Vivianne Olufunke, finding fulfillment in giving her services to the needy
Vivianne Olufunke Adelagun.is the founder and CEO of the Non-profit charity organisation named Hope Emerge. She initiated and registered the organisation in 2018 in response to her observation of the poor health conditions, and the pulverized living conditions of a major fraction of some Nigerian citizens. Currently, she works as a clinical and legal risk manager director for a renowned company in Illinois in the United States.
Hope Emerge organisation is registered in the United States as well as in Nigeria, and the focus is to provide good health care and financial initiatives for the less privileged and the underserved. Since its inception, they have been able to get recipients of their initiatives on their way to experiencing a meaningful life. Her philosophy as an individual is to treat every person with love and compassion when faced with the opportunity.
Vivianne is a registered nurse practitioner as well as a Lawyer and as a result of her clinical background, she has been able to initiate meaningful programs promoting wellness and health care for those who are underserved. She attended nursery and primary school in Lagos, Nigeria and obtained her Nursing degree from Saint Xavier University in Oak Lawn Illinois and her Law degree from Loyola Law school in Chicago Illinois. She also has a bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science. Aside from her career life, she owns a small business, she volunteers her time at church and various charity organisations. She loves listening to music, spending time with her immediate family, and watching meaningful movies. Her passion is advocating and caring for others and she believes anything is achievable if you put your mind to it. She is blessed with a beautiful family.
As a clinical Director of Risk Management, Vivianne is employed by a big health care company where she works with a group of Lawyers to proactively and reactively mitigate risk for the company. “We address any issues that can lead to litigation against the company. The healthcare field is highly regulated and litigation is not uncommon in this part of the world. Part of mitigating risk is to address issues of potential concerns before they actually become an actual problem.” She said.
When Vivianne first started out in her educational path, she wanted to be an immigration lawyer. She got her first degree in English and Political Science, but then, she couldn’t afford law school. Everyone in her family wanted her to go into the healthcare field because they knew she had a passion of caring for others. “To summarize things, I proceeded with that quest and I was granted a scholarship into a highly recognized School of Nursing. I worked in the field for over 10 years in various capacities. I was an ER nurse, a Director of Nursing, and eventually a nurse consultant with the capability to oversee over 7 buildings at a time. The opportunity arose, and I decided to go to law school as this was still my desire. This time, I focused my studies in Health Law. So I was able to fulfill my calling in nursing and still follow my career path of being a lawyer”. Vivianne explained.
Olufunke volunteers her time at church and to other charity organisations. For her, sometimes, it’s not always about money. “I know that there is much more to render other than money alone. At times, all that is needed to make a difference is to render one’s services and time. I truly enjoy volunteering at church. I oversee the risk and health care team, the drama ministry, and I am also a part of the Media team. I love every bit of my time rendered in the house of God. I believe this is where my strength comes from.”
On her challenges, Olufunke admits that “With God, all things are possible”. She further stated that her challenge would have been not having good support or not having people who buy into her dreams but, the truth is that, “ I have good people in my corner, and they share my passion. They support me physically with their time and spiritually with prayers and words of encouragement. That makes things much easier. The only challenge, I would say, is the financial aspect and not enough time in a day to fulfill all those ideas in my head.” She revealed.
On providing financial support for the less privileged and the underserved, she tells me they provide financial support in America and Nigeria, but the major focus is Nigeria. In her words, “The goal is to empower the people so that they can be self-sufficient. Aside from paying tuition, assisting some people with getting accommodations, and helping out salaries especially during this Covid-19, we also assist people with starting small businesses. We render financial assistance in the form of soft loans or grants. We do loans to allow for accountability and to encourage people to be wiser in their business initiative”.
Vivianne continues to make a difference in the lives of people. Her long term goal is to have a free clinic where she can provide free healthcare to the less privileged. Although, they are currently working with a clinic in Lagos, where they sponsor monthly payments for the members of that clinic so that they can receive free healthcare, she would still like to have a physical building. Secondly, she hopes to have a big apartment complex where they can provide free housing for people until they are able to be self-sufficient, with programs in place to ensure empowerment and independence.
“We would allow free accommodation for up to 2 years while people get back on their feet. We have assisted a few people with getting apartments and we would usually pay for 1 year or 2 years at a time, but the cost of living in Lagos is high, so my goal is to eventually have our own apartment complex. It would be a great initiative. My short term goal is to get financial sponsors who will invest in the organisation so that we can continue to help people.”
Giving her parting shots, she says “I believe all things are possible when we put God first. When I started the organisation, a lot of people, a lot of things and a lot of situations discouraged me. However, two years later, and with all that we have accomplished, people are coming back to ask me “How exactly did you do it?” My response is always a yoruba saying that translates to ‘There is nothing more easy and more beautiful to achieve than something that has the hand prints of God in it’.