Wednesday, May 25, 2022

NIGERIA – The Gabriel Olabode Ayo Foundation – Reaching Out to Needy Children

Invitees at launch of Gabriel Olabode Ayo Foundation
Invitees at launch of Gabriel Olabode Ayo Foundation

*One of the oldest schools in Nigeria situated in Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria, is Lagos Baptist Academy. The school was established in 1855 by the American Baptist Missionaries. Notable alumni include singer and musician, Femi Kuti, son of the legendary Fela Kuti who introduced his Afrobeat brand of music we know now, to the world.

Another successful alumnus from the 1973 – 1977 set, was the late philanthropist, Gabriel Olabode Ayo who during his lifetime gave his time and resources to help the needy and abandoned children which he did quietly with no form of need for publicity.

Fondly called Bode Ayo, he made it a point to regularly visit orphanages to donate cash and foodstuffs and he also spent time with the children.

After his death, a foundation was incorporated with trustees representing members of his immediate family and friends from all the social clubs of which he was a member with the aim to identify and offer support in the form of scholarships to talented and brilliant children from the orphanage homes.

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Gabriel Olabode Ayo
Gabriel Olabode Ayo

Gabriel Olabode Ayo passed on June 8, 2020 and his friends came together to give him a beneficial farewell funeral. That wasn’t all. In view of his personality and antecedents, “Friends of Bourdilon” (Bode was affectionately called Bourdilon) decided to set up the foundation in Bode’s name in order to continue his charity works.

The foundation was launched in Victoria Island, Lagos on 11th May 2022, in the presence of dignitaries as well as Baptist Academy Old Students Association’s (BAOSA) president, Akin Fatunke and Chief (Dr) Celestine Chukwunenye and Yomi Jones both Trustees of the foundation. Former classmates of Bode’s 1973-1977 set, also supported the foundation with donations raised amongst them.

At the launch of the foundation, donations were made to Red Cross Orphanage Homes, Hope of Africa, and the Down Syndrome Home.

Akin Fatunke President of BAOSA and Yomi Jones, Chairman of Gabriel Olabode Ayo Foundation
Akin Fatunke President of BAOSA and Yomi Jones, Chairman of Gabriel Olabode Ayo Foundation

Since its inception, the foundation has organised visits to the Nigeria Red Cross, Makoko and Sacred Heart Hospice as part of its first assignment to needy children. The foundation’s goal is to visit and support all government-approved homes for the needy and abandoned children nationwide.

Gabriel Olabode Ayo Foundation (GOAF) proposed objective is to focus on impacting the lives of needy, abandoned and disabled children in four key sustainable development goals across Nigeria: 1. To focus on purpose-built projects that would impact the lives of these children 2. To identify and support talented children in homes, orphanages and camps across Nigeria in form of scholarships 3. To foster the goal of alleviating hunger and poverty amongst underprivileged children and their families across Nigeria and 4. To encourage sound health and well being of needy children.

For further inquiries about GABRIEL OLABODE AYO FOUNDATION please email – [email protected]

TAYO Fatunla
TAYO Fatunla

TAYO Fatunla is an award-winning Nigerian Comic Artist, Editorial Cartoonist, Writer and Illustrator is an artist of the African diaspora. He is a graduate of the prestigious Kubert School, in New Jersey, US. and recipient of the 2018 ECBACC Pioneer Lifetime Achievement Award for his illustrated OUR ROOTS creation and series – Famous people in Black History – He participated at UNESCO’s Cartooning In Africa forum held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the Cartooning Global Forum in Paris, France and has held a virtual OUR ROOTS cartoon workshop for SMITHSONIAN- National Museum of African Art, Washington D.C. His image of Fela Kuti was used as a backdrop in the Burna Boy’s mega-Afrobeat hit song “Ye”. [email protected]

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