PP40 isn’t just another initiative, it is doing something very cool for schools in Ibadan.
Jumoke Olowookere is from Abeokuta but has spent all her life in Ibadan. Born at the Oluyoro Hospital about four decades ago, she had all her education in Ibadan; served in the city; got married in the city and still lives in the city.
She is familiar with a common image in the city: streets lined with bags of refuse unpacked for weeks; refuse stench so strong you have to cover your nostrils and a people generally uninterested about what happens to their waste. The waste travelled to different places, blocking sewage and leading to flooding in several cases. Asides waste, she is also concerned about how disadvantaged public school children are when it comes to playgrounds. This year, Jumoke who started Perceptions Crafts, a waste-to-crafts initiative, decided to do her bit to change attitudes towards waste in the city.
“I came up with the idea of joining hands with these children to convert the waste that they can gather in their communities. We will teach them how to convert them into playgrounds.” She says that the project which is called PP40 will happen at forty public primary schools in Ibadan—a way to celebrate her fortieth birthday next year.
“Aruwo! Kosi! Tobawa, egba!” With these words, Olowookere began her engagement with over 700 schoolchildren at Ebenezer Model School, Akingbile, Moniya. The excited children had brought out different waste materials: tyres, bottles and bottle corks which were used to beautify the school. The excitement could be felt in their buzzing voices and energy. Black tires were hurled and repainted. Empty bottles were painted and cut into strips. At the end of the day, two plain walls on the school compound were transformed from bland to inviting; the empty school quadrangle also had a playground; the bare trees around the school also had an artistic touch; students with zero painting skills were equipped with practical art skills.
The teachers were excited about the project. Mrs Ayoola, a class teacher could not hide her excitement about the project which she says the project beautifies the school and will change the way people view the school. “The children are very excited. They are learning how to use their hands to do things beneficial to them. It makes the school more beautiful and will entice more parents to bring their children here.” She says that it is also a practical way of teaching Fine Art, since the students only learn theory in class.
Adesina Adewale, the headteacher in charge of the school, was also filled with joy.
“I think that this is a good thing in the history of public primary schools in Oyo state. It is a good way to teach the students about waste, that things that may be discarded can also be used to beautify,” he said.
Funmilayo Adekanbi, a primary 6 student was decorating a tree.
“I have learnt that tyres can be used to make branches for a tree. That they can be painted and made to look beautiful.” She said, a smile planted on her face as she continued nailing the bottle corks on a tree.
“Pelu Ife, a le jose. With love, together, we can.” Are the words written on the newly decorated school walls.
The PP40 train keeps moving. On November 10, 2017, the team was at New Eden C&S School, Mokola beautifying more playgrounds, empowering more students and changing more mindsets about waste in Ibadan.
You can support by:
- Sharing this post
- Volunteering your time and skills at each school
- Donating cash/ needed items (like acrylic paint, big ropes, nails and logs of teak)
- Connecting PP40 with interested corporate bodies
- Connecting us with old students associations interested in such projects for their alma mata