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)...

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Ipaja Community Link and NYSC - an exciting new partnership!

Back in March, Yomi, Coordinator of Ipaja Community Link (ICL), Tonye, one of our dedicated youth volunteers, and Timothy and Jennifer, Youth Volunteer Coordinators, visited the NYSC camp in Iyana Ipaja, Lagos, to talk about the work of ICL in Lagos and the many benefits of volunteering. National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) is a mandatory one-year of service that all graduates in Nigeria, under the age of 30, have to complete. Usually corpers are placed in a different state to their state of origin and each year there are hundreds of thousands of corpers who complete this service. VSO and NYSC already have a partnership with the Corper Plus programme in Nasarawa and Kwara. There is more information aboutr NYSC here: www.nysc.gov.ng. As part of the NYSC placement, corpers are encouraged to volunteer as part of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) project. During camp, interested volunteers signed up to be part of a five-day intensive training programme around the MDGs and how they can actively become involved in their host community. I spoke to them about how ICL are working hard to meet all of the MDGs, even if this is in a small way, in a local community on the ground. Following this sensitisation session, ICL are now engaging corpers, who are based in and around our local government area, as volunteers with our community-based work on their once-a-week community development (CD) day. One corper, Dipo Ogunfeibo, aged 27, is regularly volunteering to assist at the local mother and baby immunisation clinic in Akinyele, Ipaja. Dipo told us that he is passionate about community development and has been challenged by the commitment of ICL staff and youth volunteers to do more in his community. The immunisation clinic, which exists to reduce child mortality and is synonymous with millennium development goal four, enables Dipo to have an impact in the local community by assisting with the registration of mothers and babies, handing out needles for injections and weighing babies. Dipo studied Eduation at Ile-Ife University, Nigeria, and is a Development Knowledge Facilitator on the MDGs, so he regularly talks to pupils in schools about poverty and development. He believes that peer education is key for young people - "if we plant these ideas in the minds of young people at an early age, they will tell their parents, brothers, sisters and friends about development, and hopefully become actively engaged with the issues as they grow older." Dipo is planning to provide some additional training for ICL staff and volunteers around the MDGs.

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