A week after graduating from his MBA programme, Ayo Ajayi, has helped to establish an innovative new charity which will see books from Aston’s library shipped to books-deprived universities throughout Nigeria.
The inception of the Michael Andrew Olorunfemi Foundation was prompted by Ayo as a way of providing better educational opportunities for young people in Nigeria. The charity will ship its first batch of books to the country this month (May). Between 200 and 1000 books will be donated in the first shipment with at least a further five shipments planned in the next twelve months. The books will focus on subjects offered by the University including Business & Management, Engineering, Modern Languages, Teaching, Life & Health Sciences, Social Sciences, IT, Teaching and English language.
Ayo Ajayi said: 'I was inspired by the massive opportunities that I benefitted from during my time at Aston Business School and, before I left to go back to Nigeria, decided I needed to develop a programme which would enable me to give back to the community I come from.
'Education is crucial for development, but with the limited investment in education in Nigeria, this seems to be a perfect way of making a difference and contributing towards empowering people, particularly youth.
'This kind of collaborative project will significantly compliment to improve the standard of education in Nigeria, build capacity and will hopefully meet the aspiration of the Nigerian students for access to up-to-date and relevant educational material.'
Ayo’s charitable activities have been supported by Chief Olorunfemi – a senior business official in Nigeria and a close relative of Ayo’s. Since completing his MBA, Ayo has returned to his home in Lagos, Nigeria to pursue a career in business consultancy. Co-ordination of the Michael Andrew Olorunfemi Foundation activities from the UK will be continued by current MBA students Wale Adigun, Ayoola Adeola and Fatima Jika. The Foundation will also be supported in Nigeria by Aston Business School Alumni Nigeria chapter led by Tochukwu Kemakolam.
Words by Dhiren Katwa