Saturday, the 22nd of August 2020 is a day the people of ilupeju community of Lagos State will not forget in a hurry as IOWA Foundation in collaboration with African Clean Up Initiative and other partners (WEVO, Inspired Next Initiative, and Wecyclers) with about 50 volunteers, stormed the ilupeju community to clean up the environment by removing dirty and plastics from the streets and gutters. This project was proudly sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation.

Everyone converged at the Odi-Olowo/ Ojuwoye Local Government District Area office, Illupeju, Lagos State by 9am with a welcome address by the coordinator to everyone both partners and volunteers. He spoke about the exercise and thanked everyone for volunteering to be part of the exercise.

Mrs. Agatha Amata the founder of IOWA foundation launched the project which was intended to clamor beauty to the environment and advocate for patriotic citizenship. In her words, “she encouraged us to never repost anything negative rather we should go out of our ways to find positive stories to repost, encourage, and partner with.” In line with that, a movement called #itstartswithme has been formed to encourage positive projects and stories like the African Clean Up Initiative project. This is because “we are one of the good Nigerians and we should celebrate ourselves.”

The program for the day kicked off with volunteers being put into groups of four; A, B, C, and D. Group A and B cleaned the pathway leading to Oshodi. Group A was to the right, while group B is on the left of Oshodi. The other groups went to Town Planning. Group C to the right and D to the left of Town Planning Way. Each group took photographs before swinging into action. Mrs. Agatha was in group C while Mr. Alex led group A. To spice up the event, the Rave TV Team and other media teams were present to capture every moment of the work done by volunteers.

Some of the partners expressed their thoughts and the impact of the project and equally sensitized the people of ilupeju community on how to stay healthy and be environmentally responsible. The advocacy team was also staged to sensitize the environment and to create more awareness on the essence of keeping the environment clean to create a sustainable healthy lifestyle. Some of the residents of the community expressed their appreciation towards the level of commitment dispensed by volunteers in ensuring that the project was a success. They provided volunteers with diverse feedbacks and complimentary words to encourage the work they do.

At about three hours later, volunteers returned from their designated area of duty and the IOWA foundation team captured some moment of photographs to dismiss the completion of the event.

In conclusion, the outreach was brought to an official end as volunteers from IOWA Foundation commute back to RAVE TV office at Ilupeju for a short briefing and talk on upcoming projects.

Omowunmi Olaleye


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