• Ukinebo Dare

Working with rural communities. (Part 1)

Updated: Oct 13, 2019

I am sure you have felt that strong desire to give back. Maybe, you watched a documentary about underserved communities or marginalized groups of people. You may have already tried to give back to your village or local community. How impactful was it?

You may be able to relate with Noma who got his fingers burnt trying to give back and might say, don’t waste your time!!! Well, I have a different opinion. I will share my experience and practical advice after you find out what happened to Noma.



Noma's grandmother raised him in his village after his parents died. She took good care of him and ensured he got into a good University in the City, she still kept supporting him till he could stand on his own two feet. 12 years, a wedding and two kids after he graduated, he was back to the village for mama’s burial. He had not been there for over a decade.

“Nomsy!” He heard someone shout his name. He looked back and tried to recognize the face, “Ah! Abi, you no fit recognize me. Na me Ezika”. The stranger said in their dialect. He couldn’t believe his eyes. He didn’t recognize his childhood friend. Ezika was looking so lean and tattered, and had aged ten times beyond his real age. Anyone who saw both will not believe that they were the same age. The shock was a lot for Noma but he did not express it as he kicked of a long conversation with his old friend.

During his time in village, he carefully observed the activities, and noticed that the youths were majorly involved in manual labor and there were no real opportunities to make their lives better. He resolved within himself to act.

He swung into action as soon as he got back to work, raised funds through an NGO he established and with the funds, he built a skill acquisition center. He held nothing back in ensuring that trainees would get the best. He also brought in facilitators from the city to help train the willing and able-bodied members of the village. Soon enough, beneficiaries were trained as trainers in hairdressing, welding, and fabrication. There was so much buzz and excitement. He did a great job and became a hero!

He returned to the city and promised to be back within a year to see how things were going, but he came back to a shocking reality! Shocking!

 

After approximately 8 months he was excited to see what improvements the centre would have brought to the village. An inspection left him heart broken. The centre was in disrepair and the young people who had learnt the skills stilled seemed to be stranded.


Don’t give up on giving back just yet! Find out what went wrong and what he could have done differently in part 2 of this post.

Until then, keep making impact.

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