07 July 2010


A number of peole have asked? Who is the Project Director or Cares Global Network?

On her Facebook page you'd read: A global citizen, a writer, a media specialist whose passion is evident in the projects she undertakes. A philosopher who draws strength from the throne of grace. Omolola is editor of Willows, project director for CGN and host of Divine Connection.

The CGN PD is Omolola Anne Famuyiwa who is also the publisher of Willows Magazine but who usually introduce herself simply as Editor, Willows Magazine.

She is a real Nigerian Diamond. Precious and shinning with glitters sent into the lives of Nigerians, home and abroad. She has impacted and doggedly continues to impact lives beyond the shores of Nigeria.

She is a woman of high integrity and strength of character. From when she was a child who took up the responsibility of taking other children to school, to when she served in Niger state as a corps member to this very moment, she has not relented in her resolve to put smiles on the faces of people especially young people.
It would take more than a few pages to explore her personality but below is evidence of why Omolola Abike Anne Famuyiwa is a real Nigeria Diamond.

1. She was responsible for producing/presenting various programmes for which funds were seldom disbursed. She personally funded a number of productions to ensure that children have fresh programmes weekly and to have an opportunity to build her skills while working with DBN Television and Super Screen Television. To effectively produce programmes which are child-oriented and to achieve International Children’s Day of Broadcasting’s objective of giving children a voice, she trained young people for the UNICEF grant-funded project. She encouraged FRCN and SSTV/UBS to employ 3 of those trained as freelance presenters and to pay stipend as a way of encouraging them to build the talent. Publishing a magazine for profit and distributing 50% to young people free of charge is another way she has gone the extra mile to meet the needs of young people. The magazine has continued to impact the lives of young people. See Willows Online to read some articles from the magazine.

2. She was part of the inauguaral committee that established the African Children Broadcasting Network (ACBN) a nd served as ACBN's first PRO before going on to become Programme Officer. During her service, she was part of the team that worked with the Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) to create the Children's parliamnet, a group that gained audience to discuss issues relating to child rights with the Nigerian Presidents and Senate. She also worked with a team to lobby for the signing into law and ratification of the Child Rights Act by the Federal and State Governments. She has attended a number of conferences including the triennial World Summit on Media for Children. She has been part of a number of advocacy projects for children by NGOs and the Private Sector including UNICEF and Zenith Bank. She is a well sort after motivational speaker.

3. She carried out a number of projects and activities personally and later under the auspices of Cares Global Network/Willows Magazine which she established. Though meant for profit her good naturedness saw her using both initiatives for charity; raising funds through corporate partners, friends, adverts and well meaning Nigerians. The magazine ploughs back profit made from the goodwill of advertisers and sponsors into CGN/WM projects. These projects which impact people locally and globally include paying school fees or giving support allowance to indigent students in communities she finds herself, counselling people including “area boys”, tutoring students to excel and teaching media skills to aid pre-production, programme production and post production of radio and television programmes. See some of the activities at http://caresglobal.wordpress.com.

4. She acted as a true Nigeria ambassador by disabusing the minds of many abroad about Nigeria. In addition to her OVIC projects which saw her visiting schools, teaching crafts, speaking with students and facilitating cultural enrichment sessions, she carried out a number of image building projects which include Celebrate Nigeria and HAT (see below). She made it her duty to write rejoinders which were often published in response to negative publicity about Nigeria in local newspapers. She was also part of the group that carried out the Community Ties Initiatives project aimed at building better neighbours. See OU Journal to read few of the rejoinders and see few of the projects.

5. Through her assistantship role as cultural consultant with the Ohio Valley International Council (OVIC), she increased the participation of international students in outreaches and built a network of cultural consultants. She tapped the cultural resources available in international students and offered human and material resources to help teachers and students increase their knowledge and understanding of diverse cultures and global issues. She produced multimedia presentation which is still being used to promote OVIC.

6. Her capstone project towards earning a master degree in international affairs was a radio programme (aired on WOUB) that brought together those who had previously worked with OVIC as consultants to share ideas. The programme which aired through 2007 is still accessible online. The programme went a long way to break down barriers and build cultural bridges where none existed. In working with the consultants, she learned more about cultures and became more sensitive when working in teams especially heterogeneous ones.

7. As the communication & development representative to the Graduate Student Senate, she played an active role in policymaking as it affects graduate students and education at OU. She went beyond her responsibilities to help with accommodation, settling into academic life, providing guidance on classes etc. Due to the fact that she carried graduate students along, they were willing to discuss academic and personal issues with her which she took steps to address. Sharing her knowledge and ideas was of tremendous benefit not only to them but to her as they opened up and willingly reciprocated the gesture. This helped to create an unprecedented bond within the department.

8. She has worked within teams where members are jointly accountable. In working with teams which include UNICEF, OVCF, ACBN, she has adopted the culture of appreciation; appreciating team members has had the effect of team building, cooperation and trust. A major part of her three-part project for the award of master degree in cultural studies is a ten-week expedition in partnership with a middle school in the USA. She served as a participant-observer researcher. Interacting within a group of people (made up of students, teachers, graduates, undergraduates, faculties and school administrators) from diverse cultural, economic, academic and social background greatly enhanced her ability to work effectively within teams.

The search for job satisfaction and challenging opportunities has driven her to work in a number of places

31 Field Artillery Brigade (NYSC), DBN Television, African Children Broadcasting Network, Metro FM (Freelance), Superscreen Television, World of Fun Entertainment Centre, Envision EMI, Prince George County Public Schools and Ohio Valley International Council.

She set up Cares Global Network (registered as a Private Limited Liability Company), Willows Magazine Company (registered as a business name) and Willows Magazine (registered as a publication). The businesses are aimed at using media as a tool for advocating for children’s rights, training, mentoring, Counselling, publishing and development. She has written many books of which only one “Dear JB” has been published due to funds. CGN was officially registered in 2004. Business carried out today includes:

1. Willows Magazine (for young people)
2. CGN Projects (see below)
3. Cares Consultancy (idea development, research, printing, crèche set-up...)
4. WRITE (Willows Readers Initiative Towards Education) Project
5. Willows Academy (NEW! leadership & citizenship training)
6. Anne’s Café Empowerment (ACE) Project (NEW! For unskilled and unemployed youths)
7. Willows Journalism Centre (NEW! For students awaiting admission)
8. Divine Connection (for mature singles)

Omolola’s educational background is highlighted below
BA Philosophy (Ogun State University), Tranter International (Certificate in Computer Operations), FATE Foundation (Certificate in Entrepreneurship), Heritage House Montessori (Certificate in Curriculum Planning), MA International Affairs (Ohio University, USA), M. Ed (Ohio University, USA)

Though Omolola’s life is one of selfless service via projects initiated or developed by her, she also volunteers in a number of projects which include the following:

1. Global Movement for Children (collected votes on the 10-point agenda for children)
2. Love Package (packaged gifts during Val’s Day for less privileged children)
3. Good Works (building of porches and feeding the elderly/less privileged)
4. Food Kitchen (cooking and distribution of food to the poor)
5. OU Community Fair (support staff for a community development fund raising project)
6. Favour Fund (a support project to raise funds for a child’s heart surgery)
7. Youth & Passion (citizenship talk during seminar for students from different schs)
8. Support to Elderly People

Usually Omolola partners with individuals, NGO’s and corporate bodies to carry out projects. This helps to reduce the financial weight since CGN/Willows Magazine is engaged in a number of not-for-profit projects aimed at developing people. Some of the projects carried out are below. Partners include Tantalizers, Daily Need Inductries, De-Honey Fast Food, Channels Television, Foundation of Truth Assembly, La Bash Customised Drinks, Modela, Laredo Small Chops, RCCG Throne of Grace, Shout Global Health, etc. Family members have also played a huge role as volunteer staff members to ensure the success of the projects.

1. Community Development - NYSC Corp Members/5 Schools/Remand Home
2. Media Workshop/ICDB – UNICEF / Super Screen TV
3. Media Advocacy – Global Movement for Children/UNICEF
4. Willows Vacation School (Skill) – RCCG Balm of Gilead / La Bash
5. Willows Bible School – Freeman Foursquare / Cadbury / Laredo
6. Back to the Roots (DOTAC) – RCCG Throne of Grace / Laredo
7. Theatre for Development – TALHouse School/WOLBC/Play House
8. Childcare Teacher Training – Maryanne School
9. Village Outreach – Sango Otta Community /Ibifam Ventures
10. Willows Club (Counselling Seminar) – Lagos Island Schools/Mrs. Adenigba
11. Education Television – Association of Proprietors of Private Schools
12. Media Support – HDI/AHI/BM/FMC/USIS/WDC
13. Willows Teen Day – FOTA/Channels TV/La Bash
14. Willows Teen Day (USA) – RCCG Jesus Palace & SHOUT Global Health
15. Celebrate Nigeria (Oct. 1) – Freeman Foursquare /RCCG TOG
16. Celebrate Nigeria (USA) – Association of Nigerians, Ohio University
17. Hair Art Theatre (HAT, USA) – GNCD/ANOU/WDC/CAS
18. Willows Children’s Day – Media Launch for WM & Commemoration
19. Willows Cares – Girls Remand Home/Mercy Hospital/Modupe Cole/Regina Mundi OPH
20. Divine Connection (USA) – RCCG Jesus Palace
21. Divine Connection – LIC Entertainment/Picture Perfect/T. George
22. Sponsorship – School Fees/Allowance/Tutoring Support to Students

Mentoring / Speaking Engagements
1. Young People Globally
2. Brownie Club, Akinsemoyin Primary School
3. Graduate Corp Members / NYSC Camps, Man O’ War / CLTC, Lagos, Ogun & Jos
4. Middle & High School Students, Envision / CYLC: JrNYLC & PYIC
5. Children/Teens in Prince George County Public Schs. & Athens County Public Schs.
6. Children and Teenagers in Nigeria Baptist Convention & RCCG
7. 6team Gospel & Inspiration Band (Joel, Edmund, Samuel, Udoh, Sunny)
8. Children in selected schools and special homes across Lagos State
9. Sunbeam Children in Araromi Baptist Church
10. Girl’s Auxilliary & Lydia Auxilliary Members in Araromi Baptist Church
11. Junior Choir Members in Araromi Baptist Church
12. Children in Brownie and Girl Guides Society Lagos Mainland
13. Young People in Man O’ War / CLTC
14. Teens Church Members, RCCG TOG now Treasure Field Church
15. Children in Children and Teen Unit RCCG Jesus Palace
16. Children in FGC Odogbolu
17. Mentoring Lagos Island “Area Boys”
18. Tyreka Hall

Others mentored/counselled in the course of work include
1. Children met during Whiz Kid, Play House & Education TV (LTV)
2. Children met through African Children Broadcasting Network (ACBN)
3. Young people worked with on the set of Crossworld Blues (Drama Series)
4. Children met at Degue Broadcasting Network (DBN)
5. Children met at Super Screen Television (SSTV)
6. Young People met during World Summit on Media for Children (GR, BR, SA, SW)

Groups and associations established include
1. Lydia Auxilliary Zion Baptist Church, Minna
2. Lydia Auxilliary Ikoyi Baptist Church, Lagos
3. Association of Nigerians, Ohio University
4. FGCO Odogbolu 8490 Group

Surprisingly this bundle of talents who sings, writes, dances, cooks, acts, counsels, sews, knits, minister, hikes, climbs mountains and host talk shows has received awards fewer than the impact she has made. This owes to the fact that she would rather blow the trumpet to impact young people than to celebrate self. Her awards include Deputy Commandant (NUMOWCHIN), Partner-In-Progress (Breakthrough Media), Merit Award (NYSC) and International Honour Society in Education (Kappa Delta Pi). Her story has been published in Vanguard, Champion, Business Day, Athens News and she has participated in television interviews on Channels Television amongst others. Her vision is to continue to nurture young people to excel.

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