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Exploring Life & Business with Damilola Ajongbolo of Sdora Wellbeing LLC and Sdora Care INC

Today we’d like to introduce you to Damilola Ajongbolo.

Hi Damilola, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
First, my journey is a long one and has been so far fulfilling. I will, however, make it a little brief. If you are familiar with the history of Nigerians, you will know that we are not only hard-working, we are goal setters and achievers, and I am no less of that. I came from a very humble background but am blessed to have parents whose focus is on ensuring that their offspring get a good education; my mother worked greatly towards making that a reality, and with that, I know I cannot and will not settle for less.

I started my journey as a young girl with a load of ambitions and focused on becoming successful in whatever I set my mind and hands to do; even though it was hard for a girl like me to reach those goals, I did not relent. I ensured to prepare myself for whatever opportunity that I may encounter. It is said that “equal luck preparation plus opportunity,” but I’d rather say “GRACE and a working FAITH” as a believer. God’s words say that he will bless the works of our hands and that faith without works is dead, so I presented the works, which is my preparation, and he blessed it.

Talking a bit about my academics, I am a graduate of Chemistry from a reputable university in Nigeria; However, that wasn’t my choice of study. I had applied for the Pharmacy program but was offered Chemistry (if you are familiar with the educational system in Nigeria, you’ll understand; you may apply to a course and be offered something else within the scope of your application or not). After graduating and obtaining certifications here and there (all in the preparation process). I got married in a short while and had to relocate to the states in 2014.

Upon my arrival, I pondered for a while on what to do next after realizing I could not continue with my career as a trained Chemist/Safety officer because the course in line with my career (or so I thought) was thousands of miles away from my new abode. I couldn’t relocate (I was expecting our first baby, and my hubby was in school in our new place so I couldn’t leave my home). I then decided to go back to my first love (Pharmacy, and this time, I would be doing this to earn a PharmD and not BPharm), so the journey began. While on my journey to become a PharmD, I was privileged to start different businesses, including an NGO, which my husband confounded. One of those businesses is a fashion business (SHYNESCLOSET LTD), where we sell clothes and accessories for men, women, and children. This business is now in Nigeria, and we make deliveries globally.

Our NGO, SDORA CARE INC, is an organization focusing on integrated HIV and STI treatment and the total well-being of our folks in the Baltimore community. Also, in the same year, 2021, when SDORA CARE INC started, we registered another healthcare organization (SDORA WELLBEING LLC) in the behavioral health department. We began our accreditation and licensing process in Maryland (this will be launching soon). I am almost done with my PharmD program and hope to expand my line of business afterward. Like I mentioned earlier, I can’t settle for less; I’m fact, there’s no room for less.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has been far from whatever definition is there for “smooth.” With a background like mine, it takes a lot of determination, hunger for success/greatness, and, most importantly, grace to get through. In other words, there have been hurdles, struggles, and whatever terms are out there to say the road has not been smooth. Though it’s cool when you call your shots, owning a business is not a bed of roses. One of my struggles is the wait time for obtaining documentation from the regulatory bodies and continued expenses while waiting for these documents. And who would have thought hiring employees could give you so many headaches, I found myself in such a situation a couple of times, and we hope to rise above all obstacles soon enough.

We’ve been impressed with Sdora Wellbeing LLC and Sdora Care INC, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
SDORA WELLBEING is a psychiatric rehabilitation program where we focus on community integration of adults, adolescents, and children with challenges ranging from depression (including maternal care/postpartum depression), ADHD, Anxiety, Fear, Abandonment, etc. Our clients are seen in different locations based on their convenience and availability (we see clients at home, community, schools, etc.).

We engage our clients in social skills development, coping skills, self-care and awareness, peer interaction, and communication skills. As required, our treatment plan is based on individual needs, so we are person-centered. Our counselors are well-trained individuals who engage in this work for their daily bread and because of their passion for a better community and the growth of humanity. SDORA WELLBEING is located in an effortless and accessible location for all individuals, and we are also working on providing transportation vouchers for our prospective clients.

My answer is always simple when I’m asked what sets us apart. It’s this. It’s the passion of everyone at our organization to see a better health outcome for all individuals; our no judgment zone/prejudice and our zeal and willingness for growth have enabled and will further allow us to offer quality care.

SDORA CARE is an NGO whose primary focus is integrated HIV/STI testing and care. We also believe healthcare is not just about physical and should be holistic. So, one of our strengths is the ability to focus on outreach to cater to the welfare of our community members, especially those living with HIV or at high risk. And the ability to maintain our continued care for our individuals.

What’s next?
My plan for the future regarding my healthcare organizations (both SDORA CARE and SDORA WELLBEING) is to serve the needs of individuals globally. Though at the moment, SDORA CARE is partnering with another NGO in Nigeria, whose focus is on women and children’s welfare and menstrual health for women and girls. We are also collaborating with Value Baltimore, an organization focusing on vaccinations, pregnancy and lactation, and outreach to the Baltimore community. We hope to expand our partnership/collaboration across the globe and increase our capacity in the scope of services. We are also working on including support/social groups for individuals, mentoring programs for youths and children, and empowerment programs for women. While at SDORA WELLBEING, we look forward to expanding our services area to have a one-stop-shop of care for our clients and prospective clients.

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