I returned to Nigeria in August 2017 from Cyprus, originally just for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program which was to last for the next one year. I had studied international relation in Cyprus for a period of three and half years which was an interesting and challenging period.
I first had my volunteering experience during the early period of my return from Cyprus. I volunteered for Deeper Life Bible church, Apo, Abuja, as a team lead of the sanitation unit. During my time as the team lead, I successfully got all the children involved and excited in the sanitation exercise. This was an awesome experience because I had never had the opportunity to work with a large number of children before.
By November 2017, I was posted to Lagos state for my National Youth Service program. Therein, I was assigned to my place of primary assignment at ATLAS initiative, where my full-time volunteering experience began. ATLAS is an acronym for Access to Learning and School, which is a social enterprise that seeks to address issues of inequalities in access to education and learning particularly in marginalized communities. Working at ATLAS wasn’t a coincidence for me, because I knew it was a learning organization and I was interested in my personal development and grooming my passion to serve humanity. I am enjoying my role as a public relations personnel, which means work feels like play for me.
My very recent experience on one of ATLAS’s program, was on the visit to Epe local government area, for the Access2School project. Epe is a small town close to Lekki lagoon on the out sketch of Lagos, which has about 200,000 inhabitants. Although a suburban, Epe is opening up for infrastructural development.
The Access2School project is focused on bridging the learning gaps between vulnerable marginalized children from rural communities by facilitating their return to formal education. On our first trip, we conducted a community mapping exercise, where we identified stakeholders (visiting the local government officers, traditional rulers (OBA’S), community members and NYSC local government Inspector) within the local government. This process had a lot of exciting moments for me, I was opportune to meet with Oba’s of Poka and Dr. S.O Adewale Oluepe of Epe. This I was experiencing for the first time.
This experience has helped improved my level of exposure, and built my confidence as a public relations personnel. I have learnt so much about the Yoruba culture, most especially a lot about Epe as a rural community. I feel a lot of fulfillment knowing I was part of the success story of children being enrolled back into school through the Access2School project. And so this marks the beginning of a new chapter of my life as a volunteer under the platform of ATLAS Initiative.