Bukola Bolarinwa who won The Future Awards Africa Prize for Advocacy in 2016 was selected last year as one of the 2017 Queen’s Young Leaders. She was presented with the award on Thursday 29th of June, 2017.
Bukola Bolarinwa was born with Sickle Cell Disease, and after noticing the chronic shortage of blood faced by people living with Sickle Cell who need regular transfusions, she joined the Sickle Cell Aid Foundation in 2010 to help raise awareness about the importance of giving blood. She is the founder of Haima Health Initiative (HHI) which was founded in 2015.
In June 2017, she joined The Future Awards Africa Alumni on the school tour to secondary schools enlightening them about career development and overcoming challenges in academics.
She began a monthly campaign drive in partnership with the National Blood Transfusion Service to try to ensure a regular supply of donated blood, and to help combat cultural fears about giving blood.
In 2015, Bukola set up an online blood donation register which asks young people to register to donate blood in emergency situations. During its first year, the register has gained more than 1,000 prospective donors and, through the use of social media and text messaging, linked over 500 donors with patients in urgent need of blood. Bukola is currently working to recruit 5,000 people as registered blood donors by December 2017.
Her activities have reached over ten thousand people across various states in varying capacities in Nigeria. This includes blood donations, genetic counselling, school programs and social media campaigns.