Adepeju Olukokun is one Nigerian with a heart of gold. He is an average Nigerian who believes that “you do not have to have much… before you can extend a hand of goodness to others”. Rather, he believes that goodwill that comes from the largess of one’s heart goes a long way.
Growing up without a silver spoon in a polygamous home, Adepeju tasted the rims of poverty and hunger. He had to hawk on the streets for fifteen years and experienced the dark side of life growing up. This experience stirred up in him a passion – to feed the hungry.
As it is with every dream, execution meant everything. For Olukokun, the opportunity finally came for him five years ago when he thought it would be a great idea to serve food to people who could not afford it on his birthday. He got the support of his friends, Adetona Demola, Okegbemi Olusoji, and Lawal Titi. This trio eventually made up his team after the foundation was registered and officially commenced operation in January 2016.
Kokun Foundation – that is, the name of Adepeju’s foundation – cooks and distributes food on a daily basis to the destitute and homeless in the society. The foundation, whose operations were funded from the pockets of its founder and team members, is now being funded by voluntary donations from well-meaning Nigerians and organizations.
The foundation does not just provide food; it also gives money to widowers at least once every week. People with viable business ideas are not left out of this philanthropic act too; they get “business grants” once the foundation can verify the feasibility of that business. Lagos State ‘street workers’ (i.e. LAWMA workers, Mobile Policemen, Traffic wardens, and Lagos State ‘highway managers’) have also benefitted from this charitable act.
Olukokun’s mission is simple: to feed the hungry and to eradicate poverty.
The founder and his team have received a True Heroes award following the expansion of their project to IDP camps and prisons.
Feature Image: Pulse.ng
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This article was first published on 3rd August 2018