Odindi Youth Action Village is a 501c3 and was founded in 2022 by father and son, Akinbambo and Akintunde Oluwadare to create an environment within the 48197 and 48198 zip code for youth to thrive and be able to live positive, healthy, safe, and fulfilling lives into adulthood.
The co-founder of Odindi Youth Action Village, Akinbambo Oluwadare (Bambo) quickly realized the importance of having a strong support system. He was raised by his mother, Ms. Christiana Omoriba, in Lafiaji Lagos Nigeria. Through his mom, Bambo witnessed and experienced a culture where everyone supported and looked out for one another. There was a saying that his mother would tell him, “it takes a village to raise a child” and that was exactly how life operated in Lafiaji. All of the elders and parents in the community treat the children as their own by looking out for one another and making sure the children are safe and loved. It was common after a long day of playing for a child’s family to invite the other children over for a large dinner. It was also common for older children to work with younger children and their class work which is known as lessons. All of these components created the village mentality of being self-sufficient through support and reliance on one another.
Through many hands uplifting Bambo, he was able to come to the United States and attend Eastern Michigan University (EMU). While attending EMU in Ypsilanti, Michigan, he was greeted with the culture shock of not having the support system he was accustomed to back home in Lafiaji. This made him realize the importance of the village mentality, of being self-sufficient through support and reliance on one another. In the process of having two children and balancing school without the “village” that he was accustomed to back in Lafiaji led Bambo to decide to suspend his education and concentrate on working.
The co-founder of Odindi Youth Action Village, Akintunde Oluwadare and son of Akinbambo Oluwadare saw first hand the importance of what his grandmother told his father and now what his father told him, “it takes a village to raise a child”. Everybody in the community plays a role in the lives of the children. After Akinbambo was injured on the job and Akintunde finished his first degree at Adrian College to become a secondary school teacher, they both decided that the best way to give back is to go into the field of social work and focus on working with youth holistically. They both decided to take courses together at Washtenaw Community College and later transferred to Eastern Michigan University (EMU) where they both obtained their bachelors in Social Work. They continued their education and Akinbambo received his masters in social work with a focus on youth and family with a minor in nonprofit management from EMU and Akintunde attended the University of Michigan to receive his masters in social work with a emphasis on Social Policy & Evaluation and focus in Children & Youth in Families and Society.
After graduation, they both began working in the non-profit sector with youth. Through five plus years of working with youth, they always found that any pedagogy that does not challenge injustice is useless. They strive to reimagine education and truly incorporate love and community into the pedagogy of education by supporting our youth holistically through engaging and involving parents, guardians, schools, and community members through project-based learning, school visits, clubs, and activities. We believe that supporting youth fully (Odindi) includes engaging and involving the support systems (villages) that consists of parents, guardians, schools, and community members. In nurturing the already existing talent of the youth, we are able to fully support them in their goals of living a positive, healthy, safe, and fulfilling lives into adulthood. We understand that we are one of many supporting factors in the success of youth living a positive, healthy, safe, and fulfilling lives into adulthood; that is why collaboration and the sharing of resources is vital in fully supporting our youth.