Topic: Volunteerism: A Tool for Effecting Positive Change
Chibuzor: Good morning and welcome to The SunRise Convo. I am Chibuzor Agomuoh.
This happens to be the maiden edition of the Show, and it's brought to you by The SunRise Youth Intervention Organization.
Our Organization over the last five years have focused primarily on Youth Intervention and Youth development.
Some of our projects include:
1) The SunRise School Tour.
2) The SunRise Academy for Young Leaders.
3) The SunRise Skills Acquisition Training Programme.
4) The SunRise SMS devotional which reaches over 3,000 young persons weekly in six countries.
This programme is carefully designed to provide quality and practical information on personal, business, career and spiritual development. So be sure to tune in every Saturday by 10am.
I'm in the studio with my able co-hosts: Patrick Ndifon and Cheerful Light.
Chibuzor : Hi, Cheerful!
Cheerful: Hi, guys!
Chibuzor : Hi, Patrick!
Patrick: Hello everyone!
Chibuzor: We have a lot lined up for you so sit back and relax. We'll take a short musical break and we will be right back.
Chibuzor: Alright, welcome back! That was 'Only King Forever' by Elevation Worship. So Cheerful we've finally been able to kick-start this programme. We've been waiting for it for a long time. Tell our listeners what they should expect from this Show.
Cheerful: Wow! It's amazing. Personally guys I'm so excited to be on this programme finally, and I'm saying this to all our listeners that if you would tune in weekend after weekend to this programme consistently without fail, the life lessons, the counsels, and the principles you would be learning and applying in your life, they will make for a continuous, quality self-improvement and a rapid personal development on your side guaranteed.
That's because the SunRise Convo is a direct response of The SunRise Youth Intervention Organisation to the increasing demand we've had in our work with young people lately. So we are leveraging on this platform to reach out to a lot more people out there. And... yeah... It will be an amazing time of metamorphosis.
Chibuzor: Amazing. So Patrick what do you have to say?
Patrick: Yeah guys, I am on the same page with you. It's been a long time coming. We've been talking about it for a while and it's a dream come true. You know, there is a lot to look out for. We've planned out some interesting and engaging topics we're going to discuss. There is going to be practical insight and information being given out.
So if you are a young person and you are not tuned in right now, tune in. Don't miss out!
Chibuzor: In case you don't know, Cheerful Light is the Assistant Programmes director at The SunRise Academy for Young Leaders, and Patrick Ndifon is the Assistant Programmes director for The SunRise School Tour.
So guys, today I would like us to talk about something really important.
I would like us to look at: Volunteerism- A Tool for Positive Change. There is this common notion a lot of young Nigerians have. When you mention volunteerism, they'll say things like "Oh... It's something for the Non-Profit Organizations" or "I need to enroll into a Charity Organization to be able to see myself as a Volunteer."
Personally I believe every young person has something to offer. We all have inside of us a river of gifts, a river of talents to bless our world and to bless our communities.
But this notion is a limiting factor, I would say. So Cheerful what do you have to say concerning this thought?
Cheerful: Well, taking it from the base, the very idea of a volunteer, it connotes somebody that wants to do something or does something because he wants to do it, not necessarily because he's been paid to do so.
So it's easy to see that volunteerism is a personal thing. It stems from a personal conviction.
One of my favorite definitions of Success is one that defines Success as discovering a human need and reaching out to solve that human need. That's what volunteerism helps you do, and one of the...probably the most important question is to ask yourself, "What's the one problem in the world, in the society around me that I am able and willing to solve. Once I locate that problem, just get to work solving it. That's how The SunRise Youth Intervention Organisation got started. And one of our most impactful programmes or projects has been The SunRise School Tour.
We looked at our educational system. Thank God for the teachers, they are doing a lot. Thank God for the Schools, they are doing a whole lot. But who's gonna be teaching these students on Academic Excellence? Who's gonna be talking to them about matters that concerns sexuality in a way Biology as a subject doesn't handle?
Whose gonna be able to help them nurture their entrepreneurial dreams and ambition?
So you brought us together and we went for it. Only to discover when we got to the schools, the little information we thought we had, was more than enough. It was an instant hit.
The results have been tangible. We've gone to over 15 Schools in Calabar and have reached out to thousands and thousands of young people.
So guys, is not about "I want to start up my own NGO", or "I want to join 'XYZ' NGO and we are known for stuff".
It's not about how big you do what you do, it's about the basic principles, is it personal to you? Is it a personal conviction?
You got to be convinced like "Hey... I got the solution to this thing." You've got to be convinced that you were born as the answer to the cries of millions and millions of people out there.
So once you get there, you must tell yourself "I will, I must.", and you go for it.
Chibuzor: I quite agree with you, Cheerful. Patrick, you're itching to say something [everyone laughs].
Patrick: Yeah... Cheerful had said quite a handful, and he's not far from the truth. Personally for me, volunteerism is all about taking responsibility. It's all about stepping up to the plate and taking charge of the responsibilities that are within your environment, within your community, and your sphere of influence.
You know the problem with a lot of young people these days, including myself, I tell you the truth [everyone laughs], is that we like to complain a lot and we don't want to do anything.
You know, we see things in our environment that we don't like, but we don't want to step up and take responsibility for it. We like to point fingers and say "Hey... Government should do this. Hey...some people need to do this". But we ourselves, we know we have the solution to that problem. But we are not willing to depend on ourselves to get up from our seats and take action, take a step. We blame Government for everything. And the truth is we, like Cheerful said, we have the answers to the problems in the world, so we need to step up.
Somebody said, "Be the change you want to see within your environment. So you have to step out, you have to take charge of your communities, and you can volunteer in many ways. You can volunteer your time, you can volunteer your knowledge, your experience, you can volunteer your money. So I really think we should step up.
Chibuzor: I completely agree with you, Patrick. You see, in this day and age of social media, it is easy to say anything. I would say social media has given a lot of cowards the privilege to scribble and peddle rubbish, and then sit in their bedroom. For example, maybe you went to a School and you found it littered. And then you go on social media and you say "All the school in this town are crazy, they are dirty."
Okay, why not tell yourself "Let me buy waste baskets" at least 10 basket. Go to the school, meet the Principal and say "I would like to donate these waste basket because I notice there is an issue of waste management in the school."
And then you tell the Principal "Can you please give me 30 minutes or 45 minutes to talk with the prefects or the students so that this issue can be managed".
You've solved the problem. And concerning our work at SunRise, I have had a lot of persons who have asked me why we do what we do, and by that I mean the educational material we give out, talking to them on Sexual & Reproductive Health, talking to them on Academic Excellence, and usually my response to them most of the time is, "there is a deep need."
You know, when we meet the children you hear a lot of things which their teachers do not even know about.
I remember when I was serving in Niger State during my NYSC, I heard a very terrible story that each time I remember it or talk about it, it causes ice chills to run through my spine.
I was serving in Niger State and was volunteering for a NACA sponsored programme. I heard the story of a girl who was about 12 or 13 years old. She got pregnant and told her friends she was pregnant. They asked her, "When last did you see your period?"
And she said about two month ago.
So they asked her to accompany them after classes in school.
So they went into a bush. These girls took an old aluminum hanger for clothes, inserted it into this little girl and pulled out the fetus. I am not telling you a story that was made up, this was a serious case. Why it sticks in my mind is because it was so terrible. I was troubled for days when I heard this.
The parents of this girl got to know about a day or two days later. It was at the hospital they got to discover when the case became complicated because it was a crime form of abortion. If there is no one to guide these children they will go haywire. A lot of terrible things are bound to happen to them.
And then you go to these schools and you find that many of them are struggling to pay fees, I mean brilliant students. Of course, Cheerful, we've seen quite a lot of them.
Cheerful: A lot of them.
Chibuzor: There is a student who missed a full year in school because of N10,000.
Cheerful: Intelligent student.
Chibuzor: Intelligent boy. There is another case we saw, N3,500 a term, and she came to you and asked, "What can you do when you want to be excellent in your studies, and your parents cannot afford to pay your fees. These are the needs. And then you have people who spend hundreds of thousands of millions of naira on their birthday party, and not one percent is allotted to benevolence. They'll pick up a bottle of champagne and pour it into a swimming pool.
That's crazy... you know. That's really crazy!
Patrick: You know you are absolutely right. Benevolence is a big issue nowadays. It's hard to come by. My Aunt use to say "The world has lost all care, people don't care anymore these days. You see people splurging on their birthdays, liquor, and all that stuff.
It's not bad to have fun on your birthday. I recommend it for everybody. But why don't you do something noble on the side. Why don't you set aside a budget that would take care of a kid's school fees or some homeless kid within the community. I mean, you would be doing something fulfilling. Think about it. And then consider this, the people that would be coming for your birthday, would be people who can afford what you are offering them. You are not making an impact in any way.
But if you could invest in a kid's life, like we talked about the girl who couldn't pay fees for N3,500, I mean that's change for some people. You see, you'll be leaving an impact. You'll be touching a life. Come to think about it.
Cheerful: And you see, the blessings of life are in the giving, not in the receiving. We're all put here by God to make a giving.
Chibuzor: Absolutely. To join in the conversation please send in your comments on Twitter @TheSunRiseConvo @HitFMCalabar. Or you could send in your questions to 08139691344.
We'll take a short musical break and we will be right back.
Chibuzor: Alright, welcome back!
We have several comments here but we'll take this one. Though the person didn't tell us his name or her name, but it says:
"Hello guys, I wanna ask why I should volunteer. What if I want to and don't have the opportunity, because in today's world...." the text message is incomplete, but Cheerful I'll throw it to you.
Cheerful: Well, firstly like we said, life is about making a giving. You want to be a blessing, you don't want to be at the receiving end of life, okay!
God has blessed you with potentials, abilities. Success is in giving all of that out. You can't just keep receiving. So it's important that you bless people with what you have. That fulfillment cannot be measured. Money will not give you the fulfillment you get for being a blessing to people.
Now the other part that says, "What if I want to, but don't have the opportunity..."
There are numerous opportunities. You can't say there are no opportunities, and I told you something initially that you have to start with your area of strength. Start with your area of passion. Like, for instance, maybe you're an IT guy, you're knowledgeable, why don't you go do a Holiday training programme for young people, right? Teach them computer basics, teach them something. Or maybe you're a caterer, and all of that. So thirdly, there will always be opportunities. Once you get started they'll open up.
I'd like to share something with you quickly, when we went to the schools, we found out that they were so hungry, and Chibuzor you've been telling us something that anybody can go to schools, we are not the only ones going to schools. But you are concerned about sustainability. So you told us, "How can we sustain these thing, guys? Three days is so not enough, it won't suffice. So you said "It's a holiday, let's put them together in something that looks like an Academy, and then have them trained.
That was how The SunRise Academy for Young Leaders was born. As I'm talking to you now guys, we've graduated 4 batches of students, we've handed out certificates, we've been teaching them Leadership and Life skills ranging from Leadership to Social Graces, Success Habits, Excellence Oriented Living, Entrepreneurship, and I remember the first time it was supposed to be one month long, we ended up running it for 7 weeks plus, and they won't go.
They'll always be opportunities. And as I am talking to you now, we are preparing for the 5th Edition of The SunRise Academy for Young Leaders. So if you are a young person out there or you know a young person out there, don't let them while away their holiday.
Come to The SunRise Academy for Young Leaders. We'll be teaching you on Leadership and Life Skills.
It's going to be at our Leadership Facility located at 3 Saint Mary Street off Ekpo Abasi, or off Howell if you are taking from Howell.
We'll start by 8:30am and end by 12:30pm.
We start this Monday, 10th to the 22nd of April, 2017.
So... hey...don't while away your holiday! Come and position yourself for greater value.
Chibuzor: Absolutely. We want to say a big thank you to Hit FM for this platform. We want to day's special thank you to our financiers and we'll meaning individuals who have shown us amazing support.
Some people think we get funding from any Organization. No, we don't!
This project is supported by people who have the best interest of young people at heart, and we are immensely grateful. We've done so much for the last 5 years and it's because of these amazing persons. Thank you so much.
The SunRise Academy for Young Leaders starts on the 10th of April, and it is absolutely free. We have never collected a dime for any of our programmes.
I can attest to the fact that the dozens of young persons that have gone through our training have never been the same. They've been transformed greatly. So if you have children who are teenagers, encourage them to attend.
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My name is Chibuzor Agomuoh.
I love you for listening.