Thank you for visiting the blog for Ipaja Community Link (ICL), a small community-based organisation in Lagos, Nigeria, working towards creating a prosperous, healthy and empowered community in Ipaja.

The main activities of ICL are:
- skills vocational training for women and young people in basic cooking, sewing and bead-making
- youth and community volunteering
- community health education, awareness and support
- community care initiatives

ICL specifically aims to support and empower women, people living with HIV/AIDs, young people, and orphans and vulnerable children.

The following information is representative of the work of ICL and reflects the views of staff, volunteers and those that ICL are working with.

ICL is working hard to make poverty a thing of the past in Ipaja - no one in the community is asking for a handout; they are simply looking for ways to make their lives better, to provide for their families and to secure their future. For more information, please call 0702 969 8523, 0706 155 0665 or 0705 636 9269 (or add +234 if calling from the UK) or email icl@difn.org.uk.

Please read on... (and here's a tip: it might be best if you read from the bottom, for older posts, to the top, for newer posts)...

Saturday, 21 March 2009

What is at the heart of volunteerism in Nigeria? VSO National Volunteering training, Abuja, March 2009

According to the latest national volunteering posters which Yomi and I received when we attended a VSO training course in Abuja last week, "At the heart of volunteerism are the ideals of service and solidarity and the belief that together we can make the world better." Ipaja Community Link are working to support the national volunteering programme by strenghtening opportunities for youths to engage in volunteering activities for social development in line with NEEDS (Nigeria Economic Empowerment Development Strategy for poverty alleviation) and by creating awareness and increasing the profile of volunteerism. Two staff from VSO, Kayode and Abdul, visited Ipaja Community Link at the beginning of March to meet with volunteers and staff to review our national volunteering programme in Ipaja. Our volunteers told Kayode and Abdul that they had experienced many benefits from their volunteering activities with the mother and baby clinic, the elderly, orphans and vulnerable children and with each other during the youth volunteer programme weekly meetings, such as increased self-confidence, making new friends and being involved in social activities and a sense of achieving something useful and making an impact on the community. The organisations that our volunteers spend their time with said that they had inspired staff with the spirit of service, provided extra support to fill skill gaps and improved the relationship between young people and others in the community. The national volunteering programme with VSO sees volunteers as one of the key ways to deliver its development agenda in local communities. Between April 2008 and March 2009, the VSO national volunteering programme in Nigeria placed over 2,500 volunteers throughout the country.

With the support of VSO and Ipaja Community Link's international volunteer, Jennifer, and alongside Timothy, the Youth Volunteer Coordinator, we are looking to provide volunteers with a high-quality volunteering experience that changes a person's life. There is also a network of international volunteers across Nigeria from the UK, United States and Netherlands, with 5 of these based in Lagos, and so through the sharing of experiences, contacts and learnings, we can drive forward the national volunteering programme to alleviate poverty in Nigeria. In Ipaja there is only a certain amount that 8 paid staff can do in the community, but our youth volunteers are able to reach more people through volunteering with local community organisations and meeting with, caring for and assisting others in the community. Volunteering is now seen as a must-have building block of communities and civil society.

1 comment:

  1. This is great work that ICL is doing. Sefless service through volunteering really makes a difference to the volunteer and the recipient of the service from the volunteer. Historically, it only takes a minority or few people to make the world a better place, while the majority swim along with the status quo! I recommend you support ICL by joining the few who can change the world.