LBS alumnus and manufacturer of the popular Unity Girl range of dolls, Paul Orajiaka (AMP 20, EMBA 14B), has revamped a rundown school in Ikorodu, the first in a long line of CSR initiatives of this nature which will cut across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
Sited at Agunfoye in Ikorodu, Lagos, Salvation Army Nursery and Primary School was dilapidated for years with rundown classrooms, leaky roofs and flaky wall paints. Orajiaka singled out the school not only to give it a facelift, but also to contribute his quota to the quality of education that pupils will enjoy on its grounds.
“Our next project is in the north; from there we’ll move to the other geopolitical zones of the country,” he disclosed. “All the process demands is that we notify the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) about the idea and then we’ll get the go-ahead to proceed.”
In driving the project, Orajiaka turned to unconventional sources. He employed the services of Muri Olaniyi, 21, a street urchin without professional construction skills, in a bid to keep him profitably engaged: “Most street urchins have skills, but probably don’t have the opportunity to use these skills because they are branded as touts. But if you draw them close, you’ll discover they are actually very wonderful human beings. Muri is a family man I’ve learnt a lot from personally. He made this project a reality with a team he put together.”
Orajiaka has recorded many success stories in a short while, but he attributes his achievements to the values he learnt while at LBS, where he participated in the Advanced Management Programme (AMP 20) and Executive MBA, respectively. “To a large extent, most of our values are in line with the LBS doctrine. This project is about preparing ourselves for the tomorrow we envisage. I’m Igbo, but I didn’t start this renovation drive in my village. It is an effort to sell the unity doctrine to children and the wider public.”
Business-wise, the 37-year-old entrepreneur is breaking new ground. He is in the process of manufacturing a fresh set of dolls that will go beyond Nigeria to embrace the whole of Africa. “This range of dolls will be called Unity Girl Africa. We’ve gotten a lot of acceptance in the Nigerian market, so we’re designing another set that will cut across the whole of Africa. We’ve already gotten the license for that from a big supermarket chain with branches across the continent,” he disclosed.
The packaged dolls, which will likely be launched next year, will spur the public to action with fliers detailing Auldon Limited’s CSR initiative which is tilted towards giving rundown schools a new look.