Tayo Mofikoya was called to action by the increased number of the poor and the mass displacements resulting from Boko Haram actions in Northern Nigeria in 2017. She was inspired by her own experiences as a young mother who benefited from the services of a food pantry while continuing her education and started the Refreshing Spring Foundation to distribute relief items and advocate for the health and education of women and children in her community.
Like many NGOs, Refreshing Spring initially depended on support from a limited network of family and friends, but Tayo soon needed to grow her fundraising operation while also expanding Refreshing Spring’s advocacy efforts. She wanted to reach even more pregnant women and help them complete their education to avoid forced marriages or enslavement.
Tayo understood that as pregnancy rates among the underprivileged grew, so did their barriers to education. Her desire to make an impact on women and children required more than simple awareness. She saw so many children lose their hope, and fall into despair because of hunger and lack of education. Tayo was determined to extend the reach of Refreshing Spring’s operations.
Tayo and her team enrolled in Philanthropy University’s Fundraising and Advocacy courses, hoping to efficiently manage one of the biggest challenges any young organization faces: an underdeveloped infrastructure and lack of direct experience. Tayo soon realized that these courses offered her team a way to quickly and efficiently close their organization’s knowledge gap.
As a result, Refreshing Spring secured on-going funding support from three local businesses. Tayo and her team also developed a complete advocacy campaign directed at pregnant teens, informing them of ways to stay in school during and after pregnancy. By taking a relationship-based approach to donor relations, Refreshing Spring now serves 5 times the number of families, expanding from 100 families in rural settlements to 500 families in the second half of 2019. Assisted by Philanthropy University’s courses, Tayo and Refreshing Spring masterfully navigated the difficult transition from being a young organization thrown into action to becoming a high-impact community-based NGO. The organization distributes food and relief items to children who are not in school yet and it is well on its way to establishing a permanent food pantry, just like the one that had helped Tayo so many years earlier.