Buzzing with a powerful and uncompromising energy, the social enterprise, Jakin NGO is a place that has become home to many who don’t have much that they can proudly call their own. Bearing at its core a commitment to improve the everyday lives of society’s most vulnerable, Jakin serves as space for transformation; it serves as a training ground. It is a place where hope meets education; where dreams meet technology. Jakin is for many, a temporal refuge away from home.
Olubukola “Bukky” Adebiyi, the President and CEO of Jakin, fully embodies Jakin’s commitment to serving humanity. Her service and commitment to change are championed through her passion and optimistic ambition to see Jakin serve even more people. Bukky is fully hands on as she not only obliges to her role as CEO but trains, serves food, greets, advices and lives the passion for her calling each and every single day.
How would you describe what you do?
As is described in our mission statement, I work with vulnerable groups to overcome health, economic and educational hardships. Our group targets are by majority orphans and vulnerable children, women —mostly widows, people living with HIV, people living in slums and hard to reach areas, particularly youth.
What inspired you to get involved in this particular field of work?
It’s my passion to put smiles on faces. By the grace of God, I realized that the “less privileged are simply those who lack the privileges of the privileged.”
The solution to poverty is to bridge the gap by creating a conducive, secure and encouraging platform for the “privileged” to share their resources with the “less privileged”.
What do you think has been your greatest contribution to your work?
My life and my time!
Your work can be challenging considering the fact that you are dealing with the vulnerabilities of people’s lives, what keeps you motivated?
It’s the joy that breaks forth in the life, faces, and households of the beneficiaries that keep me motivated. Once they receive any form of assistance, they seem to light up with some immeasurable hope that tomorrow will be better.
Thereafter, they seem to have a new drive to survive, despite all the odds. Most of the time you can hear them thanking God for remembering them for good.
Can you please share with us a great story of success?
Jakin has been in operation for 13 years, and yet we have never held a single fundraiser or partners forum. Nevertheless, we have over a thousand individuals, corporate and faith-based partners here at home (Lagos, Nigeria) and abroad that help keep us operational.
All our projects till date always record outstanding success. We have over 6,000 orphans and vulnerable children, and over 2,000 vulnerable families including youth, widows, and people living with HIV, that are receiving support from 17 different projects that we have.
How do you ensure that you maintain a level of commitment and integrity from your employees and the individuals that you supervise throughout the whole year?
Consistency with our organizational values of transparency, integrity, humility, passion and the fear of God make that easy.
I make my adherence to these values the first example that others follow.The less privileged simply lack the privileges of the privileged. - Olubukola Adebiyi Click To Tweet
In your line of work, what are some of the things that you do to begin the year well?
I make sure I personally start my year annually with rededicating my life to God and seeking His direction for the year by fasting and praying for the most of January. We normally have staff prayer meeting on the first work day of the year before commencing with general meetings, reviews of the last year, and other activities.
Our annual training happens in that first week as work plans are completed by each department, in line with the organization’s yearly budget. Most implementation commences skeletally in January while the majority kicks off in February.
How do you ensure that all your departments are working in line with the goals that you set forth as an organization?
The organization is well structured. We have an organogram headed by a six-member Board of Directors that meet regularly.
The office is also run by a management team comprising of all departmental heads who ensure that all members of staff are working in line with organizational goals and objectives.
What word of advice would you have for a young woman wanting to do what you do?
Have a clear vision of your passion. Be completely focused and committed to it against all odds.
Start small, be transparent and always give feedback to your partners. Encourage your helpers and supporters. Above all, walk closely with God.Start small, be transparent and always give feedback to your partners - Olubukola Adebiyi Click To Tweet
What is the best part about being a boss lady and owning that power of freedom?
It teaches you humility and fear of God. You can’t afford to abuse power because it’s a privilege.
How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?
I spend the bulk of my work life serving humanity so I make sure all my spare time is spent with my husband and children. Also, I enjoy being at home with my loved ones. I am blessed with the support of my husband.
How do you de-stress and/or unwind from a long day of work?
I watch TV, cook, dance to gospel songs and enjoy my time with lovely kids. I go out once in a while.
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