Oshede is a Yoruba word meaning escape. We only discovered this years after we had already coined the term. Interestingly “o shede” with a space between the o and the s means “he says” in Yoruba. Another accidental discovery…
Also, Google Translate seems to think Oshede is a Danish word … although we’re not entirely sure what it means. But back to the Yoruba, whether accurate or not, it fits neatly with our narrative of establishing a platform to crowdsource solutions, helping young people in developing regions achieve sustainability and escape poverty.
But nearly five years ago, when we registered the domain, the idea of Oshede was not for a social enterprise at all. Instead the domain was originally registered for a personals website. Thankfully good old common sense prevailed and today Oshede is being launched as a platform to empower disadvantaged young people in communities across the world access help to their challenges. It will be a place for young people to crowdsource solutions addressing their challenges/ pushing their projects, be it a request for goodwill monetary contributions towards a certain goal, or through crowdsourced advice aimed at tackling a recipient’s challenge. It’s people power in action.
We all know that no one chooses where they are born. No one gets to have a say as to the continent, country, region, city or family in which they are born. Not a single person has ever chosen to begin their life surrounded by poverty, hardship & deprivation. More often than not as children we find ourselves in the surroundings of our parents and follow a path planned for us by others.
But if you happen to be born in a poor part of the world, the reality is you may find it extremely difficult to obtain a basic level of education, or to overcome poverty.
It can’t possibly be fair that while some children and young people have access to education as a right, available to them (in some cases freely); others in deprived regions don’t even have the option. Instead more often than not, they are forced to toil to survive, sometimes working as child labourers, to support their families / make ends meet.
A problem shared is a problem halved
So when our directors continued to receive multiple requests for help they chose to join the many organisations out there tackling this problem, and do something about it. It’s been a long and hard road getting to this stage, since creating this platform was voluntary. But our intervention is not merely to crowdsource / crowdfund donations from well-wishers. It’s also to create a forum for young people in developing regions to sound out ideas; to solicit advice, to draw knowledge from people with experience. As the phrase goes ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’. In any case, issues about poverty are rarely only about money.
By establishing a mentorship scheme to work with the help of technology, and instructed by local customs/ tradition in the areas we will operate, we believe Oshede can help tackle some of the underlying problems holding young people back.
So this Christmas, as you sit down to relax with friends and family, give us a thought, join and support us, as we introduce Oshede to the world, to help young people access education, and start micro-enterprises.