Making change through art

Making change through art
Ajala has featured over 80 initiatives and social causes and has facilitated impact for over 25 communities around the world.

Dubai - Ajala is a platform providing new source of inspiration; telling the untold stories of changemakers from around the world and offering new perspectives by taking these stories alive through original and creative illustrations



By Saman Haziq

Published: Mon 15 May 2017, 10:01 PM

Last updated: Tue 16 May 2017, 12:05 AM

Hassan Adebayo Bello arrived in Dubai in the summer of 2012 and is now a Dubai-based software programmer, writer and adventurer who has travelled extensively to not only well-known cities but also never-heard-of places in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. But what makes this 23-year-old Nigerian different from most people of his age is that he takes adventure travels not for fun but for volunteering. His longest adventure travel, was when he spent over five months volunteering and backpacking across Southeast Asia. 
"I worked with All Hands Volunteer in Leyte, the Philippines, where I helped in the construction of makeshift homes, evacuation shelters, schools and playground for survivors of one of the biggest and deadliest typhoons ever.
Just when Hassan was planning to share the story of the inspiring encounters, amazing people and life-changing experiences he had when he was in the Philippines, he came across the story of Olabisi Ajala (an African explorer who travelled to 87 countries on a scooter over a period of six years to spread a positive message of love and compassion. Olabisi Ajala died as an unsung hero. This is when Hassan started The Ajala Project to immortalise Ajala and modern day heroes like him. "It is important that these stories are shared and the people who've inspired these stories celebrated."
Ajala is a platform providing new source of inspiration; telling the untold stories of changemakers from around the world and offering new perspectives by taking these stories alive through original and creative illustrations.
The Ajala team includes Hassan, the co-founder and Narmeen Naser (co-founder, Global Health and artist). "Narmeen and I came together through our collective passion for art, community engagement and social impact. Anushkha is the newest member onboard the project. She recently graduated from University of the Arts in London and uses her design skills to create engaging content for our social media pages across a range of platforms.
"Through our frequent community events, we have been able to inspire our friends and family to connect with our initiatives. All our friends and families are now actually ambassadors of our project as they look for more initiatives and artists for us to feature and support. Through our personal networks, we have been able to grow this project to have more than 200 artists from over 40 countries.
"We connect artists with causes, they create artwork to highlight innovative grassroot initiatives and commemorate inspiring local heroes and changemakers. The artworks are sold through our ecommerce platform (theajalaproject.com), our community events and our corporate art sales. Through the sales of our artwork, art therapy workshops and CSR advisory services; we're able to empower communities and revitalise the creative industry locally and internationally. 
Ajala has featured over 80 initiatives and social causes and has facilitated impact for over 25 communities around the world.
saman@khaleejtimes.com
 
 


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