Zion Oshiobugie a young entrepreneur and a passionate leader, alumni of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), and founder, Cleverminds Educational Foundation speaks on how he is working on using education to end poverty and joblessness in Nigeria.
His heart for charity work and children's education dates back to 2017 when his foundation midwived Cleverminds Nursery and Primary School which cater to the needs of orphans and the vulnerable in Delta State.
Today, the school currently provides tuition-free educational support to about 167 underprivileged children and orphans in Edjeba Warri Delta State, Nigeria. The goal he says is to be at the vanguard of educating over 20 million children across Africa in the coming years.
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Speaking with AllNews, Oshiobugie says his dream is to use education as a tool to end poverty and joblessness.
It is interesting to note, that the relentless Oshiobugie, has further given life to his dream when he and his hands-on team comprising of volunteers, mobilized resources for a charity project tagged "Boxes of Hope" which held in August.
"I am excited and grateful to God for the success of boxes of hope, even though it was quite challenging. My team and I had spent two months profiling children in the most rural areas of Warri Delta State. We collected data from over 100 low-income families in the most rural parts of Warri to give customized items such as clothes, shoes and toys to the kids as a way of inspiring hope in them for a better tomorrow."
According to the social entrepreneur, he says the project is the foundation's way of contributing to the already great work by the Delta State Government led by his Excellency Dr Ifeanyi Okowa.
In what was a three-day project, the Cleverminds educational foundation and over 100 volunteers took to the slums of Warri to distribute clothes, shoes and toys, donated by kind-hearted individuals from all over Nigeria. These clothes were collected at the various collection centres and some came were received via courier from across Nigeria.
The team of volunteers took time to wash, sort and repack the clothes into beautiful boxes with the name of each child on each of the box. Clothes, toys and shoes pack in a box termed 'BOXES OF HOPE.
According to the Child welfare advocate, the first day witnessed distribution of items at at Iyara community after which the train moved on day two and three to Orhumarho, Alaka and neighboring communities.
Highlighting some functionaries who came to give their support to the project, he said they include, the Chairman of Warri South LGA, Dr. Michael Tidi, Dr Paddy Iyamu, Mr. Onome Ikede, Mrs. Vivian Smooth, Mrs. Oghogho Bawo Oteri, and a host of others.
The boxes of hope project handed items to over 3000 beneficiaries who received both new, used and semi-used items.
It would be recalled that since the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in March, the foundation deemed it fit to offer free community mentoring and lessons in the slums. Once every week the team alongside its volunteer community teachers, mentors gave out face mask, food and sanitary items to over 1500 children in about three communities.
The founder of CleverMinds Educational Foundation, Zion oshiobugie who was formerly a domestic help says the reason why he embarked on this project was to give back having also tasted poverty early in life.
"My desire with this project was to inspire youth to think of others who may no be as privilege as they are and as change-makers in Delta State, Nigeria, they can also do the same in their communities, spread love not hate, spread JOY, not sorrow, give HOPE to every child" He concluded.