Monday, April 23, 2012

Community Development Service aka Let's Pretend We're Doing Something Worthwhile

Hey there prettylicious friends! I hope we're all fine, dandy and having a pretty day. In my last post I was frustrated and venting - so much so that my dad was concerned enough to ask if I want to leave Nigeria. Well, my answer to that was that I have to finish what I started. Nobody held a gun to my head or promised me an unlimited amount of cake and ice cream (I soooooooo wish). This was completely my decision and I will see it through, no matter how frustrated I get. If nothing else, the time's slowly but surely ticking away... 5 months gone already! Yay me!!!!

Soooooo, today I shall be discussing 'Community Development Service' or CD for short. The premise of CD is for the youth corps member to serve the community where he/she was posted to and positively impact the people around. there are 3 classes of CDS programs:

1. Individual - In this case, one or more corps members decide on a project to help the surrounding community. When I was in orientation camp, a corps member from an earlier batch had gotten donations of N1 million worth of medicine for use in the Lagos camp! Awesome, right? Except that I went to the camp clinic 2 days later and they mysteriously had run out of painkillers *insert bb straight face smiley* A friend and I had actually thought of projects to do as an individual cd, but, erm, see what had happened was...

2. Group CDS - in this category, nysc-led groups meet weekly for different projects. This is where you'll be placed randomly if you haven't chosen a special CD group already.  Can I just say that most of these are a total joke!?!?! 90% of the meetings are a bunch of corps members sitting around and waiting for their CD cards to be signed. Hey, Sanitation group, how about cleaning up the local government once a month, or raising funds to buy public waste baskets?  My friends in the Drama group were being asked for relationship advice last week. As in, that was part of their meeting... To be fair, some actually do stuff - I have a friend in the Education group that goes to visit a school regularly to talk to kids. I have yet to find out the essence of the Construction and Maintenance group.

3. Collaborative CDs aka Special CD groups - National and international agencies or businesses form partnerships with NYSC to carry out various projects or spread a particular message, eg Millenium Development Goals group meets up (supposedly) to discuss and partake (again supposedly) in activities that propel Nigeria towards the realization of said goals. these CD groups don't necessarily have to meet weekly - some meet just once a month.

Just because I see this post has come out longer than I expected, I'll tell you about my special CD in the next post.

I really wish NYSC would take this part of the program seriously, while ensuring corps members security and safety. I believe the corpers killed last year in the North were carrying out voter registration duties  with/for INEC. I'm not 100% sure whether they were there in Primary Assignment or Community Development capacity. In any case, not a lot of Nigerians in my perception are willing to do volunteer work - which is supposed to be the very essence of CD groups. This is the time to make a positive impact on the society and environment - or gain a skill for your personal development/entrepreneurship like me.

Anyways, will put up another post when I get home today. I'm at work right now - yes I'm still bored with nothing to do *rolls eyes*

See ya in a bit! Kiss kiss, hug hug.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

The life of a corper at work...

Heyyy boos!

Been a little while, innit? For that, I must respectfully, humbly apologize from the berry bottom of my heart!!!

Can I just say that I CANNOT wait till my service year is over????? I am BORED outta my mind.

Granted, I didn't have high hopes or expectations when I started youth service. However, being with the company I was "so lucky" to get into, I thought this would be a good time to learn about a different industry than I'm used to. I thought I'd learn a bit, develop myself career-wise, and plant a foundation for future opportunities.

However, I go into the office and for the most part, I stare :-| I wish I was joking, but I'm not. I mean, there are days when I have stuff to do, but more often than not, I'm mentally counting the seconds until it's closing time.

One of the first things I did when I reported to my PPA (place of primary assignment), was tell my supervisor, "Hello, my name is Berry (not really) and I'm here to add value and learn. I have an MBA... I've been working for over 3 years. PLEASE make sure you give me real work to do - that's all I desire from this company. Thank you very much" And I meant it wholeheartedly.

But I've been disappointed. At this point, I've been at my PPA for 4 months, and I cannot tell you that I've learned anything substantial. Regretfully, I even feel ecstatic when they send me to deliver a document to a different department :( God, is this what I came back to this darn country for? Like I'm getting fed up here.

There are other corpers within the company who have real work to do... I envy them. However, there are some who are worse off than I am. They don't even have desks, so they just "float" around the office.

I'm thinking about switching departments. I thought I had a good strategy in asking my supervisor what I could help with every morning - but a 5-minute task only frustrates me more.

Some people have said that I should be happy since I'm essentially getting paid to do nothing. In fact, too many people have said it, and I just don't understand their logic. If I'm going to be doing nothing, I'd much rather do it in the house and forfeit the paycheck.


Can you tell I'm frustrated? I need to leave this country :(