The OHAM Program which started in the first week of April achieved its midterm milestone by June end. As we seek to monitor and evaluate the progress of the program, we reached out to the Fellows and their Mentors to complete a mid-term survey. However, one of our Mentors Madam Foluke Areola graciously went a step further to provide a detailed report on her Mentorship program and her experience with her Mentee, Mr. Iyiola Oladunjoye. This has been detailed below.
(Please note that the report was slightly edited for grammatic purposes only; the actual overall content of the report remains unchanged)
A surprise email from Dr. Kikiope Oluwarore, Founder and Team Lead of One Health Initiative Development (OHDI) program in Nigeria, on 9 February 2020 set me off on an exciting and rewarding relationship with OHDI. It was fascinating learning about the working of OHDI. I accepted being a mentor on 14 February 2020 and the mentorship program with Mr. Iyiola started in April 2020.
Mr. Iyiola Oladunjoye – my Mentee
My first interaction with Mr. Oladunjoye was very productive. I learned, he was into research with a strong interest in good laboratory practices, teaching, leadership, environmental awareness, leadership amongst others. He recently obtained certificates in research writing, recognizing plagiarism, introduction to global health, environmental outcomes, and infectious disease programs.
His expectations from the mentoring program were to learn about One Health (especially Environmental Health) from a professional and learn how to transit from knowledge to action.
Achievements in the mentoring program, April, May, and June 2020
- Availed him the training module on personal development called GAMEPLAN – When Crisis Hits -What to do when the unexpected happens! by Dave Martin which he used with other documents to develop a plan for the mentor-mentee 6 months program.
- Invited him to the online CLIMATE 2020 Conference during which I was an author, and he received a Certification of Participation on April 9, 2020, only 3 days after being introduced to me by OHDI on April 6, 2020. This set the pace of our relationship.
- He shared the video for a course on “Writing in the Sciences” by Stanford University. We both registered for the course before we met. I missed it but he got a certificate. He has a passion for writing and quoting him “I want to be a research scientist, and writing skills are very much needed’. We share the same passion as I write papers on fisheries, aquaculture, quarantine, climate change, and agriculture for publications and contributions to FAO-FSN Food Security forum and incognito for many organizations.
- He shared his interest in Environmental Health developed from his knowledge of Antimicrobial Resistance and which he considered a personal cause. We went through the aims and goals of OHDI and zeroed our focus on the mentoring program on the Environment and Health. In recognition of our mutual interest in Climate Change and following the guidelines on the ‘One Health Advocacy and Mentorship (OHAM) Program as spelled out in the guideline, we agreed to projects related to Climate Change and Antimicrobial Resistance for the mentor-mentee program.
- Developed a project for a small grant on the One Health-themed community-based project. The project ‘Advancing the Health Outcomes of Community Residents by Improving the Waste Management Practices in Lagos Slums through Advocacy and Research’ chosen by Mr. Oladunjoye was extensively discussed. The draft proposal was reviewed before submission. I recommended the project for funding because of the extensive planning, implementation, follow-up strategies in place to ensure the successful implementation of the project.
- I invited Mr. Iyiola to the online coaching on leadership called ‘Dream Releaser Coaching’. We both participated in the very first one and the next one is slated for August 15, 2020.
- Mr. Oladunjoye co-authored an article on ‘Dead Fishes on Nigerian Shores – A Public Health Emergency, which was published on the OHDI Website.
- He facilitated my contribution to the ‘Dead Fishes on Nigerian Shores – Expert Recommendations for Action published on the OHDI website.
- We both worked with a team of experts under OHDI on Ecosystem Risk Assessment: Coastal Project and submitted a proposal for funding
- On 29 May 2020, he reviewed the final version of “Challenges and Prospects of COVID-19 to Aquaculture Industry: A contemporary issue” for submission for publication. The paper was delivered by me at the webinar organized by the West Africa Region of the World Aquaculture Society, African Chapter on Saturday, 18 April 2020.
- On June 12, 2020, he assisted with reviewing a journal article and identified the target journal is a predatory one. This led to an insightful discussion on predatory journals and ways to avoid it. Long before this, Mr. Iyiola Oladunjoye has invited me to two (2) webinar sessions organized by Elsevier, one of which addressed the issues on predatory journals. He sent the PowerPoint slides explaining this issue.
- On June 13, 2020, he reviewed a draft of my webinar paper titled Aquaculture in Africa: The Impact of COVID-19 with Emphasis on Egypt and Nigeria’ and the final draft of ‘COVID-19: Developing a National and Regional Strategy in Coping with the Pandemic: Fisheries and Aquaculture Perspective’, both of which were delivered in webinars organized by the West Africa Region of the World Aquaculture Society.
- During one of our conversations, I communicated how my interest in Climate Change arose due to the devastating flood that affected Nigeria, especially the Fisheries and Aquaculture sub-sectors during my tenure as the Acting Director of Fisheries in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. This led to the discussion about the paper I was writing for Springer on ‘Development of Flood Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Nigeria’.
- Following this conversation, I sent the last aspect I was working on, ‘Sustainable Business Models that provide a co-benefit to Individuals, Environment, and Society’ to Mr. Iyiola for review. Subsequently, the paper was accepted by Springer’s editorial board for publishing in the Handbook of Climate Management on June 29,2020.
- Mr. Iyiola has participated in several webinars I invited him to and on June 30, 2020, he enrolled for two courses on CSPro for Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing and Survey Solutions or Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing, which we are currently undergoing together.
- There were fun times for our relationship. I remember how nervous he was when after almost daily interactions we had the very first week, I did not respond to the last mail he sent then, on time. He thought probably, he did something wrong. We also celebrated his acquiring a new phone.
The expectation of OHDI for the OHAM Mentorship program is that the mentor and mentee complete at least one virtual conversation during the duration of the program. However, the plan that I and Mr. Iyiola developed exceed this. We agreed on having Weekly Interactions and Monthly Meetings virtually. Our first interaction was on Skype in April, followed by a series of WhatsApp engagements and phone calls. We had subsequently had several conversations via WhatsApp call on different occasions dated in April, May 20, June 2, June 5, June 13, June 21, June 25, June 27, and June 30. Most of our conversations usually exceeded 15 minutes and has even spanned for more than an hour.
Mr. Iyiola Oladunjoye
I am honoured to write in support of Mr. Iyiola. He is an intelligent young man, who is deeply knowledgeable about environmental sciences. He is extremely hardworking, remains calm under pressure, and consistently performs on schedule.
By the Grace of God, I strongly hope and believe that the last 3 months of the mentorship program would breed more achievements and further strengthen our relationship, even beyond the OHAM program. We look forward to participating in fruitful discussions and engaging in exciting activities that would contribute positively to the OHAM mentorship objectives and foster the development of our collective progress.
– By Foluke O. Areola, Director(Rtd), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria.