SPECIAL BIRTHDAY WISHES TO PRINCE GIDEON OLANREWAJU OF AREAI
On the 6th of September, 2016, Prince Gideon Olanrewaju the Executive Director of Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative- AREAi, was featured on NGOpodcast where he told the world how he is contributing his own quota to shaping the African Continent most especially his dear country, Nigeria.
On the 10th, July 2017, Prince Olanrewaju celebrated his 24th birthday and all of us at NGOpodcast rejoice with him. On his Facebook post, He highlighted some of his past experiences and how far he has gone and willing to go, Prince makes all his friend marvel, You need to read the post, Here we go;
What A YEAR!
If there is a word that perfectly describe how my last birth year was, the term “SURREAL” will be just RIGHT!
I woke up this morning with a very deep reminder that exactly this day 1 year ago, I woke up in a very cold room within the walls of Africa’s foremost leadership institution, African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, #SouthAfrica after been selected as one and the youngest of a 21-men faculty of professional educators for her Global Scholars Program. While spending time with amazing young folks from across the globe, learning and applying the entrepreneurial leadership conduit in a social development context was worth relishing,that feeling was soon short-lived when I was PRIVILEGED to be named as part of 250 global young leaders invited to shape Educational policies by and at the 14th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Nairobi #Kenya.
Even though I miraculously missed my flight to Kenya enroute Addis Ababa (story for another day), I was amazingly FAVORED when I was invited to attend the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Marakkech, #Morrocco, an opportunity that afforded the GRACE to connect with an old friend, Alexander Lietch, UNESCO Head, Section for Education for Sustainable Development and that sparked off that major connections to where all about my purpose matters.
My desire to build #AREAi into a continental think tank that contributes to a global educational system where learners are not just able to read and write but are able to play their roles as conscientious citizens in societal development, received a major boost when I was graciously chosen as one of 34 young African leaders to participate in the UNESCO-WWF Education for Sustainable Development Young Leaders training in Nairobi, #Kenya. That singular learning experience got my mojo back as I spent 3 days of life changing moments with remarkable individuals from across Africa.
Coming earlier than planned, I met the Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, who alongside Dr. Yacoobi Sakeena, has always been a huge source of inspiration for my professional career. That alone was not the major highlight of participating at the UNESCO NGO Forum in Riyadh, #SaudiArabia where I was one of few African Representatives from the UNESCO ESD Young Leaders Network. I was so fired up after that to return to Nigeria to complete work on our newest babies at AREAi, #ActivatorsWithoutBorders and #CeLL-SD.
Our local efforts in redefining #QualityEducation in Nigeria and beyond translated into major global recognition as I was honorably featured as a #YOUTHOFUNESCO with our story of change published on the UNESCO Youth Page as well as the UNICEF’s Voice of Youth Blog.
As Surreal as it was, it all came together to be one of the most amazing years ever liveth when I was unmeritedly but favorably selected out of 63,000 applications globally, for the UK’s Government Chevening Scholarship to study for an MA in International Education and Development at the University of Sussex, Brighton in the #UnitedKingdom.
Reflecting on this is tandem to counting the blessings of God for a wonderful year spent while trusting his awesomeness for more provisions for yet another year with bigger projections in being a blessing to this generation and beyond as he has accorded.
Friends,while your faith in God stays unshaken, the tenacity to pursue your vision, no matter how slow, must remain unshackled. Remember, if you are NOT playing your heart out, someone else is. And when you meet him, he will win…So Be Phenomenal or Be Forgotten.
Let everyone who read this hold with a firm belief that no matter how rough, their DREAMS ARE VALID.
My name is LanreShaper, I advocate for #QualityEducation and #IamChevening
23 WAS LIT, 24 is HERE and I can’t really WAIT!
And YES, I fell in love, again??!
WHAT A YEAR!
We wish Prince Gideon Olanrewaju another productive year again!