Fair Life Africa Foundation

FAIR LIFE AFRICA is a progressive, humanitarian organisation. It is committed to the mission of empowering people through practical social initiatives and programs. It stands for a fairer life for all people, by improving the life chances of the most disadvantaged. It serves people of all faiths, races, gender and any other orientation, without discrimination. It will promote the values of social inclusion and empowerment, by commissioning research and social awareness schemes that will inform social policies and attitudes.
Feb 16, 2017

FLA Rising Stars - Meet Ramon

Ramon
Ramon's Presentation at Christmas

This is a story about why we must never judge a book by its cover!  Many times, you have to take a chance on someone, believe in them and help them see and achieve their potential.  When you do, they start to believe in themselves, and they will apply themselves to succeed.

Ramon was 17 years old, when we met him in 2015.  He was one of the children who took part in our Talent Search Competition with Ultima Limited, that Christmas.  And he was one of our TOP FIVE winners!

I must admit, when I first saw him during the auditions for the competition in October 2015, I thought, "NO WAY!  He can't win!"  I thought he was too amateur, and I wasn't impressed.  The other judges saw potential, and they marvelled at the sketch he had just done of himself, without looking in the mirror.

During the competitions in December, I remained unimpressed....until I gave him a challenge to do a drawing of Nelson Mandela.  He did, and he also did one of the Nigerian President, Buhari.  I was impressed!!!  That's when I realised that I had judged him too soon.

Ramon has continued to impress me since then.  We linked him up with an Art School, and he has been developing his talent, and his growth seems to be exponential!  Every piece is more impressive than the last!  I just know that we made the right choice with him.

Ramon definitely has a special talent for fine art. He sketches mostly portraits, paying attention to minute details that bring out the soul and character of well-known faces to life. With more training and exposure, he will surely go far to make his mark as an artist.

Ramon is an orphan who lives with his three siblings in a room and parlour family home at Ajegunle-Apapa, where they share amenities such as kitchen, toilet and bathroom with other neighbours. He has now completed his secondary schooling, and is looking to develop his talent so that he can be an Artist professionally.  

During our Christmas Party, 2016, Ramon showed off a couple of his skeches.  He has sold one painting so far.  The rest are still available for sale.  Ramon is working on producing a new piece each month, as he grows his portfolio.  

He will be collecting the prize for the most improved and impressive Vocational student during our Valentine's Brunch this Saturday, 18th of February.  He will also be presenting his paintings for the two lucky draw winners, whose pictures were chosen during our Christmas Party last year.  Do follow us on social media, to see the latest from Ramon.  We are @fairlifeafrica on Instagram.

Ramon still doesn't have a sponsor.  If you would like to sponsor Ramon, please contact us at support@fairlifeafrica.org.  Thanks for all the ways you enable us to go on and empower others...  God bless you!

This painting was sold in Dec 2016
This painting was sold in Dec 2016
Ramon
Ramon's Tiger Painting
Ramon
Ramon's Jesus Painting
Henry buys Ramon
Henry buys Ramon's Painting
The FLA Kids had a wonderful time at Christmas!
The FLA Kids had a wonderful time at Christmas!

Links:

Nov 18, 2016

FLA Rising Stars - Meet Ibukun

The FLA Kids at Terra Kulture
The FLA Kids at Terra Kulture

Last year, we met the young, beautiful and lovely Ibukun, while doing our search for children with talents to take part in our first of its kind Talent Search Competition, in partnership with Ultima Limited.  Ibukun is a passionate young lady of 16 years, who loves acting and started acting in Church and in School, when she was only six years old.   She says she wants to be a Play Writer or Actress in the future.

Ibukun is truly gifted, as her trainers at K.K.A Arts Academy attest to.  During the competition, she showed a rare creative talent in acting, which transformed her into a character that you couldn't take your eyes off.   She was skillful at incorporating humour and wisdom in her performances, and worked as well in a group as she did solo.  It was no wonder she arose to become one of the six winners of the Fair Life Africa Talent Search, carrying the prize for her category - Drama.

The Talent Search Competition sought out not only children with talents, but children from less privileged homes.  Ibukun met our criteria for support, as she resides in the impoverished Ajegunle community with her family of six.  Her father sells tyres while her mother is a hairdresser, and their joint income is barely able to keep the children in school.  Ibukun is not phased about her background, and knows that she's blessed with a gift for the world, and works hard to develop this talent.

All her hard work is already paying off, as Ibukun is starring in KKA's Production of Shallow Mirage, a movie about Teenage Pregnancy, which premiers on the 27th of November, 2016 at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos!  She's already been on television, as part of their cast in the series 'Sparkle', which is currently showing on MITV, Mondays at 8:30pm and Saturdays at 7pm.  

She's not only a budding actress, but an aspiring poet.  She composed the poem below for the production on teenage pregnancy, and will be reading it on the day of the premier.

I hear the cry of a wailing trumpet
Loosing their virginity and pride
Making suffering mothers weep
Young youths follow bad company

Teenage friends deceive teenage friends
Out going club andow bad company illegal act
Not listening to the words of a wailing mother
"Oh my child, pregnancy"

I hear the cry of a wailing trumpet
The cry of an innocent teenager
Pains of motherhood
Making family clash

Oh why! why my child
Your friends have finally succeeded in deceiving you
You have not gotten to the stage of motherhood
You have finally brought
My leg out to the mud

Not listening to the words
Of a good mother
Who tried her possible best
You can't bear the pain
Of being a mother

I hear the unique sound of a gong
A good responsible mother
Talking to her dear teenage daughter
"Oh my child stay away from bad friends"
Beat from gong rather than sound from trumpet.

We are all so proud of our girl, Ibukun!  We know that she will surely go places.  She has indeed moved from Disadvantage to Advantage!  Please keep supporting us as raise more brilliant children, and help them to achieve their goals in life, despite disadvantage.  Ibukun has a sponsor, Stella Chinwem Ilodianya Educational Foundation.  Would you like to sponsor a child with us?

A talented actress
A talented actress
Shallow Mirage
Shallow Mirage
Sparkle TV Show
Sparkle TV Show
You
You're Invited!
Story Series - Chronicles of a Social Worker
Story Series - Chronicles of a Social Worker

Links:

Aug 22, 2016

Summer Camp 2016 - Thinking Outside The Box!

Fun Learning at Lufasi Nature Park
Fun Learning at Lufasi Nature Park

If you are familiar with our work, you will notice something special about our kids...  They are smiling!  Granted, they are not always smiling, as if their lives are blissfully easy.  They have come from a place of struggle and disadvantage.  They are well acquainted with lack and even injustice.  They still live within their impoverished environments, working towards a better future.  But they have hope!  And they have faith!  And most of all, they have love!

At Fair Life Africa Foundation, we are concerned for the complete well being of our children.  We are concerned for their physical, social, emotional, mental and spiritual development.  Through our Disadvantage to Advantage Initiative, we alleviate the pressures facing them, and remove the barriers to their success by primarily sponsoring their academic education and vocational study.   Our children are brilliant and talented, but more than their physical disadvantage, there is a lot of bad education that can stand in the way of their success.   So empowering them also requires re-educating them, and freeing their minds to think big!

The theme of our Summer Programme this year was "Thinking Outside The Box", with the aim to get the children thinking about who they were, and how they are responding to their surroundings, and how they can better influence their world and turn obstacles into stepping stones.  It was a week of fun learning, critical thinking and exciting recreational activities.  Our children, who live in their various communities at Ikota, Ibeju-Lekki, Ajegunle, Songo-Ota and more, came together to learn and enjoy one last hooray before they return to School in September.

They arrived on Monday 15th, and had their first session with Ufuoma, who helped them to come to a new understanding of themselves and identify their true passions.  She asked them five important questions: 1. What do you love to do?  2. What are you good at?  3. What is hard for you to do?  4.  What are you known for?  5. Would you rather work for more money or for your passion?

It was a great exercise, which also gave us an insight into their current thought processes.  We were pleasantly surprised when all the children expressed that they would rather work for their passion, because of the fulfillment they will have from it.  We also got them to see that if they choose more money, though they hated the work, their work would be poor, and they may not even keep the job or be promoted.

Our Admin, Emeke took them on Human Conflict and Resolution in the afternoon, teaching the children how to deal with conflict and disagreement among themselves.  Kaosar joined us as a volunteer to take the children on their second class on Human Conflict and Resolution the next day, with a focus on dealing with Peer Pressure.  Two more classes on Thursday and Friday also dealt with issues of sexism, ageism, racism and other political discourses that affect our cohesive relations in the world.

On Tuesday, the children enjoyed an outing to Lufasi Nature Park in Lagos, where they were also given a talk on Climate Change and Global Warming.  They learnt the many ways they too can be environmentally conscious and make a difference, by planting a tree and minimizing waste, through the four stage process; RETHINK, REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE!  Afterwards, they were shown how to plant a tree, and one was planted in the park on behalf of Fair Life Africa.  We have our good old friend, Ms Soyemi of Salt Society to thank for organising this programme with the Park Manager, Mr Pinnacle.

On Wednesday, the only agenda of the day was fun fun fun!  We took the children to Dreamworld Africana Theme Park in Lagos, and they enjoyed a full day of games, roller coasters, bouncy castles, bumper cars and more.  Our good old friend and photographer, Ese, was on ground to support us by taking some fantastic shots of the day's activities.

On Thursday, the critical discussions continued with a class on Mental Health, taken by Ufuoma.  She started once again with a series of questions about need, to get the children's minds expanding.  She asked them: 1. What is the difference between need and want?  2. What does every human being need to survive?  3. What is your greatest need at this moment?  4. What is the greatest need of your community?  5. What is more valuable, your wealth or your health?

The answers from this exercise were also very enlightening, and the children showed that they were already critical thinkers.  Even though a few struggled with the difference between need and want, all of them were able to appreciate that their health was their greatest resource.  Following on from this exercise, Ufuoma drew from Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to explain the place of mental health and self-esteem, and how we need to be conscious of our mental health and sensitive to the needs of others too.

On Friday, our friend from last Summer's Programme, Pamela, came back to take the children on The Internet and Social Media.  She schooled them on the benefits of the internet, as well as the dangers, and taught them the importance of staying safe.  They also learnt about the many new jobs available through the rise of the Internet, and how they can stay relevant by keeping updated with knowledge of online applications.  Ufuoma also gave them insights into the world of blogging and web design in particular.  Our volunteer and friend, Yemi, was also on ground to take some great shots.

On Saturday, the children were given a special class on Overcoming Academic and Exam Stress by our social workers, Ifeoma and Nishola.   This was an important session for them all, because no matter how brilliant they are, there are still one or two subjects that they may struggle with, and exam pressures are not easy for anyone.  The children learnt the importance of time management, being prepared, making learning fun and interactive, and changing their perspective to change their reactions!

Later on Saturday, the children enjoyed a unique treat!  They were all invited to be part of the audience at MTN Project Fame West Africa at Ultima Studios in Lekki.  This was possible because of the collaboration between Fair Life Africa Foundation and Ultima Limited forged last year, when we held our first ever Talent Search competition.  The children enjoyed a great show with fourteen performances in all, and were further inspired to keep pursing their passions.

The Summer Camp concluded with a big Sunday Brunch of yam and chicken pepper soup, deliciously made by our favourite neighbourhood caterers.  After that, we took a stroll to the nearby Lekki Beach to enjoy the breeze, sand and water.  At the Beach, Ufuoma presented four of our most brilliant children with prizes for their great academic performances in the past year.  Caroline received the prize for the Senior Secondary level.  Emmanuel received the prize for the Junior Secondary Level.  Augustus received the prize for the Primary 4-6 category, while Mustapha received the prize for the Primary 1-3 category.

It was a very thrilling week, and the children wished they could stay longer, but all good things must come to an end!  We feel good about what we were able to impart unto them, and most especially, we are glad that they went away knowing how much they are genuinely loved!  With everything we do, that is one message we wish to send out loudly and clearly, that we believe in them and that they are worthy of love!   Now they should have no barrier to what they can achieve.  The sky's the limit!

The #FLAKids love Lufasi Park!
The #FLAKids love Lufasi Park!
Ifeoma and Nishola pose with the girls
Ifeoma and Nishola pose with the girls
The kids had fun at Dreamworld Africana!
The kids had fun at Dreamworld Africana!
It was a wild time!
It was a wild time!
A new bag for school!
A new bag for school!

Links:

 
   

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