Ogundowole Moyinoluwa popularly known as Moyinoluwa Gold is a graduate of Geography and Environmental Management from Tai Solarin University of Education.
Her passion for the growth and development of teenagers, orphans and vulnerable children birthed her NGO, Gold Heart Foundation.
She is a social development practitioner, a certified passionate teacher and digital skills trainer.
She shares her “Ruby Girl” story with the team.
1. Let’s meet you. Who is Moyinoluwa Gold?
My name is Ogundowole Moyinoluwa. I’m a graduate of Geography and Environmental Management from the premier university of education, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. I’m an indigene of Owo in Ondo State. I am a social development practitioner, a certified passionate teacher, digital skills trainer. I’m passionate about the growth and development of teenagers, orphans and vulnerable children.
2. What birthed Gold heart foundation and what is it about?
I discovered in the course of studying the Bible that God is compassionate about the poor and the orphan. Jesus also demonstrated how much He loves children by always reaching out to them. Following in His footsteps brings me untold joy. I believe I was destined to do what I’m doing now. As I use my gifts properly, I’m lighting my world. By reaching out now to younger people, I’m doing my part to ensure that the future for our nation is better than what it is today.
3. In a society where most people shy away from taking up teaching as a profession. What prompted you to settle for it? And also major challenges encountered so far?
Talking is one of my strengths. I love passing down knowledge and school is an avenue to pass down knowledge I have received. I love children, school is also where I can easily get more children to relate with. So, my passion made me settle for teaching as a profession.
One of the major challenge is the school environment; I don’t find it so well to teach students theoretically without the practical aspect, this always made me unhappy though I still try my best to improvise by teaching beyond classroom using my phone, laptop and other instructional materials for effective teaching.
4. To what extent did your job as a teacher contribute to the startup of Gold Heart foundation?
I started Gold Heart Foundation before being certified as a teacher. But, when I began working in the school system, I was able to use teaching methodology in the running of the organization especially during our outreach to schools; which made it easier to connect to young people.
5. What are the challenges you faced when you started the foundation? Do you still experience them? And also how were you able to overcome them?
(Smiles) The naysayers jeer at me: ‘You’re just wasting your time and resources on these ones [the children &youth], they will never change. Enjoy life with your resources.’ I was never discouraged because my native aphorism clears it all up, “Emi lo ni pasan mi,” meaning, I own my passion. I believe and will continue to believe that every teenager has been specifically prepared to do something positive in this world. This is the reason I’m committed to helping them find that good thing and do it. I don’t experience it any longer because the vision is now tangible and many that didn’t buy into it then now support.
6. What has the Covid-19 pandemic opened your eyes to?
This pandemic is a blessing in disguise for me; instead of seeing the negative impact, all I see are opportunities, energy to diversify. It has opened my insight and foresight in all areas.
7. What are some challenges NGOs owned by young Nigerians face and how can it be mitigated?
Proper structuralization of vision; when the organization vision is not well structured, well planned and lay out, one can be frustrated. It can be mitigated by learning from social development practitioners experts, those that have experiences in that field and one should be open to learn with a shift mindset.
Another challenge is funding; people tend to speak well of what you’re doing but are not readily inclined to commit themselves financially. Due to this challenge, there is limit to the air of humanity we can spread abroad but through coined out strategies, creativity and networking, generating and accessing fund is possible.
8. What was growing up in a Nigerian home like for you? Did it in anyway contribute to everything you do now?
Growing up in typical Nigerian home (laughs) has a lot of influence on what I do today. My childhood was a lonely and bookish one. All that my parents were interested in was education—from school to lesson (even during holidays) and back to the home for personal coaching with my parents who were educationalist. I didn’t play much like other children did. So, it made me realize how important and valuable education is. More so. I can remember fighting for my friends, siblings and parents because I hated injustice and still do. The advocacy spirit has been in me from inception.
9. How do you cope with dealing and managing adolescents?
There is something I’d train myself on; is to love unconditionally. When one shows genuine love to the adolescents, they embrace it and submit to you. So, I love and appreciate them. Also, I gave my time and resources in studying and researching on child’s psychology, so, I can and relate with them better, since they’re the target population I have decided to settle with.
10. If you were to be the President of Nigeria for a day, what would you change?
Uhmm… I will invest in the education sector by providing a conducive environment for learners and teachers and recommend that the school curriculum be reviewed to include innovative and entrepreneurial courses alongside leadership development. There is so much we can learn from using the internet to our benefit. With these, our students will be equipped with skills needed to navigate the wider world.
11. How do you juggle running an NGO, teaching and other engagements?
Time management is key. It is not easy but over time I have learnt how to prioritize. Everything, I am doing and involved in are all interwoven, that’s makes it so easier for me to cope with because I enjoy every bit of my engagements. But, currently NGO work is demanding I need to stop teaching in school environment to focus more on the NGO so I will not loose focus and be more productive. Moreover, in the NGO I still teach.
12. Mention 3 women who inspire you and why?
Mother Mary Teresa of her blessed memory; because, she devoted herself working among the poorest of the poor in the slums, taking care of for those persons nobody was prepared to look after even when funds not forthcoming.
Folorunso Alakija (Rose of Sharon Foundation); because of her philanthropic interest in helping the widows and orphans through scholarships and business grants.
Kehinde Okoroafor (Makeme Elegant Foundation); because of her passion and love for the less priviledged and the way she went out of her way to seek for support for upcoming young people in the society in order for them to be visible and relevant.
13. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
In the next five years if God tarries, I will in Gold Heart Foundation International headquarter as a Social development practitioner consultant; consulting for individuals and organization locally, National and international.
14. If you were given the opportunity to address a group of young females ten years younger than you, what will be your advice to them?
My dear energetic young female, you can be more. You’ve everything to be more inside of you which God has deposited in you in form of gift, skills, talent; unleash it and make sure you walk with the right set of people to be more. You’re unique and always celebrate your uniqueness, serve your God accordingly.