My name is Ruke Igbani. I work as YEDI’s In-School Coordinator. My job gives me the opportunity to work with a number of young people who serve as Coaches to our target audience – younger people aged 10-18. Recently, I was in the Mushin community in Lagos in company with one of our Coaches – John, aka Coach J. Crown. On this day, Coach J. Crown was acting as my guide as I was not too familiar with the Mushin community. And I noticed something that day: everywhere we went, people were always exchanging pleasantries with him; the old and the young; they had one kind word or another to say to him.

This got me pleasantly curious, and I asked, rather jokingly: You seem to know everyone around here; how come? Are you some kind of Capone?” His response gave me something to be happy about. He smiled and said, “Since I became a Coach; since I joined YEDI as a #CaringCoach, and since I have been involved in imparting knowledge to the young people around here, both parents are children alike now see me a role model; the parents see me as someone they can entrust their kids with, the kids see me as a big brother they can always talk to, because I live with them in this community.”

Then he added, “You see, life as a Coach has been a life-changing and interesting experience for me.” Hmmmn! As I left Mushin that day, I was happy – happy that I was part of an organization that is touching lives, one child at a time; happy that our #CaringCoaches have really become the role models we have trained them to be; happy that they are really owning these interventions that new carry out in underserved communities.