Origin of We‘R’NextGeneration
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1973, Adebo Ifesanya moved back to his family’s homeland in Nigeria at the age of five years. He grew up as many children in our global society, with interests in science fiction, watching cartoons, and playing outdoor games. Adebo read only as instructed for his studies, but had more passion for playing than for books, until one day he came upon a book about the universe and outer space. This sparked his quest for knowledge of a more educational sort. Once he started reading about outer space, Adebo dreamed of the possibility of space travel and becoming a “Nigernaut.” He even built homemade cardboard rocket models, fueled with his special mix of coal/matchstick powder and petrol, which never launched but rather burnt. As a young student, he was well-rounded and excelled in math, science and arts, and received the honor of representing his institution in quiz contests. From his found personal interest, Adebo developed his passion for reading and learning about subjects related to space, space travel and nuclear rocket.
Even as a good student with a variety of interests, Adebo was instructed to be practical when he moved back to America to begin university and in his career search, rather than following what could have been a riskier path, but one for which he was passionate, into nuclear physics. He allowed his more imaginative aspirations to fall away and became a career man, yet another world citizen living to get by, pay bills, survive … But Adebo is luckier than many youth, worldwide, to have had a solid family life at home and the opportunity to attend good schools.
Though considered successful, by any modern standard, Adebo still wonders what could have been had he responsibly followed his passion for an area of knowledge and education that excited him, rather than aiming for a “safer” future. Adebo Ifesanya is a 14-year volunteer for HOPE Worldwide Lagos. In 2006 he visited Nigeria for a month to donate his time and computer skills servicing the organization fulltime. This visit, along with years of international travel, interacting with people of various backgrounds, sparked an idea in Adebo to build a specialized general-interest library for kids (including orphans and other at-risk youth); a place where kids’ cognitive abilities are strengthened and learning passion inspired, to seek education and to dream big.
Further annual visits working for HOPE Worldwide Lagos along with Adebo’s history as a young person in both a developing country and one already developed, reinforced and broadened Adebo’s vision for the library, maturing into the idea for an organization which works with children on a global scale to empower kids to seek out education, follow even their loftiest goals and becoming personally responsible and upright citizens. By working with children specifically between the ages of 7 to 13 years, Adebo believes there is a chance to get children interested in learning while they’re still imaginative enough to think big. Offering a safe, functional environment, like a library, can give children all the resources they need to fully develop their ideas for the future and global development.
Adebo was struck with the realization that while we generally break up our problems into many categories, such as corruption, violence, and social irresponsibility, the core of all of these issues may be narrowed to a lack of personal responsibility, integrity, and self-identity. The truth about the way most kids view education is that they are pushed into learning rather than pulled. In addition, they live and are surrounded by criminal and/or indiscipline lifestyles, which may appear hopelessly appealing. The vision of We‘R’NextGenerationTM is to ingrain these values in next generation that is kids today, by showing them how much they are capable of achieving through learning, no matter what area of knowledge they are passionate about, and to show kids practical ways to move ahead toward higher education and career paths which involve the areas of education that inspire them.