Growing up, I watched my mother being nice and courteous to everyone; from the neighbour to the trader and to the beggars at the traffic stops. Many years down the line, I am volunteering after classes and spending part of the summer holidays in rural locations to work on development projects. I cannot say for certain that these were the beginnings of lofelofe.com; but till date, it’s still touching to see the impact that a simple expression of care can have. People showing that they care is a culmination of my experiences and this has purposefully led me here, to lofelofe.com
Lofelofe.com is simply a place that allows anyone, in their own way, to give back and still have a significant impact in the lives of other people. It is not always about money. You can give your time, share a skill, share a ride, and give away items that you no longer use. There are unlimited options and it is always easier when everyone plays different, tiny parts. At lofelofe.com, we say, “give and receive for free” because the hands that give also receive.
Lofelofe.com has executed a few community projects in Nigeria – The Food Kitchen Event and Paint the City project. These projects help to foster a community spirit, encouraging others to care; but also our community projects show that citizens can make the difference they will like to see. This is possible because our little resources and efforts combined make a bigger impact that any one individual, organization or government could. What is needed is the will power and an easy avenue for anyone to join the pool and be a part of making a positive difference.
This year on the 24th of September 2016, we are hosting the second edition of the Food Kitchen Event at the Archbishop Aggey Memorial in Mushin. Last year, the same event was hosted in the Agege area with more than 2,400 beneficiaries. This year, we are in Mushin where beneficiaries are registered, attended to by medical doctors for free, medicines are provided for free if needed. Beneficiaries also receive gift items; then a full meal for the day with counsellors available for them to discuss their burden. It is about serving the community for the day, showing concern for their wellbeing, sharing the love that we have inside of us and showing compassion.
If we are any better than the man living on the streets, than the mother struggling to feed her children, than the child who is grooming a life of crime for his livelihood; then we, who are in the right, who are relatively better off should restore them gently and carry each other’s burden. I encourage everyone not to be weary of doing good especially now.
By 2017, we will be following on some of the beneficiaries and empowering them even further, so that they can start making an economic contribution to their communities and multiplying the effect. So far, we have captured the Agege, Oshodi and now Mushin areas. In the future, we will be including other states in Nigeria and other locations on the continent.
Lagos has been described as a city of slums because it is seen as an unplanned city of chaos. The lack of environmental care plus continued lawlessness and a bad maintenance culture perpetuates this belief. The growing infrastructure gap between old Lagos and new Lagos has continued unabated. Former glory areas like Yaba now look abandoned and have become breeding grounds for slums whilst the state government’s attention remains on developing newer areas. This is why the Oshodi market area is getting a facelift for free at the ‘paint the city’ project, organized by Lofelofe.com
Lofelofe.com is a social enterprise that facilitates the distribution of give-away items. Sourcing and redistribution is at the core of what lofelofe.com does as well as organizing community projects. Last year, lofelofe organized a food kitchen event where more than 2400 people received free meals and basic medical care. With paint the city, the organization is inspiring a future of colorful, liveable and vibrant communities in Lagos.
Learning from the Broken Windows Theory, an unkempt environment can be a catalyst for an atmosphere that breeds crime and disorderly conduct. Paint the City hopes to create a spiraling effect that will turn a shunned environment to a place where community members can begin to take pride and ownership of where they live and continue to improve their living conditions.
“Oshodi is the first stop for many areas yet to be transformed” says Nike Alao, one of the organizers of the event. Oshodi is also significant as it is a gateway and entrance path into Lagos and even Nigeria. “Many of the international travelers coming into Nigeria through Lagos pass the Oshodi bridge to continue to their destinations. It is as such important, that this area is properly managed to present a positive light/image about the country”, she adds.
The paint the city project starts from the 5th of April to 21th April, painting the building facades from Bolade bustop, around the Oshodi market to Ireti Oluwa street; covering about 60 building structures. Other activities will include tree planting performed by volunteers. Already lofelofe.com has received over 100 buckets of paint for free from Triton International and will be receiving the other supplies needed for the project in a similar benevolent manner from citizens.
Lofelofe.com and its free community projects (Food Kitchen, Paint the City) show the potential of people-led projects and what citizens can do on their own to make the changes they will like to see.
Visit Lofelofe to find out how you can be a part of this campaign and make Nigeria a better place.