Doyinsola Ogunye is the Chief Executive Officer of Mental and Environmental Initiative for Children (MEDIC), the founding organisation of Kids Clean Club, an environmentally and socially conscious non-governmental organization established to cater for the physical mental and environmental cleanliness of the Nigerian child and to create awareness amongst children to be socially responsible at a young age all for the love of Nigeria. Like most great achievers in life, Doyinsola had her dreams and goals sketched and written out in a notepad vividly on November 21, 2007. With her passion for cleanliness, relentless love for children, fun-loving lifestyle, positive energy and most importantly, patriotism for her motherland – Nigeria, her goals were birthed into daylight in July 2009 and officially launched on the 21st November, 2009. Today, Kids Clean Club (KCC) an initiative of (THE MEDIC) The Mental Environmental and Developmental Initiative for Children is fast growing to become a household name in its home country – Nigeria, and creation state – Lagos. It’s noteworthy to highlight some of the achievements KCC has realized in its barely 7 years of existence; asides countless initiation and participation in specially organized and also State environmental sanitation exercises and rallies, in July 2009, she single-handedly joined the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola on a tree planting exercise; she also initiated the first ever recycling awareness day on the 20th August 2011 in Lekki Phase 1 and the 2nd on October 1, 2011 in VGC in collaboration with LAWMA. In 2012 and 2013 she created the Tyre Playground in Langbasa primary school during her NYSC programme which won her a state award.
In May 2014 she began the 50k Tree campaign which is an on-going planting campaign in Lagos state, Endorsed by the Lagos State Government. In June 2015 she also spearheaded the creation Nigeria’s first ever Kids’ Garden (an haven for kids to come together and learn while they have fun); which has been a nature preservation centre where children are taught recycling, tree planting, horticulture, agriculture, aquaculture and cleanliness. Project HELP (Help Educate the Less Privileged) is another campaign she started in 2016. And she has worked with a number of local and international organizations like Lufasi Park in Nigeria, Franklin Junior Foundation in the United States of America, La Campagne Tropicana just to state a few. She is a graduate of law from the University of Lagos.
SustyVibes caught up with this bundle of inspiration, read her story below:
At what point did you decide that you were going to work with children?
That was in 2008/2009. I was I my 2nd year in the university and I started a small club (Kids Clean Club) to teach children about the environment and keeping it clean
What has been your biggest challenge working on sustainability matters?
For me it’s the orientation of most people. They don’t understand how their activities affect the environment and a change of mindset is one of the most difficult things to do.
Environmental responsibility have been said to be a mindset issue – what ways do you think you have impacted people (Children especially) to think and do better for the planet?
Oh great! To think the former question would lead to this. I totally agree with that. That’s why I focus on the younger generations who are still in their formative years. It is easier to do this as they are learning and picking up habits as they grow.
When children have a clear understanding on why and how we should take care of the environment, they can take this back home and to their communities as well.
This has been very impactful because we now have children in little communities taking up environmental challenges.
What SDGs are you most passionate about?
3- Good Health and well-being
4- Quality Education
7- Affordable and Clean Energy
13- Climate Action
14- Life below Water
Do you think beach clean-ups are sustainable ways to combat Ocean waste?
No it is not. Beach clean ups and other volunteer activities are little ways of mitigation. The major issue is the attitude to waste and proper waste management and disposal. The ocean should never become an alternative to a landfill. Beach Clean Ups however raises the awareness of ocean pollution and a call to action.
How does the Kids Beach Garden relate with the Triple R concept?
The KIDS BEACH GARDEN is the 1st sustainable beach in Nigeria where children learn about coastal life. This is bridge the gap of no coastline and shoreline education particularly where there is a lot of oceans and waterfronts in Lagos. The children will also have fun while learning. We create an atmosphere where children can learn about the environment from the environment and give back to the environment while having fun.
The very core of all our teaching is Reduce Waste, Reuse or Repurpose Waste, and Recycle Waste. The KBG has in place learning aids (Theory and Practical) on how we can make this possible.
As a young person in the Nigerian Sustainability sector, what would you advise aspiring young leaders?
Let your passion drive you and don’t stop believing in the Nigeria you know we can become. It’s going to be tough but please keep encouraging each other.
What environmental issue do you believe requires the most attention from people and government in Nigeria now ?
Recycling – The fact that the Nigerian economy is really nose diving now, this is a good time to turn our trash to cash (lol !) We are over 170 million people here and we all generate waste on a daily basis. There is no better time than now to invest in this green economy
How do you create a work-life balance?
My work is fun and fun is work. Like they say if you love what you do, you don’t have to work a day in your life. I take time off to spend time with friends and family
How can people reach you and learn more about your work?
These are our details:
Address: 14, Bashorun Okusanya street, Lekki phase 1, Lekki, Lagos
21 Oshodi crescent off Lakatan street, off Ado Langbasa road Ajah, Lagos.
Phone Number: +234(0)803-3788-641
Email: [email protected]