We recently launched our official Nigerian hub in Yaba Lagos at the beginning of this month. The 4th of August 2023 will forever mark the momentous occasion that is the establishment of our flagship West African hub. We decided to launch in Nigeria because of its wonderfully vibrant, and massive youth population. If we are to reach the rest of Western Africa, we figured that our best bet is to start there, then seek and enable the champions who will do it on our behalf.
Operating in Nigeria is however, not a new endeavour to us. Though this is the first time we have set out to establish an official local entity and employ a team dedicated to social impact on a daily basis. We are now beyond simply calling on an army of volunteers. We actually have a highly capable, dedicated team, and everyone has an incredible capacity for leading with love and making HOPE contagious. Elijah, Ebenezer and Glory, are each young people of extraordinary drive and character.
Elijah is our liaison. He is outgoing and comfortable in any company, and always optimistic no matter the situation. He can always be counted on to ensure there is laughter, clarity of purpose, and that critical relationships are built. He is able to consistently articulate what needs to be done, unequivocally root it in passionately curated research on actual problems, and then ensure that the foundations are laid for the work to be done. He is also well versed in the art of social media.
Ebenezer is our executor. If we need someone we can count on to get things done and put an unmistakable brand of professionalism on the end result, he simply always, predictably meets that expectation. He doesn’t say much, until it is time to speak, and then awakens you with vital, quality insights and a beautifully considered perspective. He thinks, acts and addresses challenges methodically. And he always ensures that we always appear as a serious, top tier, high output organisation.
Glory is our angel. Every community needs an angel. And apart from being able to liaise and execute, and all the above, she is also capable of incredible love and adds that slightly softer touch to how we execute. She will be the vital link in embedding the RLabs culture, the extra-human, maternal touch to our impact there. She is the wonder woman out in Lagos, the one who we will depend on to ensure our beneficiaries always feel welcome and want to return and make something of themselves.
Even though they all respectively have these awesome traits, so vital to us successfully doing what we do out there, they all possess all these traits to varying degrees. So when we say that we are starting strong out there, it’s no exaggeration. They have barely been operating for a month, and are already running programmes. They are championing our cause as though they are running out of time to do so! It is so evident that they are passionate and serious about social impact.
They all travel for about an hour and a half everyday, just to get to our Yaba space. It is not easy for them to do what they do at such a high level, and yet they are delivering the results they do, in such a short time-frame, and with such excellence. We cannot rave enough about them!
They are already building relationships with all the high profile contacts provided by our incredibly insightful, skilled, and connected, BTS champion, Joannes Yimbesalu! He is our champion from the Unicef community, who has enabled a few major relationships, and endeavours during the setup process, without which we would not have been able to do what we have done, quite like we have been able to. He has done all he has from all the way in Toronto Canada! Such a dynamic team we have out there!
The team has already set up a social media presence, an RLabs Nigeria newsletter, hosted a Skills Accelerator information session, and hosted a community meetup. They have even set up a blog and are writing articles to immortalize the significant events and milestones they reach.
This is only their first month and they’re already demonstrating such clarity of purpose and unadulterated dedication to making an impact on the youth out in Nigeria. They are serious about making HOPE contagious – with an emphasis on “making.” For such a tiny team, they work really efficiently and their impact, pound for pound, is runner-up to no other. They pack a serious punch.
We have certainly started our journey of HOPE in Nigeria with the best possible team. They are not just dedicated, but supremely capable of delivering the best possible result. It is such a delight that we are able to expect a major leap from such a young team. They are further proof of the fact that our youth can, are and will solve the major problems of our time and lead the world into a better future.