For many of us in the diaspora, there is a deep desire to make an impact in our individual countries in Africa, as well as on the continent as a whole. There are many people who have found ways to support and give back in unique ways. The Hope for Us Charity has been doing just that since 2010. If you are on Instagram, you may have seen people rocking the silhouette of an African country on their neck or the silhouette of the continent itself. Those beautiful pieces are the brainchild of creator, Omolola Adegoke and her team. We reached out to her to get an understanding behind the vision for her brand and the work being done by her charity.
Omolola Adegoke, is a junior at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. She is a first generation Nigerian-American majoring in integrative studies with focuses in: Biology, Kinesiology and International Studies with a concentration in Africa.
I love the African continent and one day I hope to reform it for the better.
What inspired you to start Hope for Us Charity and how have your beliefs impacted your work?
I started The Hope For Us Charity after a touching experience in high school with some of my family in Nigeria and because I feel like there is a calling on my life to reform Africa, and this is just the first stepping stone. I am a Christian and I believe that God gave me this vision. I attribute all of my success to God, even the idea to sell the necklaces to raise funds for the charity was inspiration from God.
What made you decide on making necklaces and have you thought of expanding?
Honestly to this day this is a question I still cannot answer. I used to sell baked goods to raise money for the charity in conjunction with my personal baking business, and while it was successful it was not as successful as I would have liked and very time consuming. After high school, I was praying to God for almost a year to give me an answer on another way to raise money for the charity and literally one day the idea came to do the necklaces.
Yes, I have thought about creating more types of jewelry such as earrings, rings and more key chains but demand will dictate that. We are in the process of making apparel so that people can wear the charity logo around.
How do you decide which projects to donate to and have you seen results?
We have a program the charity is founded upon, HEI: Health Care, Education, Injustices. I chose injustices because I remember around the time of the charity’s creation I was shown a video that touched my heart. We have seen that some children now have school supplies due to our work.
What are some challenges of starting a business/charity?
Some challenges of starting a business/charity is trying to get it registered with the government and dealing with people copying your ideas and not giving you credit.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start their own charity?
I would suggest making a business plan, and getting more information government wise on how to get a charity started.
What do you have planned next?
We plan to make shirts for the charity and go to Nigeria to do more work.