Omobolanle Ajijola is a Certified Trauma Counselor trained in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Early Trauma and an Executive Member of the African Network of Professional Counselors(ANEPCO).
An NLP Practitioner and a passionate Gender-Based Violence Advocate as well as being a trained certified Emotional Intelligence Specialist, she passionately spreads awareness against sexual and all forms of gender-based violence and is concerned about the total well-being of families and by extension children.
Omobolanle is the founder of Bina AI-Amal Safety Foundation, a non-governmental, and not-for-profit organization that provides social and economic empowerment to Survivors and Victims of Gender-Based Violence and disadvantaged communities across Nigeria.
She loves and enjoys working with families and children and this has led her to volunteer with organizations that share the same vision namely Rescue Village Africa, Heartminders Initiative, Amazing Amazon Initiative, and Black Diamond Support Foundation to name a few.
She has gone on numerous campaigns to schools and communities and has participated in road rallies to raise awareness on child sexual abuse and the rights of the African Child, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, and Gender inequality.
Her passion has led her to attend various courses tailored to child safety and sexual abuse prevention.
Omobolanle is a firm believer in securing a safe and well-balanced environment free from all forms of Violence. A true global change agent, while speaking with Women of Rubies, she gave this explorative insights on her journey;
I grew up , pretty much sheltered with my siblings , not going out much and spent a lot of time with my Grandma who was the resident conflict resolver in her area.
People would come to her with their issues and I’d watch her listen and then help sort whatever the issue was and soothe hurt tempers.
Same with helping those in need, no one came to her door in tears and left the same, she had a solution to every challenge.
She would always give back or give out to whoever was in need and when thanked she would say she was but a servant of Allah doing his bidding.
Watching my grandma (God rest her soul) advocate for what was right no matter if it got her on the wrong side of people and her big heart when it came to giving ,shaped me into the woman I am today.
My parents aren’t any different and till date still help whoever comes to their door.
Inspiration Behind Bina Al- Amal foundation?
My deep passion to effect lasting change in people’s live that made a real difference was the inspiration behind the foundation.
I’d gone on numerous Sexual Abuse awareness campaigns and the stories of abuse we heard stayed with me, I wanted to do more.
Watching children and women roam the streets without a roof over their head and no access to basic amenities and the high numbers of women who would turn up for Empowerment programs worried me a lot, and after a summer school project at an informal settlement in 2019
My mind was made up, I knew what I had to do.
Managing life as a certified trauma counsellor, NLP practitioner and a GBV advocate,
Each role requires a lot of energy and focus and I’ve been able to merge all into one and balance them all.
It’s not been easy but managing my time and prioritizing has helped me maintain the balance needed to flourish.
Experience as a multiple hand volunteer for several organizations
It’s been very educative, each volunteer role came from a personal experience and working for each Organization has taught me lot of things ranging from leadership, rapport and communication building, conflict resolution among other things.
It’s an experience I won’t trade for anything.
My work at Bina Al-Amal foundation, and its impact since inception
At Bina Al-Amal Foundation we provide the support , encouragement and empowerment to that people who live in informal settlements and we also provide the interventions needed for Survivors and Victims of Gender Based Violence .
Basically we offer prevention and intervention against Child Abuse, Rape, domestic violence, and all forms of violence against children and women while Providing prompt sensitive and psychosocial support to survivors of abuse and ensuring perpetrator is prosecuted, Provision of sexual abuse awareness programs to engage and enlighten Teenagers and young Adults on Sexual and Gender based violence and the need to be more socially and morally aware while providing the necessary psychosocial support , Provision of temporary shelters for the homeless for women especially women and families who had gone through one forms of abuse and those who live in informal settlements (shanties and rural areas),
Empowerment for women in rural and vulnerable communities and Free Education for children in rural and vulnerable communities.
Our impact since inception has been amazing.
For our survivors and Victims of Sexual and Gender based Violence, we have been able to offer psychosocial and intervention services to at least 10 families and counting.
For our informal community recipients , we have been able to offer education to over 100 of the children in the informal community as well as provision of palliative during the covid -19 lockdown.
Our teen conferences designed to educate and empower young adults has reached over 100 youths and counting, providing them with information on the dangers of sexual and gender based violence and the importance of leadership skills
Our major challenge has been getting the required amount of help our informal settlement residents in terms of the shelter need as they are constantly being evicted
Another challenge is their belief system , they feel they have no hope and no one cares about them.
For our Survivors and Victims it’s tackling the silence and stigmatization that doesn’t encourage them to open up freely about their experiences
For our teens and young adults it’s helping them with the difficult choices and temptations they face in a world where information overload is everywhere.
Other projects and activities?
We are working on a building a stable environment for our informal settlement residents and helping them create a better quality of life through Empowerment and Job creating programmes.
A group therapy hub for our Trauma warriors and a teen hub for our Young adults to help them cope with this fat paced world.
3 Women Who Inspire Me
Christiane Amanpour, Oreoluwa Adebiyi and Mrs Achenyo Idachaba for their fearlessness in reporting the truth, Their can do attitude and above all love for humanity.
They inspire me to be a better version of myself and to continue to push through even when people don’t understand the journey.
My experience at social Innovators Bootcamp and its forthcoming impact
To be honest , I’d joined the bootcamp to achieve two things: to gain clarity and get the structure needed and to come 2nd was a bit of a shock. I never imagined I’d make it to the top 3. It was a humbling experience for me, I gained so much more than what I signed up for.
My SIBC Experience taught me one valuable lesson, I’m doing something right and this is going to set the tone for a lot of our activities moving forward at Bina Al-Amal Foundation.
Right steps to take in reporting a case of Domestic Violence & Rape.
For Both cases the most important thing and the first step is to Document evidence.
For a rape victim the best way to Document evidence is to go as soon they are able to a Sexual Assault Referral Centre preferably Mirabel Centre to get checked by a doctor and to get the medical attention needed
For a Domestic Violence Victim, we encourage them to take pictures of bruises, take voice recordings only if it is safe to do so.
Next step is to go to a police station to report the case. At the station, ask for their Gender Desk or Family Support Unit.
After this the police would ask for evidence of assault to which a letter would be sent to the Sexual Assault Referral Centre who carried out the examination for the rape victim.
For the Domestic Violence Victim, evidence would also be collected.
How to overcome Trauma, and stay grounded
In handling Trauma, I encourage client’s to
1)Give yourself time. It takes time – weeks or months – to accept what has happened and to learn to live with it,take it one step at a time.
2)Acknowledging your experience,that way, you can start to understand what drives your feelings of fear and anxiety, and change your perspective over time.
3) Join a Support Group, being involved with other survivors of trauma, sometimes hearing others and knowing you’re not alone offers you some of the comfort needed.
4)Ask for support from family and friends willing to help, don’t isolate yourself.
5)Take some time for yourself: It’s okay to want to be by yourself or with close family and friends
6)Talk it over with a Professional. This is where therapy comes in to give a more grounded sense of healing.
7)Get into a routine to resting a sense of normalcy
On staying grounded:
1)Appreciate life’s simple pleasures.
3)Take a break.
4)Prioritize your mental and emotional health.
5)Be the change you want to see in the world.
As a Woman of Rubies
What makes me a Woman of Rubies is my selfless character and passion to see a fellow woman attain great heights and my not giving up on those who need me.
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