For us at October Orange Initiative, we are clear in our minds that education is not just about the formal classroom experience that many people typically go through from their childhood into their early adult years. It is really about the total exposure to the experiences that influence our existence and being able to handle these experiences in a manner that shapes our future.
It was based on this notion we had challenged ourselves in coming up with ideas that would help create experiences exposing children (especially those from impoverished communities) to the rest of world as a means of inspiring them to do and become better. Thus, we came up with the Movie Day Out project, which is really just taking children out of their communities into town to a cinema to watch movies and for them to engage with the immediate environment. It is our hope that this process will help these kids ‘see’ things that will inspire them to doing things for their communities.
This first Movie Day Out project was aimed at taking children from the Oworonshoki community to Magnificent Cinema. And because the Christmas season was already upon us, we all took a trip down to Ajose Adeogun Street, VI, to have the children experience the Christmas lights.
We put together a fundraising campaign, reached out to our network seeking donors who would help raise funding for this project. We raised a total of Three Hundred and Forty Four Thousand Two Hundred Naira (N344,200.00) from twenty-eight (28) donors. Here’s what we spent the donations on: Cinema (payment for tickets, drinks & snacks); Transportation (hired a Toyota Coaster Bus); Tshirts (purchase and branding of tshirts); Food (rice, chicken, take-away packs, spoons, ingredients & cooking); OOI Banner; Movie Postcards and Miscellaneous (the odd payments).
After sorting out all payment obligations, we had a balance of Seventy Three Thousand Two Hundred Naira (N73,200.00) of the funds raised. What we decided to do was “Pay It Forward”, about half of which we donated to Bales of Mercy Orphanage (website) and the balance will be going to support community activities in Oworonshoki during this festive season.
The day (Saturday, December 7 2019) started out with the journey into the Oworonshoki community to pick up the children who looked all orangy (as they were adorning the branded tshirts made for them), you could literally hear the excitement from a mile away. The buses proceeded on the drive to Magnificent Cinema (on Ikorodu road) where they were greeted to even louder cheers from themselves, it was so hard trying to get these children to be quiet as they kept expressing their excitement. The movie (i.e. The Lion King) lasted for about two hours and whilst still within the vicinity of the cinema, gifts (from Dr. Ayotengu Ogun, the coordinator of the outreach programme from RCCG Christ Church parish) were handed out to the children, who kept showing off in front of the cameras. Without a doubt, these children were indeed happy to be out and about.
On leaving Magnificent Cinema, our next destination was Ajose Adeogun Street in Victoria Island, as the intention was to show them Christmas lights/decorations, on a large scale. As we drove along the way, you could see their faces peering through the windows of the buses taking in all the sights and sounds of their experience. After some pictures and basking in the euphoria of ‘a new environment’, we had to send the children back to their homes in Oworonshoki.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience for everyone involved, even more so the children for whom we had the pleasure of organising this outing.
We would like to thank the RCCG Christ Church Parish for supporting this outing by helping out with the children and also donating another Coaster bus. We could not have achieved the success without the volunteers who supported the project. Our gratitude also goes to Magnificent Cinemas for hosting such an army of excited children, we do look forward to the next visit. And to our donors, we say a big thank you for your contributions, without which our movie day out would not have happened.
We are excitedly looking forward to the next Movie Day Out project.