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Jimoh Oluwatobi Segun: " No help is too small"

Interview to Jimoh Oluwatobi Segun, the founder of the nonprofit organization based in Abuja, Nigeria.

Who are you?

I am Jimoh Oluwatobi Segun, i am a social entrepreneur, also exploring the business world.

My interest cuts across tech, media, data and social justice; these have formed the crux of my activities over the last 3 years.

What brought you to create your own nonprofit organization?

Growing up in the hinterland of Oyo State, I thought about how effective it would be to have a platform that expresses some of the burning issues that our community faced at the time. In 2017, as I continued to see the obvious need to amplify the voices of people at the grassroots, I decided to found Media for Community Change Initiative.

With first-hand experiences of marginalized communities in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, I saw that there were many untold stories shaping the lives of people in far-to-reach communities and this was my solution.

I understood the peculiarity of Nigeria’s media landscape, big media companies don’t just wake up to spotlight stories of what is going on in these communities until something extremely bad or sometimes weird happens there.

That is only when public and policy makers understand some of these realities. This is the gap we have bridged at Media for Community Change, I and my colleagues Adebote Seyifunmi who serves as our programs director and Titilope Fadare who serves as our Head of Content and other amazing team members at MFCC understands that we don’t need to wait for a particular timing before we tell their stories and amplify the voices of the people at the grassroot.

How did you start your organization?

In 2017, I started with a podcast - the NGO Podcast show. On various episodes of the podcast, I spotlight and amplify the voices of young change makers making difference at the grassroots. Most of the stories my guests shared on the podcast is often about the grassroots and the marginalized. After interviewing over 10 NGO Leaders, I felt there is a need to do more for the marginalized as well as assist more NGO to be better positioned to deliver on their mandates.

That formed our organizational structure and framework at Media for Community Change. Our mission can be summarized as: amplifying the voices of the people at the grassroots, proffering sustainable solutions to their challenges and strengthening our actors at grassroot.

What is the biggest problem you are currently trying to solve?

Having been involved in various projects relating to the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, we have recently begun to focus on SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation. My team discovered practical ways to improve the WASH - Water Sanitation and Hygiene sector and this is the biggest problem we are solving in Nigeria.

Millions of people, across the African continent and irrespective of gender or age divide have been unable to access clean water and proper hygiene.

This problem continues to cascade into bigger problems, especially for people in the grassroot, for example, increasing level of illiteracy, discrimination and gender-based violence, especially for young girls, and most prominently declining health.

Putting together the versatility of our team members, experiences gathered and our network of people, resources and organizations; our locally generated data-based tech solution clearly maps out the details of water stress and poor sanitation community, also connecting WASH solution providers to places where it is most needed.

Currently at 80% completion and together with our partners, this solution will be launched soon.

Tell us one particular moment where you feel helpful for your community?

From the various projects we have carried out, I have come to realize and be reassured that no help is too small. This makes me always feel helpful for my community and other communities where my team and I have worked. One moment that stands out was when we came across a community in Abuja called - Gosa Kpayin Kpayin.

The WASH situation there was pathetic, people and animals drink water from one end of the river and they both poo in the same river. Community members were taking ill, children were dying and they all seemed totally helpless.

Witnessing this in Nigeria, a few metres from the International Airport and along the road leading into the seat of power, this struck me and we eventually worked with one of our partners to provide a functional free-to-use borehole, which now provides them clean wash to drink and use.

What values do you consider important for your NGO?

Partnership and transparency are the core values of our organization at Media for Community Change (MFCC).

Without partnership we won’t be able to make the desired impact and without transparency we would struggle for people to trust us or believe the work that we do.

Since only focus is to tell stories and amplify voices of the people at the grassroots, we strongly bank on partnerships with other organizations - both private, government and NGOs to proffer sustainable solutions to looming challenges of these communities.

What are you working on right now?

COVID19 has hindered most of our on-the-field activities. Nonetheless, our locally generated data-based tech solution, Data4WASH will be launched soon.

We recently published a magazine, NGO Magazine that spotlighted the amazing work of NGOs - with a balance on gender, region and age. It is one of our most exciting landmarks recently and can’t wait to launch it too. In a few weeks time, we will be hosting a training session where we will be teaching local NGO to maximize the media during COVID19.

Get involved:

Your help will enable MFCC to continue them work amplifying the voices of the people most at risk, in Nigeria

Why did you choose Uyolo?

Uyolo’s values align with ours at MFCC, this made the decision very easy for us.

Personally, understanding the personal experiences of the Co-founders that has continued to form the bedrock of Uyolo’s operation made it an experience to look forward to.

So far, we are pleased and thankful for the support received so far and continued efforts to join forces to achieve development that shapes people and planet.

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