Speaking on the visit, the Head of Oando Foundation, Adekanla Adegoke noted, "On this year's International Volunteer Day, we are reminded how fortunate we are as an organization to have such dedicated individuals willing and able to volunteer their time and resources in enriching the lives of others, especially those in our adopted schools. We believe in the power of collaboration through volunteerism in actualizing the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 4 which remains Oando Foundation's key focus. We are hopeful that today's donations and engagement with the students have positively inspired them, and more importantly will help improve their future learning experiences for better outcomes".
It is interesting to note that research from different bodies have shown that there are tremendous benefits to corporate volunteerism such as increased self-awareness among staff, improved collaboration, impact on revenue, and an excellent way to motivate millennial talent who are eager to give back in more tangible ways.
The Chief Compliance Officer, Oando Plc, Ayotola Jagun who also volunteered for the event appreciated employees for the impressive turnout, emphasizing the relationship between this action and Oando's core values. "With the amount of volunteers that came out today to support the Foundation's drive, it is evident that Oando's core values have been embedded in our DNA. As Humans of Oando, we will continue to support the Foundation's efforts in mobilizing resources to raise the standard of basic education in Nigeria".
Expressing gratitude for the goodwill extended to the school by the Foundation, the Head Teacher of Metropolitan Primary School, Mr. Abiodun Julius said: "We truly appreciate Oando Foundation for adopting our school. The Foundation has been our partner for many years; they have supported us in training our teachers, providing a perimeter fence for improved security, awarding scholarships to our students, and giving us teaching and learning materials to help our teachers and students perform better. We are very grateful for what they have done today for our students, especially those in the nursery classes".
Oando Foundation, through its Adopt-A-School Initiative (AASI) is committedtodesigning and implementing multi-dimensional education interventions that support schools, communities, and the Nigerian Government in realizing the Sustainable Development Goal 4. To date, the Foundation has impacted over 160,000 lives across 88 schools communities in Nigeria.