As part of its activities, CRACO trains children and young people to give back to their community. In line with this objective, on Wednesday 28th March, 2018, CRACO held a community service activity with the students of Chrisland School within the Ikeja environment.
To commence the occasion was Barr. Evans who spoke on the prospects of community service, he said that our way of life and social welfare package is quite dilapidated, even when Section 14 subsection (2) of the constitution says that it is “hereby accordingly declared that sovereignty belongs to the people through which government derive her legitimacy, that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government” but the government slacks in taking care of our security and welfare, therefore in the absence of these essentials the citizens carry out community service.
Citing an example, he said “if there is a bad road on your street and no government does anything about it and then a group of citizens decide to come together to repair it, that is community service”. We are not to encourage this from government rather we should speak out against this indolence but we can also do something to enhance our lives while we wait on them to act.
Speaking further to the students, he stated “When you are done with school, and you participate actively in the NYSC, that is another form of community service and contributing your quota to the state.
You are doing this in the pathway to your greatness. You don’t need it only to satisfy your community but also to inspire confidence in yourself, younger ones, activate the government, motivate corporate organizations and also learn discipline. It basically establishes the embers of sacrifice in society.
The next speaker was Barr Ify, she started off asking the students questions on what they felt community service is and according to the students community service is a form of giving back to society. It is about looking out for the next person and how we take care of others and our environment.
She stated that people eat and throw things on the road, litter the environment but if we eat and properly dispose things, we are serving the community and we can start by doing the right things i.e. comporting ourselves, being respectful and responsible.
She encouraged them to unlearn some bad behaviors people exhibit in Nigeria that is they should be neat, well behaved and tolerant. In her words “When you realize people aren’t doing the right thing you can respectfully advise them”. The students gave their own suggestions on how to serve the community, by being generous, sharing and helping the less privileged.
Stating further, she said that a dirty environment impacts negatively on the health of its people, neither the poor nor the rich can escape from the hazards of an unhealthy environment and that we breathe unhealthy air when we litter the environment or indiscriminate urination or spitting with out care on the streets.
Lastly, the Executive Director of CRACO, Barr Igwe addressed them on some of the ills in our society, he said the way things are today is because most of the children of yesterday who are adults of today are corrupt and self-centred.
In his words “We are here to change your mindset and raise up a generation that cares, generous, sensitive to the feeling and plight of others.
The difference between our leaders and that of the western countries is that their leaders care about human development. Most of the funds we use to run NGOs in Nigeria come from the west, but here in Nigeria we have so many wealthy people who would rather build structures alone rather than build a human life.
According to Barr. Igwe, “the highest structure you can build is to build a human life, if you do not build a human life, then a ruined human life will mismanage the built structure.
A lot of blessings come when you build and bless others. You see America giving and giving yet they remain the richest in the world. 90% of philanthropy activities come from America. It is a blessing to give. Every person has something to offer. If you don’t have money, you can give your service to the community or your voice by speaking out for the voiceless.
The school children were taught that the basic skills to serving their community are to be kind and compassionate, by doing so they can contribute their quota in looking after the wellbeing of others and the earth.
They will also gain necessary skills that will aid them in becoming responsible citizens and leaders of tomorrow.
After the discussion session the students went round the Ikeja area sweeping, cleaning and clearing the area of refuse after which each student received an attestation letter and a
copy of CRACO’s book titled “In Pursuit of True Success” which would help them understand more the need for volunteerism and selfless service to humanity.