FOUNDER/CEO

Damilola OLAJUBUTU (nee IYIOLA)

Damilola is an unconventional rural development practitioner with a drive to create sustainable solutions to developmental problems in rural and underserved communities. She holds her first and second degrees in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, from the prestigious University of Ibadan, graduating as the best student at both levels. Her exposure (during academic field trips) to the precarious living conditions in rural communities stirred her passion to create sustainable solutions to the developmental problems in rural areas. Consequently, this birthed the establishment of Rural Nurture Initiative (RNI), where she currently works as the Executive Director.
 

In her current position, she leads a team of change makers to drive development initiatives, conduct researches, organize outreaches and implement projects to promote the actualization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in rural communities. Under her leadership, the organisation has helped many rural primary pupils get back to school, provided food baskets to end hunger, given relief materials to ameliorate poverty, executed medical outreaches to improve rural health, and provided portable water to ensure access to water and better hygiene in rural Nigeria.

Damilola is the convener of the Young Rural Developers Summit (YORDS). In 2020, she undertook an additional role as a Policy Research Assistant at the Innovation Lab for Policy Leadership in Agriculture and Food Security (PiLAF) (a USAID funded project through the Michigan State University’s Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Capacity and Influence). In this role, she works with a team of researchers to conduct policy research in agriculture, food security and related matters in Nigeria, culminating in publications like policy brief and discussion paper.

As a multi-award winner, Damilola received the Departmental Prize and ZARD Scholarships for the best graduating undergraduate student in 2016. She was recognized as the best graduating Masters’ student in 2019, emerged as Union Rise Challenge Winner in 2020, got the RNI Exemplary Leadership Award in 2021, and her NGO (Rural Nurture Initiative) received the Union Bank Enabling NGOs for Success Grant in 2019 and Go-for-it Africa’s Sustainable Impact Award in 2020.

Damilola is an expert in community engagement through strategic communication and bottom-up approaches, as well as quantitative and qualitative social, humanitarian and developmental research and modeling. She has a strong interest in the areas of rural development, non-profit management, public policy, social protection, community service, agriculture and food security. In addition, Damilola possesses strong analytical and technical skills, and is proficient in the use of Computer Application packages such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Corel Draw, Adobe Photoshop, Filmora, WordPress CMS, ArcGIS, and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).