Jonathan Olakunle is a humanitarian, activist, the founder of Barbara Abike Epperson Foundation who was established in 1998 in Nigeria.
BAEF focuses on poverty reduction and operate through their targets which they believe will aid to reduce poverty drastically in
- Community Development : Services- clean up, provision of water in rural areas and urban slums.
- Social Services
- Philanthropy Advocacy
- Subsidy Apparatus – cheap
- Grocery shop etc.
- Provision of Green Energy in rural areas and urban.
BAEF covered areas reaches out to the less privilege people in urban Lagos Island and rural areas of Osun, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Niger State. He has also helped many people with the story of a Ghanaian old man who was reunited with his family after been stranded in Nigeria for years. As part of his role at BAEF Mr. Jonathan also helps the less privileged in his community as well as keeping subways gutters and other areas clean.
The inspiration to start the foundation came from the need to immortalize his Late foster grandmother Miss Barbara Epperson who died in 1994. Growing up wasn’t too bad for Him as his guardian who happens to be his great uncle taught him how to become a hardworking person and he showed them plenty of love. He also realized that people are not really involved in the country development and decided to lead by example.
It was in 2016 January that Mr. Jonathan felt he needs a nickname, to be associated with on his services to the nation. The reason for his nickname “Joni The Change Agent” is to showcase and inspire more Nigerians and Africans to get involved with the rebuilding of spaces, communities, countries and the Africa continent. One of his greatest challenges, was the death of his foster grandmother and parents. If they were to be alive and he had founded an Initiative like BAEF to better his society, they will throw their full support.
Another challenge is how misinformed Nigerians are when it comes to doing social impact work, discouragement from family and friends is also one of his greatest challenge. His message to Nigerians in diaspora is to remind them that they have their own quota to contribute to the development of Nigeria. They need to replicate those infrastructures and amenities in Nigeria.
There are many ways he need support from government, individuals and NGOs to collaborate in funding projects in Africa. BAEF is the hope for social entrepreneurship through their community services.