With a network of around 775 Fellows from 96 countries specializing in a diverse array of professional fields, many Atlas Corps Alumni and current Fellows are making inspiring progress with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is time to celebrate the achievements of our amazing network and share advice on how we can all do our part to protect and support each other.
Today we want to talk with our Alum Olumide (Class 33, Nigeria) who is combatting climate change along with his organization, International Climate Change Development Initiative Africa (ICCDIA). Thank you Olumide for everything that you do to raise awareness about sustainable efforts and create a better future. We wish you all the best with this impactful work!
Name: Olumide Idowu
Home Country: Nigeria
Current organization: International Climate Change Development Initiative Africa
Role at current organization: Co-founder & CEO
Social Issues that you have worked with: Climate Action
Tell us about your current projects?
One important initiative that we have in place is the #TeachRecyclingEarly Project which aims to combat the poor waste management system in Nigeria. Lagos, which is the most populous state in Nigeria, currently, emits an estimated 30,000 tons of waste every day. The project is focused on teaching students the basic essence of the 3R’s (Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle) and instilling positive waste practices and culture in teens and young children.
Another initiative that we are currently facilitating in partnership with universities across Nigeria is the #SGDs4Universities which entails holding workshops to educate both students and administrators on practical steps they can take towards implementing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their own communities. So far the program, which began in 2019, has been highly successful, reaching 5 states, 7 higher institutions, and 413 students.
My job mostly entails coordinating my team of volunteers and focusing on community engagement programs where we identify sustainable solutions which we can then present to government officials to make demands on accountability and transparency.
Why is it important for you to work with this social issue?
I’ve seen the damage that climate change can do to vulnerable communities and I want to make sure that the people of Nigeria are knowledgeable about both what climate change is and what we can do to stop it. There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding climate change and most people don’t understand that every little action that we take contributes to the problem. I’m dedicated to educating people on what we can do to improve the situation and taking concrete steps towards change.
How has Atlas Corps contributed to your professional/ personal accomplishments?
Atlas Corps provided me with the opportunity to change my perspectives on what a working environment can look like. My experience with IT Careers was truly essential to developing my communications and recruitment skills which I still use to this day with ICCDI. My Fellowship also presented me with the chance to learn more about myself and my work habits. Moving to a new location really pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to really look inwards to understand myself better as a person.
Additionally, during my Fellowship I was presented with the opportunity to represent Nigeria at the UN Youth Climate Summit which was such an important turning point for my personal and professional commitment to climate change. The Summit really opened my eyes to the importance of youth leadership not only in organizing for climate change but in all aspects of life.
What message would you like to send to individuals who are thinking of supporting Atlas Corps?
We need to build a culture of innovative volunteerism that combines the public and private sectors. The world is changing at a very fast pace and it is essential for us to begin thinking outside of the box and employing more creative strategies to combat the issue of climate change.
Atlas Corps Fellows continue to serve in the U.S. and remote, and we reaffirm our commitment to building a network of global leaders, even- and especially- in these times. We need your help to overcome the operational challenges that Atlas Corps faces so we can continue our critical work of training the social change leaders that this world urgently needs. As a special initiative of Bonus Day on July 15th, donations of $100+ will be matched! Will you support our Fellows?