U-IMPACT
U-Impact: Ejeme Angela Oyemowo, Teacher, Humanitarian & Educational Advocate
May 18, 2017
BY SALMA MUHAMMED
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I am Ejeme Angela Onyemowo, I'm a Teacher, Humanitarian and Educational Advocate. I have a B.Ed in Pre-Primary/Primary Education from Benue State University, Makurdi. I was born and raised in Jos to a family of 10 children.
I am the founder of Oakbridge Foundation, a community based NGO that provides quality education to indigent children. Our vision is to raise "well rounded and resourceful learners".

 I have a drive for preparing children for their future by building a solid educational, moral and spiritual foundation. I believe the rest of a child's life depends a lot on a solid base to build upon.
 I am passionate about improving the lives of people what ever way I can, I have a "weakness" called feeling other people's pain (empathy is too short a word ). I believe people should have access to quality education and quality life in general;  they should be given a chance and environment to dream, to visualise-to see possibilities! 

The inspiration for giving quality education started with the kind of primary education I got, in a school with VERY POOR facilities, no COLOUR, little motivation. I saw the difference in children of middle class and wealthy parents who were fortunate to go to Private schools and I knew the difference was in the investments made in both. So, growing up I had dreams of building libraries and providing other materials to poorly funded schools. I even shared the vision with older friends as a teenager. Nothing happened then, but I kept it in my heart.

Some years after, I was travelling from Jos to Abuja, I saw village children walking a long distance to get to school (I know this because minutes after, I still saw others in same uniform walking in the same direction)...relating it to the kind of school I went to (in the city! ), I pictured what their classes would look like and the fact that they were probably being taught in their native language etc.
With teary eyes and a smile on my face I told myself I would one day help children like these get quality education without the stress I imagined they were going through. I thought, if they would journey this long to get to school, then it should be worth the trouble! I pictured how I would partner with people and organisations to give public schools a face lift and so on.
As a teenager (late teens mostly) I wrote down plans about owning a school that would give scholarship to about 25% of the schools population (mostly indigent children).
I dreamt of providing links for indigent children to attend A-list schools through scholarships; knowing that such opportunities could help tear them away from what their social status might want to limit their minds to (I hate what poverty tends to do to the mind!)

The actual journey started in 2014. In January of that year, I felt God nudging my heart towards teaching indigent children. So, I took out time to pray and see what He was telling me. When I was sure what the vision was, I resigned from my job and started to work towards being of service. My first active step was to go into a few communities to identify their needs and see if such service would be necessary. One major challenge at this stage is community participation; you would expect that they would be willing to donate land for expansion and admission of more children, but that still stands as a dream. Voluntarism is another one...permit me not to say more about this.

I see my self helping children for the rest of my life!  *laughs*, of course not always as a teacher but every other way possible- providing links, policies, volunteering, name it. The future lies in "today's" investments, so yes you will always find me at the foundation. *smiles*

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