Thank you very much for keep supporting Back to School Africa Initiative, from Nigeria!
As a return to your valuable support, we would like to share with you this month’s Newsletter from the organization that we hope you’d enjoy!
This month, we are very happy to introduce you to Oyeyemi Damilola (Dami). He is a 31 years old volunteer from Back to School Africa. Born in Oyo State, Nigeria, his passion besides helping children is cooking. As a side hustle, this 31 years old uses to bake cakes and cooks under request!
Don’t miss this interview with Dami!
Interview with Dami, one of the volunteers of Back2School Africa
Hi Dami! Thank you for participating in this interview! We really want to know more about you. Can you please tell us what motivated you to be a volunteer in Back to School Africa?
As an anecdote, I met Anklin (the founder of Back to School Africa) in the office where we used to work together. I used to be Anklin’s boss (then he laughs). After we met, we developed a
friendship and trust between both of us, and that and the deteriorating educational
status of the Nigerian children, due to political and cultural interferences, made me to want to be part of Back to School and to become the project coordinator on the field.
What is your role while volunteering at Back to School Africa?
As I said before, I am the project coordinator of Back to School Africa. My duties are to help to plan outreaches, documenting background stories of vulnerable communities and help secure quality education for any out of school child in such communities.
Which qualities should have a volunteer in Back to School?
One of the most important qualities is
resilience, patience and a lot o motivation, but specially passion.
Sometimes is frustrating because even though we do our best is not enough
and the community doesn’t help. For example, the other day we needed a list of information for enrolling children to school, but they didn’t give importance and they didn’t do it as fast as it was required.
But the most important thing is
I would say that having passion for the kids is the most required quality in Back to School Africa. Educating in equality and being kind are also really important.
What were your expectations before you volunteered?
My expectations were that a lot of children out of school would go back to school and
the parents would be financially sdiv to fund the kids. This project changed me. Before, I used to be a career focused person but I started to want to do something that is game changing, something to give an impact and that were exactly my expectations: to do something with meaning and to change the reality of girls and boys in my country.
Were those expectations fulfilled?
So far, my expectations were only 15% fulfilled. There is a long journey to make this impact that I am looking for to. But I guess I should be patient, keep working and being positive that with time it will arrive.
Have you faced so far any challenging situation – any challenges that you want to share with us?
There are many challenges I could think of! But my biggest challenge is to register a child to enroll them to get
back to school. It’s he most difficult process because we need to deal with a complicated and long administrative process and sometimes ask for help to the families to register a child. But sometimes, even the families don’t show interest in enrolling the kids again.
What Keeps You Motivated On Tough Days?
Anklin is great at encouraging all of us. When we feel any lack of motivation, Anklin always gets to motivate us and get us back to do our work. Also the passion for my children and when I remind the reason why I decided to join this organization.
Why you don’t try a Nigerian cooking recipe?
In this month, we are bringing you the famous recipe of Jollof Rice. A simple recipe with normal ingredients that you can find anywhere. Nigerians are passionate about Jollof rice. It is the make or break of every Nigerian social gathering, the ever present dish. Nigerian jollof rice is rice cooked in a rich tomato sauce, like the Spanish Paella. Let’s try it!
These are the ingredients you need to prepare Jollof rice:
・Chicken, beef, etc.
・3 cups of rice
・6-9 cups stock + 1 cup water + 2 divspoons of tomato stew base
・6 divspoons of tomato paste
・2 teaspoons of curry powder
・2 teaspoons dry thyme
・2 bay leaves
・3 seasoning cubes
・Salt to taste
・1 teaspoon ginger powder (optional)
Steps to prepare Jollof rice:
1. Season and boil chicken or beef until tender, drain (set aside the stock) and fry or grill.
2. Season and boil chicken or beef until tender, drain (set aside the stock) and fry or grill.
3. Strain your stock through a fine sieve and set aside.
4. In a dry pot put the tomato stew base and tomato paste and fry for 2 minutes.
5. Add stock, water, curry powder, thyme and seasoning cubes. Bring to a boil over medium-high flame.
6. Taste an add salt.
7. Drain and add the rice, stir and bring back to a boil.
8. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover tightly.
9. When there is very little liquid remaining, reduce heat further and cook till quite dry. If the rice is not soft enough, sprinkle about 2 divspoons of water over it and keep steaming.
10. Take off the heat and leave covered for about 5-10 minutes to absorb the last bit of moisture and dry out.
11. Stir and serve.
And voilà! You have you jollof rice ready to be enjoyed. Don’t miss this delicious recipe from the Nigerian cuisine. Delicious!
You can directly communicate with Dami in the Supporters Community in Facebook. Don’t forget to join the community if you haven’t done it yet, by clicking on the following link!