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Nigeria should reenact volunteering culture

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By Timothy Akintola

Institutional volunteering to help improve Nigeria’s national development.

Despite the recent developments that have hit Nigeria’s social system and the rapidly increasing economy, different social and environmental crisis continue to overwhelm the country. In a recurring state of fragility and conflict, most rural and urban communities in the country are still struggling with numerous development challenges such as unemployment, poor national resource management, bad environmental conditions and low literacy levels. The climate crisis have posed as the latest environmental crisis that has evidently ravaged the country.

Flooding is the latest climate disaster to ravage the country. Many states in Nigeria reportedly suffered from the prevalent destruction of lives and properties, due to the intense flooding that well affected millions of people across the 35 states in the country. This flood, which was reported to have submerged houses, infrastructures, crops and livestock, evidently disrupted the regular flow of events around the affected areas, internally displacing numerous people who were struggling to settle in makeshift camps. A national concern, this issue of flooding was recorded as the worst in decades, affecting over 600,000 houses, with over N2.6 trillion lost in revenue. Reports thus pointed to the flood to have been catalyzed by immense rainfall and the release of excess water from the Cameroonian dam.

Many rural communities presently lack access to basic facilities.

However, this situation pointed to the reduced reality of voluntarism in Nigeria. Upon the government’s complacency towards helping the victims of this flood, neighboring communities also rendered little or no help to elevate the victims from this devastating situation. Many rural communities in Nigeria presently lack access to basic facilities like schooling, electricity, internet and even good roads. As a result, most of these communities have been left to social isolation.

Volunteering plays an essential part in bridging gaps and improving the social state of the country. However, the economic discrepancies and lack of awareness as to the impact of volunteering have contributed to the rare practice of volunteering in Nigeria. It has however been noted that the lack of volunteering culture in the country have continually deprived people, the opportunity to develop new skills, build CVs and extend networks. In fact, it is believed that the lack of the volunteering culture in Nigeria has led to the increased rate of unemployment which catalyzes crime rate.

Volunteering in Nigeria declines despite being a cultural aspect.

Despite volunteering being one poignant aspect of the African culture, there has been an evident decline in these volunteering activities lately. One volunteering scheme that has helped orphans immensely is the Angel of Hope Foundation’s charity program to teach orphans basic information technology skills. Reports indicate that 57 of the 107 orphans have also benefited from the Sponsor an Orphan Project, where some have become computer engineering graduates and others, also doing well for themselves. This has importantly enhanced the societal and economic growth in the country.

While volunteering does not necessarily address the complex systemic problems, a people-centered strategic approach in volunteering can provide the needed encouragement for a more sustainable participation in the socio-political processes that enact formal rules and informal policies that impact how people interact with governing institutions. Hence, it is important to give time and resources to propagating voluntary actions which will not only benefit the country’s social and economic status quo but also promote unity in insecurity-ravaged communities.

Nigerian government must create better ambience for volunteering.

In promoting volunteering options here, the Nigerian government must also create amiable ambience for the propagation of this process across the country. The government must create awareness for these volunteering platforms by ensuring the citizen emergency schemes, as well as also improving the structure of community policing. However, Nigeria’s economy can witness a revitalized chain reaction in its education, employment and peaceful coexistence standards, as a result of the improved volunteering system in the country.

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