Tag Archive | African Youth Leadership Program

#23. Postcards From Africa: “Everything in Nigeria is bring money, bring money…” By Okeke Job Izuchukwu


A timely, insightful and reflective piece by Okeke Job Izuchukwu about our apathy towards corruption, especially at Nigerian airports and what we, as citizens can do to change the status quo…


Feb 3rd, 2016.


Murtala Mohammed International Airport, International Wing. The Nigerian guy (I am sure he is Igbo) and his young Korean wife who visited for Yuletide were with the customs. Their luggage had been checked, and found okay. There was only one snag. They have two babies, one still a suckler, and they had baby food for the babies. All the while, the custom officers whose ‘shop’ they had arrived at had been using the ‘you know what to do body language’ for the guy ‘to do something’.

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Postcards From Africa #18: Celebrating Ola Orekunrin, 29-year-old trauma Doctor and Helicopter Pilot, and Founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria.

This post was culled from the Facebook page of “A Might Girl (https://www.facebook.com/amightygirl)
A Mighty Girl is the world’s largest collection of books, toys, and movies for parents, teachers, and others dedicated to raising smart, confident, and courageous girls. Visit us at http://www.amightygirl.com, Pinterest (amightygirl), & Twitter (@amightygirl)


Ola-Orekunrin TED FellowWhen Ola Orekunrin was a 22-year-old medical student in the UK, her 12-year-old sister became critically ill while visiting relatives in Nigeria.

With no medical facility nearby that could treat her condition, the family attempted to arrange an air evacuation. Orekunrin was shocked to discover that not only was no air ambulance available in Nigeria, there was not one available in the whole of West Africa:

“The nearest one at the time was in South Africa. They had a 12-hour activation time so by the time they were ready to activate, my sister was dead.” It was then, she explains, “I started thinking about whether I should be in England talking about healthcare in Africa, or I should be in Africa dealing with healthcare and trying to do something about it.”

Flying Doctors of NigeriaMotivated by her sister’s death and the desire to help others with minimal access to trauma care, Orekunrin left a promising medical career in the UK to found West Africa’s first air ambulance service, Flying Doctors Nigeria.

Now a 29-year-old trauma doctor and helicopter pilot, Orekunrin’s fleet of airplanes and helicopters have airlifted hundreds of people from remote areas to hospitals.

“From patients with road traffic trauma, to bomb blast injuries to gunshot wounds, we save lives by moving these patients and providing a high level of care en route,” Orekunrin says.

“I wanted to find a way that I can facilitate people who were critically ill,” she says. “Get them to see a doctor, and not just any doctor — I wanted to facilitate getting the right patient to the right facility, within the right time frame for that particular illness.”

In addition to the distance to health care facilities, there are many other challenges in the region that make air transport critical: “Many of our roads are poorly maintained, so emergency transport by road during the day is difficult. At night, we have armed robbers on our major highways; coupled with poor lighting and poor state of the roads themselves, emergency transport by road is deadly for both patients and staff.”

With 20 aircraft and 44 doctors on staff, Orekunrin is proud of her accomplishments, but sees much more room to improve the state of medical care in Nigeria: “Eighty percent of the world trauma occurs in low-middle income countries just like Nigeria. I feel there should be more focus on the trauma epidemic that Africa currently faces… I want to achieve a proper use of the healthcare sector in Nigeria.”

For her impressive accomplishments and determination to fill a critical social need, Dr. Orekunrin was named one of the World Economic Forum’s 2013 Young Global Leaders, the organization’s prestigious group of the world’s top leaders under the age of 40.

To learn more, check out this story in The Guardian at http://bit.ly/1qxkijZ or listen to her TED talk on women in business at http://bit.ly/1LMuflj. You can also check out the Flying Doctors Nigeria website at http://flyingdoctorsnigeria.com/

If your Mighty Girl dreams of flying one day or you’re looking for more stories about women pilots, check out our recent blog post, “Mighty Careers: I Want To Be A Pilot!” for girl-empowering books, toys, and clothing at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=6249

To introduce children and youth to another famous pilot who changed the world, visit our “Amelia Earhart Collection” at http://www.amightygirl.com/…/historical-char…/amelia-earhart

For more stories about inspiring women doctors and scientists for children and teens, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/boo…/history-biography/biography…

And, for pretend play toys for the budding doctors in your life, visit our “Pretend Play Occupations” section and choose your occupation of interest on the left menu at http://www.amightygirl.com/t…/imaginative-play/pretend-play…



Postcards From Africa is a WWN Feature about creating a new, positive, empowering narrative of Africa by Africans. This is a movement about igniting an empowered citizenry to make a difference by bridging the integrity gap. It is about changing the status quo, from waiting passively for ‘leaders’, to our embracing a new paradigm that WE are the leaders we seek.

WWN seeks to advance ideas, causes, projects that transform our communities for the better, by first inspiring us to ‘see’ ourselves in a brand new light. We are committed to empowering and/or celebrating a new generation of Transformational, Ethical and Creative African leaders (T.E.C), who are actively engaged in nation-building, one idea, one person, one project and one community at a time!

Do you know anyone, idea or cause that should be featured? We’d love to hear from you: info@wholewomannetwork.com

Are You a Trailblazer, Change-Maker, Artist, Doer and Innovator? Apply for the TED2016 Fellowship | Deadline is September 20th, 2015

The application Deadline for this year’s TED Fellowship Program is September 20th, 2015. CLICK HERE to apply today!



WHAT is the TED Fellowship Program?

TED Fellows 2At TEDGlobal 2007 in Arusha, Tanzania, 100 Fellows from across Africa joined a first-of-its-kind gathering that brought together the “Cheetah” generation.

TED speaker George Ayittey coined this nickname to describe a generation of young people from across Africa who were entrepreneurial, fluent in technology and “ran like the wind.”

In Arusha, many new friendships, collaborations, companies, investments, websites and NGOs were born.

After the spectacular success of the first group of Fellows, we created a permanent platform — the TED Fellows program — to feed the passion of other amazing paradigm-shifters and foster the collaborative spirit.

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