ESSEX, United Kingdom — In an interview with The Borgen Project, Seye Oyediran said “Charity is the backbone of society, which is why I take pride in helping those less fortunate than myself.”
Just Give Back Chairman chronicles the remarkable events that reunited long-lost schoolmates and birthed a thriving nonprofit organization. This article will outline the charity’s holistic approach to tackling the multidimensional aspect of poverty, the importance of charity and its lasting impact on individuals and the community.
The History of Just Give Back
Just Give Back is a non-profit, charitable organization that a group of former students from Igbobi College Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria established. “This renowned boy-only grammar and boarding school was instrumental in providing us with an exceptional education, which served as a solid foundation for success in our respective endeavors,” Oyediran explained.
“As graduates of this esteemed institution, we recognize the importance of giving back to our community, both in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. In 2019, we banded together to fulfill our social responsibility and contribute to the betterment of our communities, acknowledging that our success is in part due to the exceptional education and discipline we received at Igbobi College Yaba,” said Oyediran.
Creating the organization was a “wake-up call” to coordinate charity events, offer counseling sessions, offer mentorships and assist the homeless.
The organization focuses on promoting community justice through various programs that foster unity and support. One such program is the Community Food Bank initiative, which aims to combat hunger by accepting donations from local businesses and providing much-needed assistance to those in need, according to its website.
The Volunteer Service Sunday program is another platform where a team of volunteers comes together to lend a helping hand to those in need. In doing this, individuals will witness the power of collective efforts in transforming lives and building a stronger community.
In addition to the Community Food Banks and Volunteer Service Sunday’s programs, Just Give Back seeks to develop connections within the community via the Community Connections program. This initiative aims to facilitate interactions between service providers and those in need, thereby creating new avenues for fostering meaningful relationships.
What is Just Give Back?
The organization hosts charity events to support various causes, including orphanages, mental health institutions like MIND during COVID-19 and charities like the U.K. Heart Foundation. It also helps women start small-scale businesses through the Self-aid Capacity Development initiative, collect educational supplies (i.e. pens, notebooks, math sets) for schoolchildren in low-income communities and gather food for Foodbanks.
When asked about what other people should know about this non-profit organization, Oyediran stated that he would like individuals to see Just Give Back as a “vehicle to give back to our communities both in the United Kingdom and Nigeria. It provides the momentum to improve the circumstances of the vulnerable because it serves as Angel Donors, Mentors, Career Counsellors and Life Coaches to youth.”
A group of friends and concerned citizens unite each year to participate in a charitable walk – a Walk in the Park – which focuses on raising funds for vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals. The walk has become an annual event. In 2022, it took place alongside similar events in Nigeria, Canada, the USA and the Middle East. The Walk in the Park in the U.K. occurred in August 2022, at Beckenham Park Palace, Beckenham. The charity donated all of the funds it raised to the Mind and Heart Foundation in the U.K.
Meanwhile in Nigeria, a replica of this, the Second Annual Walk on the School Grounds of Igbobi College, took place on August 28, 2022. Members distributed free food, beverages, T-Shirts and fundamental medical testing kits for teaching and non-teaching personnel and amassed funds to render to communities.
Just Give Back members also gathered during the festive period to enhance their charitable efforts in January 2021. They gave gifts and enjoyed a meal with staff and children at the Optimal Children Home in Isheri, Lagos, Nigeria. The organization intends to continue hosting these events during upcoming festive holidays.
In April 2021, Just Give Back hosted the Widows Easter Basket Event in Ajah, Lagos, Nigeria. Group members allocated food and household items to support widows in their communities. The charity is committed to proliferating this initiative to Ghana, Kenya and St. Kitts, showing how it aims to be the catalyst in creating positive change and uphold to its social duties.
What Sets This Charity Apart From Others?
Oyediran described how Just Give Back is a unique nonprofit organization because its foundations are based on “brotherhood and the belief that helping others is an integral part of shaping one’s identity.” The camaraderie established at Igbobi College has flourished through the Igbobi College Old Boy’s Association (ICOBA). The primary goal of ICOBA is to strengthen ties with former classmates and facilitate business and fundraising ventures to foster a culture of philanthropy.
“Our values of generosity, dedication and compassion are the blueprint for our organization. We are proud to call ourselves the ‘The Good Samaritans’ by bridging social gaps in communities and helping individuals flourish and become self-sufficient.” In five years, he hopes “Just Give Back is operational in most of Western Europe and West Africa.”
– Dami Kalejaiye