Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has received foremost female drummer, Aralola Olamuyiwa, popularly known as Ara and beneficiaries of the social intervention programme “Eko Inspire Me” project at the Lagos House, Alausa Ikeja.
Ara is the team lead of Eko Inspire me, a project currently rehabilitating over ten thousand street urchins, picked up from around Lagos and rebranded as Street Kings and Street Queens under the project.
Governor Sanwo-Olu who has funded the project massively also announced the provision of equipment for one hundred of the Street Kings and Queens who will be acquiring vocational skills in the course of their rehabilitation.
The Governor urged the beneficiaries of the Eko Inspire me project not to give up on their dreams, cooperate with the facilitators so that they would become useful members of the society.
“The Eko Inspire Me project being championed by Ara has been making our work a lot easier. This is the effort of someone which God has led to change many people’s stories to positive ones. The minimum we can do as a Government is to lend our support and make life better for the victims. Through this initiative, we have connected with a community of homeless individuals aimlessly roaming the streets.
“Lagos has inspired so many people and elevated them to great positions from their humble beginning on the streets. As victims of social isolation, your stories must not be different. Ara is using her voice and wisdom through this initiative to help you and turn your situation around for good. The least that is required of you is to show your commitment to this effort, which is targeted at changing your situation.” he said
Sharing how she got the vision for the initiative ten years ago from her experience with street urchins at Oshodi, the renowned drummer, Ara, thanked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for supporting the project.
Ara, who could not hold back her tears over the massive support of the project by Governor Sanwo-Olu, announced that many of the beneficiaries would be mentored in sports, arts and entertainment after passing through an auditioning, while those who are interested in skill acquisition would also be encouraged in their chosen fields.
She said: “A lot of homeless children on the streets are not born in such conditions. They are individuals who found themselves homeless because of issues beyond them. We are using this project to lead them back home as responsible members of the society.It takes a caring father to understand and help these children grow out of their mistakes.”
She revealed that former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is already mentoring some of the beneficiaries and had given scholarship to the youngest of them who indicated interest in schooling.According to Ara, Eko Inspire Me will definitely bring real change to real lives