On children’s day, the television icon, Funmi Iyanda gave children from Change a Life(CAL), her NGO a special treat. The event was held at the Mende Town Hall in Maryland, Lagos. Also at the event were children from Elyon International School and Shining Lord schools. It was also a moment for the scholars and Iyanda to lend their voices to the Chibok kidnap. Even before the event started, they rallied around the venue with placards inscribed with ‘#Bringbackourgirls’
The event kicked off with a welcome speech from Ms. Sekinat Ayeyemi, the Development and Communications director of the NGO. Then came a pep talk from Dr. H.O Erinoso, she lectured the kids on personal hygiene and cleanliness. Later the scholars were treated to different events including dancing competitions and singing competitions, and various games and engaging activities. They were also treated to snacks and meals supplied by Nestle, Fan Milk and Cakes from Absolute elegance, PZ Wilmar Foods, Promasidor, Golden Penny foods and Viju Milk .
To end the experience, the children and some parents in attendance were given an exclusive viewing of Tunde Kelani’s masterpiece, Maami courtesy of Mainframe Productions. After the viewing, they were asked a series of questions about the lessons from the movie. Winners went home with Shoprite gift vouchers worth N10,000 each.
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The fun was yet to be over as Funmi Iyanda called the children to the dance floor. In a chat with her, Iyanda says the event was her way of bringing the children together. “We do a lot of events yearly, but our children don’t have the opportunity to meet each other. As you probably know, we do not have one single house for our children, they live with parents. So once a year, we bring them together like this to have fun. We also invite some other schools so that they can all mix and socialise,” she said. She also explains why they screened Maami for the children. “I remember when I was a little child, we usually had social events in schools where the children are exposed to culture and arts. Such activities hardly exist these days and that is why we decided to show a film. We picked Maami because there are lots of messages in it for children to learn from.”
About Change a Life
Change-A-Life (CAL) is a social service non-profit organization with the mission to act as a bridge between people with human, community and leadership potential yet great need and the individuals, agencies and organizations with the capacity and willingness to meet these people’s needs. The organization’s mandate is to identify the needs of people in our communities and channel our resources towards fulfilling those needs. CAL’s primary focus is capacity building. Our program delivery is channelled through educational scholarships, business grants, young adult mentoring, adult and community education, women empowerment, and civic engagement.
Change-A-Life started as the vision of Funmi Iyanda, a Nigerian TV Star and Media Entrepreneur. Ms. Iyanda is also an ALIWA Fellow within the ASPEN Global Leadership Network. Ms. Iyanda started the Change-A-Life scheme in 2002 with the race to save a little boy who had a hole in the heart.
The Change-A-Life scheme was operated as an intervention project from 2002 till 2009. By 2009, it was modified to function as an education and health support scheme for the gifted yet poor children who have lost a parent or both. The organization also assists the parents and guardians of its educational beneficiaries by awarding grants for them to start or maintain their businesses. To accommodate more beneficiaries and also function as a full service social enterprise, Change-A-Life was incorporated as a non-governmental and non-profit organization in Nigeria in 2009. The organization is accessible to all people regardless of class, gender, colour, ethnicity, religion, age, and creed. The organization continues its work of intervening in the lives of vibrant, talented, gifted, determined and purposeful yet disadvantaged individuals, so that another human endowment is not lost or wasted.