Adelaja Oluwademilade is a graduate of English from the prestigious Covenant University. She’s a Teacher, A certified Early Childhood Educator and an SDG Youth Advocate for SDG 4 (Quality Education).
Oluwademilade is a Volunteer at Street2School Initiative, an NGO aimed at providing Quality Education to out-of-school children in Lagos Nigeria. She has a strong passion for kids in marginalized communities. She believes every child should have access to education irrespective of their socio-economic background.
Overtime, Oluwademilade has also developed interest in advocacy to end period poverty in Nigeria by working with an NGO named Royal Gem Initiative. The initiative provides sexual health education and sanitary pads to girls in low-income communities so they can menstruate in a more healthy way.
Currently, Oluwademilade is a Lagos State SDG Youth Ambassador. And a member of the UNESCO SDG4 Youth Network. She loves children and youths and her greatest desire is to train up young people to become transformative leaders in the society.
She shares her Ruby Girl story with the team.
1. Tell us about your childhood, Demilade. What was growing up like for you?
Growing up was pretty interesting to me. I’m the second child of three children; so being the middle child, I didn’t have much going on with me. Growing up for me was basically; going to school, attending Sunday School, going to church and having extra lessons at home because I wasn’t so good for Maths lol.
2. As a certified Early Childhood Educator Advocate, what informed your passion to teach? And what do you think should be put in place to make early learning fun and impacting?
I would say my passion to teach is a God-given passion. I never imagined doing anything relating to education talk more of teaching, it was in my final semester in school I got the calling. Also, my mum is an educator so I think I got a part of it from her.
To make learning fun and impactful, teachers themselves must love their job because when a teacher doesn’t like teaching it will affect the students’ performance. Also, teachers should make use of learning aids like flashcards, videos, pictures etc because children learn by seeing and doing not just talking in the classroom. This will also help students remember what they were taught in class.
3. What motivated you to become a Sustainable Development Goal Advocate?
We live in a world where there is so much gap between the elites and the marginalized, and the only way to bridge this gap is to provide sustainable means of livelihood. This requires a collective effort and not just the responsibility of the government, So, I decided to take the lead and contribute my quota towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
4. As a Youth Advocate for quality education, what’s your take on “School na Scam”?
Hmmmm…. I don’t think school is a scam and I’m not saying this because I’m an advocate for quality education. Everyone has different passions and goals, and sometimes these passions are not related to what is being taught in school and that is okay. However, we must understand that the fact that one does not practice what they were taught in school in their workplace or make money with it, doesn’t make education less important. Truth is, education is what makes the difference in a person so, whether you learn in school or not, you still need the education to become better at whatever you decide to do. Education has and is still opening doors of opportunity for people who desire it. School is NOT a scam.
5. What are the challenges you have encountered as a youth advocate?
– Funding: So many things to be done yet few resources are available.
– Getting more young people to participate in Youth advocacy.
– Socio-economic Inequality: There is a huge gap between you the rich and the marginalized in Nigeria. Trying to bridge this gap is challenging due to the economy of Nigeria.
– Overpopulation: A lot of people, especially in rural areas keep having children they cannot cater for. The children are increasing in their numbers however there are no resources to take care of them.
6. An accessory you can’t leave home without?
7. What’s your take on volunteering, most youths would rather stay idle than take up an unpaid job?
Volunteering gives you an avenue to be the change you desire to see in your community and the world at large. So if you have the opportunity to volunteer, please I beg you; do it wholeheartedly because, at the end of the day, it’s not about the money and assets one would acquire, but the impact one would have made and the lives one have touched.
8. An unpopular random fact about you.
I cannot multi-task. I can do only one thing at a time.
9. If you were to contest Nigeria’s presidency, what is the major change you will present in your manifesto?
While I acknowledge that there are other areas to look into, I believe that quality education is one of the biggest challenges in Nigeria. I will strive for free basic education for all children and introduce educational reforms that will target reducing the number of out of school children in Nigeria. Also, I would look into the issue of overpopulation in the country by introducing a two-child policy. I know some people may not be in support of this but that’s the only effective way to reduce overpopulation and ensure equal allocation of resources in the country.
10. Mention 3 women who inspire you and why?
I) My mum (Mrs Abosede Adelaja): Her Strength, Her Resilience and Work Ethic.
ii) Jumoke Adenowo – I love her passion for raising godly women and her style.
iii) Jackie Aina – I love how she talks about setting boundaries and how she teaches young girls to be self-confident.
11. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
In 5 years, I will have completed my Master’s degree in Education and I hope to be doing work that contributes to transformational change in the Nigerian educational system.
12. If you were allowed to address a group of young girls just setting out in their career, what will be your advice to them?
Be open to learning. Be kind to yourself if you make mistakes. Don’t be in a hurry to “blow”. Settle down and learn the skills you need to thrive. You can do great things from a small place.