The Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has described Olusubomi Iginla-Aina, a recipient of the insignia, Member of the British Empire, from Queen Elizabeth, as a true reflection of the Nigerian spirit of hardwork, diligence, integrity and trust-worthiness.
Owing to her outstanding performance and achievements, Dabiri-Erewa conferred on Iginla-Aina the title of: “Diaspora Ambassador.”
Dabiri-Erewa gave the title in her office when she received the Nigerian-UK Youth Philanthropist, who is the CEO, LightUp Foundation.
Iginla-Aina was installed with the insignia of MBE among 1,073 nominees on November 26, 2019 in honour of the Queen’s birthday.
According to the NIDCOM boss, the vision to have a better Nigeria is a clarion call for its citizens to take up and not a sole responsibility for the Federal Government.
She commended the LightUp CEO and told her of the commission’s disposition to assist the organisation and equally promised to liaise with the Minister of Sports and Youth Development on her behalf for her good gestures.
Dabiri-Erewa said the conferment was a testament to the numerous selfless services Iginla-Aina has offered both at home and in the UK on youth development, child abuse and the less privileged.
Receiving the title, an elated Iginla-Aina appreciated the commission for its kind gesture.
She believes that her passion was a divine mandate to motivate the youths positively and be a vocal person for the vulnerable, dating back to her leadership role as Head Girl, Anglican Girls’ Grammar School, Surulere, Lagos State, and as the first female Student Union President of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, more than 15
She said her projection to the UK in 2005 started when Prof. Rogers Makanjuola, a former Vice Chancellor of OAU, referred her to UN ECOSOC to join a project, thus giving birth to her own project, LightUp Foundation.
Aina, a mother of three and an LLM holder, said the foundation, which started 19 years ago, has worked closely with youths in the UK and parts of Nigeria, especially in Ogun and Kwara States.
She said the foundation has pet projects such as Let’s Talk and Bag of Hope, which engage the youth on positive thinking, good value-system, community service and development.
The MBE awardee recalled that the highlights of the organisation was when five youths from the foundation were selected out of a 15-man team to work on a project in the Croydon Borough, UK as well as proudly wearing the outfit she adorned while receiving her insignia from the Prince by the inmates from the corrective facilities in Nigeria, plus numerous fields of entrepreneurship which the inmates are participating.
Olusubomi, also a Guinness World Book of Records holder, pointed out that the foundation is engaged another undertaking of reconnecting changed delinquents with their families as some of them were disowned by their families while in correction centres.
With the partnership from JP Morgan Chase & Co (an American multinational investment bank headquartered in New York City), Iginla-Aina seems relentless on her plans to do more at home.
The LightUp Foundation is an NGO with the vision of improving child rights, youth empowerment and creating awareness on the dangers of child abuse.
It started since 2000.
The foundation has impacted over 10,000 people via the Bag of Hope initiative, with 800 youths being impacted out of prisons.