Honoured for Shoe Collection Drive in the Netherlands Benefitting Poor Nigerian Children
Wittenborg alumnus, Olumide Omotoso, was recently a finalist in the prestigious 2019 PIEoneer Awards, which took place in London, honouring his work with less privileged youngsters in Nigeria the past two years. Omotoso was a finalist in the category International Alumni of the Year - representing Wittenborg as the only continental European institution in a list dominated by American and British institutions.
Omotoso, who was a professional footballer in Nigeria, came to Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences in 2017 to do his MSc in Sport Business Management. While doing his master's degree in Apeldoorn, he organised a shoe-collection drive for disadvantaged children back in his own country.
In the first phase of his collection efforts he managed to send 55 pairs of shoes to Nigeria. Starting with his own football club and then others in the Netherlands, he asked people to donate their old sport shoes that are still in a good condition. Word got around and more and more people came forward to donate.
“Football is a much loved sport in Nigeria, but many children do not have the basic equipment to fulfil their dreams of playing football. Ask any footballer and they will tell you a good pair of shoes is the first thing you need. So, that is why I went for that.”
The next challenge was how to distribute the shoes that he took to Nigeria. “I did not just want to hand them out on the street, so I looked for structured organisations to distribute them to children in need. I approached six football clubs, one orphanage and one foundation. The most important aim for me was to motivate children to continue with sport despite their dire circumstances.”
Omotoso currently runs Lumotz Global Sports and continues with his shoe drive in the Netherlands. People who want to donate shoes or other sport gear can contact him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The PIEoneer Awards is an initiative from The PIE - an independent media, recruitment and events company connecting a global community of professionals working in international education.
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press