Fantastic February!

The year is flying by (literally) with all sorts of mixed news. I have to say the first headline will be Chris Brown's arrest/charge for allegedly beating up a female.

WHAT? He's only 19

Culled from concrete loop:

"The singer voluntarily turned himself in to be questioned and according to TMZ, he was arrested and charged with one count felony criminal threats. His bail was set at $50,000, which he paid and was subsequently released.

Officials declined to identify the injured party in the alleged assault, although they eventually did and the victim was Barbados' Robin Fenty and Hollywood's very own pop star, Rihanna! Brown’s court date is scheduled for March 5th.

As stated, Chris Brown and his reported girlfriend Rihanna both cancelled their scheduled Grammy appearances and performances Sunday night (8th February)."


"Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired. I am seeking the counseling of my pastor, my mother and other loved ones and I am committed, with God’s help, to emerging a better person. Much of what has been speculated or reported on blogs and/or reported in the media is wrong. While I would like to be able to talk about this more, until the legal issues are resolved, this is all I can say except that I have not written any messages or made any posts to Facebook, on blogs or any place else. Those posts or writings under my name are frauds.” [concrete loop]

As reported, Chris was
charged with one count felony criminal threats (more charges could be added after the DA is finished reviewing the case) and is expected to attend court on March 5th in Los Angeles. The 19 year-old has hired popular defense attorney, Mark Geragos to represent him.

Anyway, we may as well divert our attention for now until we hear more on the story.
Change-A-Life is an initiative started by Funmi Iyanda, created to intervene in the lives of people when they need it the most. The project focuses on people with potential at their lowest point of need. On the 21st of February 2009, the Change-A-Life project will be formally institutionalised as Change-A-Life foundation and will be aired on NTA between 7 and 9pm on that day.

The project, which began in January 2002 has the support of the former governor of Lagos State Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Grants were awarded to close to 70 people for N10,000 each for educational and micro-business projects.

A source says --"Change-A-Life is about people, regardless of gender, ethnicity or religion. It’s about changing the face of humanity one person at a time.”

With the continued assistance of the Lagos State Government, the project has evolved into a family support scheme for exceptional young children from one-parent homes. Over the years, the project has affected 150 children and over 3000 people with its scholarship and health care support services.

In its 6th year, Change-A-Life, formerly an arm of New Dawn with Funmi Iyandai s being launched as a full-fledged organization able to accommodate more deserving youth and families with exceptional potential.

As we all know, sustaining such an organisation is no small feat, especially in capacity and development areas.

In order to expand its scope and accommodate more exceptional youth and their families, Change-A-Life will be formally institutionalized in partnership with the Lagos State Government.

The organisation calls on all Nigerians to support it by volunteering their time, effort and financial contributions. The activities and values of the scheme is traditionally showcased in an annual January 1st LIVE TV special to begin the year on a note of giving and society building. However, we can still catch the launch on NTA NEWS this Saturday between 7 and 9pm.


Papa Samuel

Mr. Odoakor or Papa Samuel as he is fondly referred to found himself jilted by his wife and left to care for a two-year old son. Refusing to leave his son in the care of relatives, Papa Samuel decided he would take care of his child himself. Unfortunately his salary as a security guard was not enough to support his family. They soon lost their home and began sleeping on the streets. Samuel began hawking pure water to supplement his father’s tiny income.

Even in the face of these extenuating circumstances, Samuel was able to maintain very good grades at school. His brilliance at school, as well as his father’s determination not to shirk his responsibilities impressed everyone at Change-A-Life. Samuel was consequently put on scholarship, his school fees and needs paid for by the programme. Change-A-Life was also able to take care of their housing expenses. Samuel is writing his WAEC exams. He no longer has to hawk pure water and can now concentrate on schoolwork. Papa Samuel, supported by CAL, is currently enrolled in AA driving school, giving him the foundation he needs to embark on his new career.

Baby Faith’s Story

A Good Samaritan brought in an abandoned baby to the studios of New Dawn with Funmi Iyanda. The old lady found the baby the railway lines in Mushin not far from where she lived. The baby was immediately taken to Strong Tower Mission and shortly after developed all sorts of health complications. A few weeks later, tests confirmed the baby was HIV positive. Workers of CAL and Strong Tower Mission, not knowing whether he would survive, named the baby Faith and was instantly put on antiretroviral drugs.

As compensation for her charitable act, the old lady who brought in Baby Faith was given a place to stay and a grinding pepper mill to enable her fend for herself. What is noteworthy is that the first time she tried to report a missing child to the police, she was locked in jail for two days. Yet when faced with the same situation twice, she did not hesitate to help again

Please get involved and make a positive impact, no matter how small. Mentorship and internship opportunities are also available in the organisation to provide further support for scholarship beneficiaries


Change-A-Life contact: Eniola Harrison (08057710212)

Funmi Iyanda -

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