Brilliant students from less privileged backgrounds are set to benefit from a scholarship programme launched today by leading Pan African organization, Paradigm Initiative (PIN).
As a way of giving back to the Ajegunle community and recognising notable individuals who have played vital roles in PIN’s early beginning in Ajegunle, the organization has established the Ajegunle Legacy Scholarship, aptly named after the area to support resident youth/students in securing university education in technology courses such as Information Technology (IT), Software Development and Computer Engineering, among others.
The Project has two arms. The prize arm and the scholarship arm. The prize arm will support two young persons (one male and one female) from low-income families resident in Ajegunle to acquire university education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) or Law annually.
This prize is named after the late Taiwo Bankole Ogunyemi, one of the foremost volunteers at PIN’s Life Program (now known as LIFE Legacy Program). This award is aimed at immortalising the late Ogunyemi’s name for the role he played in improving the lives of young people across Nigeria, especially in Ajegunle.
The scholarship arm on the other hand will also support two young persons (one male and one female) from low-income families residing in Ajegunle to get advanced software development training annually.
Paradigm Initiative, which has for more than 15 years been connecting young under-served Africans with digital opportunities and ensuring protection of their rights online started operations in the area in 2007 in a tiny cybercafé known as Stadnet before expanding its footprints across Africa.
The organization, which advocates for digital rights and inclusion on the continent has offices in Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Zambia, Zimbabwe, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Kenya from where it coordinates its operations across Central, East, Southern and West Africa and beyond.
Through the organization’s flagship LIFE Program alone, PIN has impacted the lives of more than 6,700 under-served African youth with improved livelihoods through digital opportunities and protection of their online rights.
Speaking during the launch of the programme in Ajegunle, Mr. ‘Gbenga Sesan, the organization’s Executive Director said: “We named the prize arm of the project after the late Taiwo Bankole Ogunyemi, who was one of the foremost volunteers to our work in Ajegunle in recognition of the sacrifices he made towards ensuring that young people living in underserved communities like Ajegunle had access to skills and opportunities that would enable them to improve their lot.”
On her part, Nnenna Paul-Ugochukwu, the organization’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Through this two-armed project, PIN will be awarding a prize to two young persons resident in Ajegunle (one male and one female) covering four years of university education to study any course in STEM and Law in any Public University in Nigeria and a scholarship to another two young persons (one male and one female) to pursue training in advance software development.”
The family of the late Ogunyemi welcomed the utilization of the late Taiwo’s name for the Prize arm adding that they are convinced that doing so after the late Taiwo is a good way to immortalise him.
“Thank you for the faith and the thoughts put into considering his name worthy of this cause,” the family stated.
The LIFE Legacy Program is a capacity-building initiative designed to improve the lives of under-served youth in host communities. LIFE is an acronym that stands for Life Skills, ICTs, Financial Readiness, and Entrepreneurship. The program targets youth who do not have the financial capacity to acquire relevant Information Communication Technology (ICT), Entrepreneurial and Life skills that can make them compete in the workplace.
Paradigm Initiative (PIN) builds ICT-enabled support systems and advocates for digital rights in order to improve the livelihoods of under-served young Africans. The organization has worked in communities in Nigeria since 2007 and across Africa since 2017, building experience, community trust, and an organizational culture that positions it as a leading social enterprise in ICT for Development and Digital Rights on the continent.