Bunmi is a young confident girl – who is a goal getter. Bunmi walked up to one of our volunteers and stated her desire to be a part of our Dream Catchers Academy program. She explained to us how her father has been absent and her mother struggles to feed herself and her younger ones. At the time, her mother was unable to provide her proper education.
We followed Bunmi to see her mother, and in tears she told us how much she she needed support raising her children. She wanted the best for them – and was very hopeful we’d enrol Bunmi. We agreed to do a trial version for Bunmi – and although she was struggling a lot with keeping up in school – Bunmi was very dedicated and soon enough – she started to do better. She began to grasp her school work and showed exceptional talent in acting and dancing. During one of our very first usic classes – Bunmi was given a singing part and she blew everyone’s mind away with her unique voice. Bunmi has bagged her first acting role in a feature film gig and is letting nothing stop her.
She looks up to Viola Davis – and did a remake of Viola Davis’ monlogue in Fences. This exceptional display of talent earned her a repost on Viola Davis’ page. You can watch that video here
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Bunmi wants to attend Julliard just like Viola Davis – we are championing her on – and transforming her life through quality formal education, arts education, a healthy home, welfare and all that she needs to succeed.
Seun was heading out to play with her sisters when she saw a group of people crying and her mum right in the middle. This is how she found out her dad was dead. He had gone to work,
promised to be back with some gifts and never returned. Seun’s life changed forever. Her
mother who was out of a job at the time had no way of taking care of four little children. At 4 years old, Seun had to drop out of school and started to live with anyone who would offer her food. Seun was 5 years old when we heard her story at Dream Catchers Academy. At this time, she’d pick food from the floor and trash cans to eat. One week after Seun joined the program, she was seen holding a coconut piece. We found out she had picked this from the floor to eat. Not because there is no food but because old habits die hard. We began to provide psycho-social support for her as we enrolled her in school. Seun struggled a lot with following instructions and coping in school. Writing was a big challenge – however as years went by Seun got better. Seun is still in the Dream Catchers Academy program and currently in her last year in primary school. Seun lights up when dancing and is a great leader. She loves to handle responsibilities and is very outspoken. Seun has a family at Dream Catchers Academy and lives at the Academy with her sisters. We are so proud of Seun.
Taiwo and Kehinde are twin sisters with the most beautiful smile and bond. The twin girls lived in a wooden house in the Ebute slum with their single mother who struggled to feed and care for them. The house the twins shared with their mother caught fire and the girls were left homeless and very susceptible to Abuse and GBV. During our community assessment, we met one of the twins and spoke to her. Few minutes later, we saw someone who looked exactly like the young girl we spoke to. And this is how we realized they were twins. We were able to meet their mother who showed us around the community and where their house used to sit. She explained the struggles of caring for them and being unable to enroll them in school. The twins immediately fell into our target audience. We carried out all important tests and enrolled the girls at the academy. Taiwo and Kehinde now have a home to live with us at Dream Catchers Academy. They are protected And have the opportunity to grow and live a normal life like every child deserves.
They are currently in Year 1 and while they struggle with English, they are mathematical champions. Taiwo is always there to help Kehinde when she struggles. Taiwo sings and
dances beautifully and is learning in her music class. Kehinde loves to act, and is learning in
her drama classes.
When we first met Tayo, it was through word of mouth. We had been doing a community assessment when a volunteer who lives in her community told us she would benefit from our program. We tried to meet Tayo to learn more – but could only meet her mother. Tayo at that point was ill. We mobilized her hospital bills and began to learn that she was a 9 year old who had never been to school but would walk around the community – asking adults to teach her to learn. We also heard about the acting and stunt skills she’d display in the community – which often got her in trouble with her stepfather.
We knew almost immediately that Tayo was the one for our academy. Constantly walking around the community in search of learning opportunities posed a big risk to her as a young girl.
We however worried about Tayo’s health as it seemed she was always falling ill – we assumed that she was a sickle cell kid and at that time, we had no resources to manage girls with this genotype.
Notwithstanding, we went ahead to do our enrollment tests for Tayo and at her medical check – we found out she had the Genotype AA. Medical reports showed that her constant illness was due to the environment she lived in.
We immediately swooped into action and had Tayo enrolled into the Dream Catchers Program. She started in class Nursery two.
Tayo showed so much resilience and commitment in her school that she was moved to Year 1 in the space of three months. And in the space of another year and 9 months, she was moved to year 3.
Tayo remains the top in her class academically and is a natural at acting. Having suffered abuse and neglect, Tayo’s self esteem is still on the low and we are constantly working with her – to gain her confidence and to celebrate the star and uniqueness of Tayo.
The first time we met Alimot was at our community assessment in ebute of Ebute Metta – a popular slum in Lagos State. The first that caught our eye about Alimot was the fact that she was in the arms of an older man who kept on calling her ‘my wife’ – that was a red flag for us and immediately Maama Seyi intervened and took her away from his arms. Together with the team, she proceeded to follow Alimot to find her mother. They lived in a shack; and her mother told us that none of her children attended school – Alimot was tasked with caring for her younger ones while others went to school. We explained the program we offer at Dream Catchers Academy and her mother, reluctant at first, agreed for her to be enrolled in the program.
At the last minute – Alimot’s mother came up with excuses – however, our team explained why Alimot needed an education. She could be the first educated child in her family. Her mother liked the sound of this and was glad to let Alimot get enrolled.
Alimot is 9 years old but has no history of ever been in the classroom so we have been teaching her from the scratch. Alimot who was originally shy to speak the English language is now communicating.
She can be seen hiding out of fear – but is now coming out of her shell. Alimot is enjoying time at the new home where she is safe and has sisters to play with. She loves to spend time with the rabbits in the farm and loves to dance.
We are very excited about Alimot’s future and we hope you are excited with us too. You can watch Alimot’s story here.
In the Yoruba Language in Nigeria – Imoleayo means Light of Joy. This name is very apt for Imole. Imole comes from a family of 7 – and they would all sleep in a tiny room and then get up the next day to roam the street.
Our Founder Ms. Seyi Oluyole took a liking for Imole – as she’d see her sitting on the side of the road when other children would be in school. Ms. Oluyole struck up a conversation with her and found out that only one child in Imole’s family went to school and he was a boy. She was constantly sad that her brother was chosen to go to school instead of one of the girls. Imole would roam the streets with her baby brother – hoping to get some food and help. She would be so scared to go home at night – as they would also get beaten by her father for making the most little mistake. The joy Imole exuded even while going through a tough time caught out eye. At age 5, she was enrolled into the Dream Catchers Academy program in 2015. Imole was exposed to neglect, abuse and is a survivor of GBV. However, having been enrolled in our program, she has grown. Imole does exceptionally well in visual arts and loves to draw. Imole was exposed to neglect, abuse and is a survivor of GBV, Imole still struggles with esteem issues – and is getting better and growing.
Imole loves to draw and is constantly referred to as the Academy’s clown. Like her name – Light of Joy ‘Imoleayo’ – Imole brings so much Light and Joy into our lives and the lives of her sisters in the academy.
‘Is it that we girls are not destined to go to school’ – That’s what Dami would think when she saw hwe male cousins go to school while she had to stay home with her grandma – doing house chores. Dami became an orphan at the age of 7 and was left to live with her grandmother. She had no access to education even though she desired it so much. To feed, Dami would either steal or beg on the road just to survive. Dami was 9 years old when we heard her story at Dream Catchers Academy. She was malnourished and had to be put on blood tonic for weeks – for her to regain nutrients. Dami loves to write and wants to grow up to be an author. She is brilliant – so much so that she skipped a class in primary school and continues to top her class. She is currently in high school and is studying very hard to be the first girl in her family to attend the university.
Support these kids with your money and put a smile and some clothes on the kids.