Donation of books to schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria.
Director of Youth & Special Education Development (Nigeria)
Olayinka is the Director of Youth Educational Development & Special Education for Exceptional Learners for Jewels of Africa Foundations in Nigeria.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Teachers Education & Economics from the premier University of Ibadan Nigeria.
She champions and provides oversight for Youth Development Education programs in Nigeria and has vast experience working with young people. Yinka is passionate about nurturing youths through their education development and empowering them with resources and skills to fulfil their potential through Jewels of Africa Foundations year-round enrichment and mentoring programs.
Advisory Board & Dream Maker
Lara Dasilva is a Workers Compensation Specialist based in San Francisco California. A Nigerian Diaspora and a ‘No Child Left Behind’ education advocate.
Jewels of Africa Foundations is one of her advocacy channels for supporting functional education as a fundamental right of every child in Sub-Sahara Africa and not a privilege.
Bola Kelani earned her BSc, MSN in Nursing. She is currently a retired RN, Nurse practitioner, after working for Alameda County Medical Center for over 35 years. She is also the Broker, and the owner of Kelani Realty. She is an advocate for the educational development of the youths.
Susan Sodipo has over 30 years of experience in the social work field. She currently serves as the Director of Client Services for a non profit organization that serves over 20,000 individuals.
She understands the need for greater educational opportunities for all children and youth, recognizing that nurturing the mind and providing skill development ultimately yields a more productive society as a whole.
Local Initiative Planner
Tunde Adeoye came on board as a result of his sympathy toward the economically disadvantaged, imaginative in creating scenarios for social change and commitment to community development. He had an 18 – year stint banking career before fully joining the family business. He had his first degree in Management from University of Sunderland, UK, MBA from LAUTECH and just completed a Masters Degree in Sustainable Development from University of Ibadan. His research on rural finance and entrepreneurship has taken him to rural areas in Nigeria and Ghana.
Director of Education Initiatives
Mercy Folowosele is the Head of Academic Program for the Jewels of Africa Foundations. She is currently the Head of Humanities at Olashore International School in Iloko (Osun State, Nigeria) where she plays a pivotal role in developing the Leadership Programme initiatives that are aimed at helping the students to identify a need in their immediate Iloko local community, raise funds and meet these needs.
She believes in the dignity and worth of every child as well as the creation of equal opportunity for all. She is passionate about education and she is an advocate of quality education for all regardless of race, ethnic origin, religious affiliation or social status. Mercy received her Bachelor’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the prestigious Babcock University.
Executive Board Director
(Retired General Manager for Policy, Government and Public Affairs at Chevron Nigeria)
Prince Deji Haastrup serves as an Executive Director of Jewels of Africa Foundations (Africa Chapter). He recently retired as the General Manager for Policy, Government and Public Affairs at Chevron Nigeria, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, USA. In his private life and career, he is committed to the youth and under-served in society. Over the years, his company has supported many educational and health programs, especially in rural communities. He was himself recently recognized by the Sigma Club of Ibadan University for his numerous “contribution to personal, corporate and institutional philanthropy…” Jewels of Africa Foundations is another avenue through which he seeks to further human development.
(Data Architect – Aviation & Financial Services)
Kemi Mackenzie-Gureje serves as an Executive Director of Jewels of Africa Foundations (Africa Chapter). She was born and raised in Nigeria by parents who instilled the value of education into her, early in life. She received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Ife in Nigeria before emigrating to the United Kingdom three decades, ago.
She is eternally grateful, foremost to God and to her parents for equipping her with high quality education that has opened doors for her in a foreign country. Kemi has an inconcealable and infectious passion for education. She testifies to the power and benefit of education as her defence through the dark moments of her life.
Fundraising & Treasury
Shola Oderinde serves as an Executive Director of Jewels of Africa Foundations (Africa Chapter). He is a Software Architect in the Silicon Valley area of California (USA). Shola was born in the United Kingdom but raised in Nigeria. Having been a direct beneficiary of community mentoring in his early years growing up in Nigeria, Shola feels it is a natural calling for him to reciprocate the same mentoring and guidance that he once received growing up in Nigeria.
Shola is passionate about going back to his root to give back to the underprivileged youths. As a change agent, Shola has an unyielding passion to empower youth through education. Additionally, he is involved in various community programs for youth empowerment and big brother mentor-mentee programs within his local church.
Babatunde Ojo hails from Nigeria and currently resides in United States of America. He is a medical doctor and the president of Alpha Medical Center, A primary care facility in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
His primary passion is youth development and Nation Building.
Magdaline Amanda Nkechi Anyafulu: RN, CNS, MPA, MSN, DNP(c) is a widowed mother of five wonderful children. She has four plus decades of career experiences spanning banking, accounting and nursing. She is a woman of faith and a strong advocate of social justice, gender equity and human rights and dignity. She strongly believes that educating the girl child is key to alleviate poverty in Nigeria.
President/Chief Executive Director
(Founder, DatOculi LLC)
Lara Gureje-Oderinde is the President and Executive Director of Jewels of Africa Foundations Inc. She was born and raised in Nigeria. She attended public elementary and high school in Nigeria before travelling to the United Kingdom for her Undergraduate and Post Graduate studies. Lara is an author and a renowned data governance and regulatory risk expert in the financial industry. She is currently the Founder & CEO of Datoculi LLC, a Data Governance and Stewardship Management Consultancy firm with offices in both San Francisco, CA USA and London, United Kingdom.
Having left the country over three decades ago, she is disheartened by the change and decay in the educational system in Nigeria. Growing up in Nigeria, Lara’s educational journey was made so much easier and interesting by the immense financial support from churches, missionaries and philanthropists that was made available to public schools. The current situation of the educational system in Nigeria is a far cry from what it used to be. She understands firsthand that youths from the rural regions of Nigeria are being disenfranchised as they have no means of accessing quality education. Consequently, the opportunity to use education as a platform to change their families’ storylines and transform their own lives is very slim. Not one to sit on the sidelines and lament the decline in the educational system in the country, Lara decided to do something about it and be part of the solution to restore the educational system to what it should be.
Engaging with her alma mater, St. Margaret’s School in Ilesa (Nigeria), she kick-started a multi-pronged strategy to augment teaching and learning experience with after school programs, books and teaching aid supplies. The vision for Jewels of Africa Foundations Inc. was birthed as an offshoot of these initiatives. Lara’s passion for youth empowerment is organic. Without doubt, it is her calling to make a difference in the lives of many children in Sub Saharan Africa. Lara is unwavering in her passion and commitment to raising up a new generation of African leaders. She continues to plug in and forge alliance and partnership with individuals and organizations with similar passion, with the goal of reviving the continent by impacting its present youth and the next generation.