Originally posted: March 23, 2015


(L-R) Sunday Olukoju, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Deborah Olukoju at the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards Ceremony.

On March 18, 2015, 17 recipients from across Canada were honoured by Prime Minister Stephen Harper for their volunteer contributions.  Among the recipients was Deborah Olukoju, an EAL Counsellor/Advisor here at MITT.  Deborah received the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Award for Community Leadership, and she was the sole recipient for the Prairie region, which includes Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Earlier this week, Deborah received her award at a ceremony in Toronto.  To read more about this prestigious award and Deborah’s contributions to the community, please go to:

Read on for some more information shared about Deborah below. Congratulations on being a positive influence in our community, and a wonderful member of our staff here at MITT!

Rev. (Dr.) Deborah Olukoju has provided immeasurable support to her community. After leaving her home country of Nigeria, Rev. Olukoju came to Canada as a student to study and lead a more prosperous life. Though she had little financial resources, she persevered and improved her situation and that of those around her. She has since provided counselling services to hundreds of individuals, supported newcomers to Canada and has taken action to help prevent youth violence. As a role model in her community, she inspires action, selflessness, integrity and excellence. She has multiplied herself by training leaders who now model, counsel and coach young couples and young adults.

The range of her activities is varied, and Rev. Olukoju reaches out to those in need regardless of age, gender or financial situation. As the Manitoba facilitator for the National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of Canada Mentorship Program and the liaison for the Nigerian community with the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, she has assisted newcomers to Canada in settling and securing employment in Manitoba. The grant she secured from the public sector provides 300 children and adolescents with the opportunity to attend and gain work experience at several summer camps.

As a pastor with a congregation of over 400 members, she maintains close ties with her community and responds promptly to their needs. To share her message, she has also coproduced two powerful movies entitled “Forces Against My Soul” and “The Finest Wine,” which have touched the hearts and souls of vulnerable individuals and served as a deterrent from leading a life of violence. The third, “The Mobile Prison” whose moral lesson is about forgiveness and closer family relationship has just been released in the month of March 2015.

In the last 10 years she has assisted, cared for and provided opportunities for well over 2 500 individuals. She is known to gather household items and she continues to open her own door to those who need a place to stay. She continues to mentor hundreds of young people on how to live and serve self-sacrificially. Her role as a volunteer counsellor and coach for couples and individuals seeking spiritual, emotional and moral support leads to a healthier and happier community.

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