Make an im­pact wher­ever you find your­self – Corps mem­ber, Juliet

Daily Trust - - YOUTH VILLE -

Juliet Chine­merem Ugwu a corps mem­ber cur­rently serves in the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory (FCT). The Enugu State Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy (ESUT) Ge­ol­ogy & Min­ing grad­u­ate spoke with YOUTHVILLE on her pas­sion and her pro­ject for In­ter­nally Dis­placed Per­sons (IDPs) at Yim­itu com­mu­nity in the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory. Text by Eseohe Eb­hota @sleek_­diva88 & Olayemi John-Mensah hat pro­pelled your de­sire to do­ing a pro­ject for IDPs?

I am some­one that has a pas­sion for help­ing the less-priv­i­leged and peo­ple that can’t af­ford some things. So when I started serv­ing in Abuja, I told my­self I was go­ing to touch lives dur­ing my one year youth ser­vice. I did my best by iden­ti­fy­ing a place that has cer­tain needs.

Af­ter mov­ing around, I dis­cov­ered that their ma­jor need is wa­ter. A 25 litre jerry can is sold for N30.00 which is quite ex­pen­sive for them. How many litres do you ex­pect a nurs­ing mother to buy? So be­cause of that, I had to make the ef­fort to pro­vide wa­ter for

Wthem. Did you get co­op­er­a­tion from the com­mu­nity head and other stake­hold­ers? Yes, I did. The vil­lagers are very ac­com­mo­dat­ing. They gave the IDPs where to stay and even al­lowed them to farm. I went straight to the chief, vis­ited the IDP chair­man and went round the camp with him and I also got in touch with the women leader. They all gave me their sup­port.

How did you get spon­sors for this pro­ject?

I wrote pro­pos­als to dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions, phi­lan­thropists, and cor­po­rate or­ga­ni­za­tions to so­licit for sup­port. The So­ci­ety for Fam­ily Health (SFH), Cen­tre for Right to Health (CRH), and CHI Nige­ria (a com­mu­nity health ini­tia­tive) part­nered with me to achieve my goal.

What were the chal­lenges you had dur­ing the pro­ject du­ra­tion?

I faced a lot of chal­lenges. Some­times I had to trek, other times I had to beg and even cry when I thought of their plight. At times, I would even tell God that I was tired but He would al­ways give me the re­as­sur­ance to move on. Then my men­tors too en­cour­aged me, they may not be the ones to give me money but they al­ways told me to con­tinue that I would make it.

What are your plans af­ter your ser­vice year?

My first plan is to go back to school for my mas­ters’ pro­gramme. While I work, I would say this pro­ject is a start be­cause I have the pas­sion to sup­port the less-priv­i­leged. For in­stance dur­ing my sec­ondary school days, I took care of the blind. I would have loved to repli­cate this pro­ject in other IDPs places with more sup­port; I may start in other places and then go back to school and get a job.

Would you wish other youth and corps mem­bers em­u­late you?

Yes I do. So I’m ad­vis­ing them that when­ever you find your­self in any place, don’t be scared. En­sure you have the time to think about other peo­ple near you and how you can help them. My ad­vice is that try to make an im­pact wher­ever you find your­self. Do some­thing for the peo­ple, don’t just come and leave. I also en­cour­age my fel­low corps mem­bers to reach out to com­mu­nity mem­bers where they serve. In some of those places, they do not have wa­ter, light or health cen­tres, corps mem­bers should come out and help.

PHOTOS: Onyekachukwu Obi

Corps mem­ber Juliet Ugwu test­ing her bore­hole pro­ject shortly be­fore it was com­mis­sioned at Yim­itu com­mu­nity in FCT re­cently

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