Tell us about yourself (Your Background & The Inspiration behind Wheels of Hope Foundation)?
I am Adigun Temitayo, Founder and President of Wheels of Hope Rising Foundation (WHRF), a charity organization which was setup to fill the vacuum in our society reinforced by a bitter experience that I had 17 years ago, where a 4-year-old boy died because his mother couldn’t afford N200 (less than $3 at the time) for healthcare.
I grew up the child of two missionaries in the rural community of Ibarapa East local government, Oyo State. My parents struggled to send my siblings and I to school and we had to hawk and engage in menial jobs to assist with providing for our family. While hawking at the hostel of a polytechnic, I met a lady called Aminat Muhammed who asked why I didn’t continue my education after secondary school, and upon telling her about my family’s financial situation, she decided to support my education to a tertiary institution.
These two experiences prompted the birth of Wheels of Hope Rising Foundation; to prevent avoidable deaths like the one I had witnessed and to reciprocate the educational support I received during the hard times that my family had gone through. For these reasons, we focus on making quality healthcare accessible and affordable in rural communities in order to reduce child and maternal mortality as well as support as many children as possible to access quality education by providing educational materials and a good learning environment for children in rural communities. Inspired by the hardship that my parents, especially my mother faced to raise my siblings and I, we also support women to become successful entrepreneurs.
Tell us about Wheels of Hope Rising Foundation and how you started.
Wheels of Hope Rising Foundation started in the year 2008 was registered in Nigeria as Non-government, non-profit and non-political organization in the year 2014.
Its vision is to give hope to the hopeless and underprivileged including but not limited to people with disability. We achieve this through our mission for rural community development with sustainable focus areas which are Education for all, Facilitation of access to healthcare, Women empowerment and Humanitarian interventions to create shared prosperity.
What impact has it had so far?
We have supported over 5000 children back to school in rural areas and provided a safe environment for school children by providing modern toilets, Portable water, renovation of classrooms, donation of first aid boxes and training of nurses. We have also held medical outreaches that have reach thousands of families with a team of our health practitioners in Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Kano and Edo State, Nigeria. Through our Women of Value Initiatives (WOVI), we have empowered 178 women entrepreneurs. Lastly we have reached over 2750 children in the IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camp, Benin City, Edo State, through our humanitarian intervention.
How does your foundation help Persons living with disability (PWD)?
Supporting PWD is one of our key priorities and we take proactive action to empower them through our #disablednotunable initiative which is focused on empowerment through skill acquisition, Zero Discrimination, Access to Quality Life, Zero hunger and Objective inclusion. We also encourage them to believe in themselves because they have a role to play in making our communities and nation a better place because their Disability doesn't make them unable to make impact.
We have been able to reach over 1080 PWD in Lagos and Ogun state and are presently working with Ede Association of People With Disabilities to improve business for those already doing business and support those who are interested in doing business or have vocational skills
Do you run this Foundation alone?
A tree doesn’t make a forest. When we started growing, my good friend who is now the Vice President, Ahmed Olalekan Taiwo and his wife Yewande Taiwo shared the vision and provided support for the foundation alongside my wife, Olutosin Adigun and I. We have amazing support from our dedicated team which include Amidu Adewale, Akintonde Sola, Faniyi Olawale, Damilola Olawale A, Engr Ogunmodede Akinwale, Adesanya Abiodun and Adigun Samuel Olufemi, as well as our International Advisory Members, Goodwill Hope Ambassadors and our dynamic volunteers.
What challenges have you faced in the course of running your foundation?
We have faced various challenges as a local organization, most importantly lack of funding. As such we focus on making as much impact as we can with our resources. Something that as helped us so far is the passion that drives us to make lives better, especially considering my background. This increases our commitment to go the extra mile to bring hope to as many as possible in spite of our various challenges. Our persistence has earned us an International Award, the #BillionActs Hero Award Best Up and Coming Peacemaker 2017, which was presented by a Noble Peace Laureate, Oscar Aries.
What are the plans you have for this project in the long run?
We are working towards a sustainable framework through our Sustainable Impact Rural Driven Model (SIRDM) which is focused on making every program and project we embark on sustainable both in the short and long term.
Are there any plans to expand Wheels of Hope Rising Foundation?
Yes, we are expanding capacity for our organization by bringing in value adding individuals and professionals in the social enterprise space globally to help increase our impact. We presently have our International Advisory Board members and Goodwill Hope Ambassadors from USA, Mexico, India, Croatia, and Poland likewise within Africa continent. In the last few years we have been able to get a working office in Mexico led by Jorge Alberto F and we are working on finalizing our documentation for our office in the USA (WHRF Intl. led by Adeyemo A). We believe that this new development will enable us increase our impact in Nigeria and Africa.
Does your Foundation hold any special events?
We hold special events based on our vision cardinals:
#SendThemBack2School (Education Materials and Scholarship)
#Education4Life (WASH Project in Schools and Communities)
#YourHealthYourWealth (Accessible and Affordable Quality Health Initiative (AAQHI)
#WOVI - Women of Value Initiatives
#ShareHumanity (Focus on humanitarian endeavors IDPs and Orphanage Homes)
#DisabledNotUnable (Empowerment for PWD)
How has the project been funded till date?
It has been self-sponsored in the last 8 years with the support of our volunteers and team.
How can other people connect with this project or support what you're doing?
There’s limitation to what we can achieve with our vision without collaboration and partnership, we welcome everyone to support our laudable vision of giving hope to the hopeless and underprivileged through volunteering, collaboration and sponsorship.
We take full responsibility for support given to any of our projects to channel the resources as stated with full accountability and transparency.
You can connect with us via:
skype : Adigun.temitayo1