December 5 is upon us! Every year on the 5th of December, the International Volunteer Day (IVD) is celebrated. The day was designated by the United Nations in 1985 as an international observance day to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism. Here at Volunteer in Nigeria, we cash in on the opportunity to laud the remarkable contribution of volunteers, while inspiring others to embrace volunteerism. Our objective is to inspire Nigerians to embrace practical servant leadership through impactful volunteerism, which is in fact beneficial to the volunteers themselves.
As unv.org puts it, “Volunteering is a two-way street. Volunteers gain valuable experience, expand their knowledge and enrich their lives through their actions. At a national level, volunteers use their expertise to create meaningful impact for communities and countries. At a community level, volunteering gives voice to those who are marginalized, for example women, youth and those with disabilities, and enables people to effect real change. As well, volunteering enables people to develop skills to participate in society, to integrate, to increase their employability.”
At Volunteer in Nigeria, we have deployed more than 2,000 volunteers to work on close to 100 social impact projects in 13 states of the nation. We estimate that around 5% of our volunteers have secured jobs directly through our volunteering engagements, while some have been inspired to found their own projects/companies. Stories like Azuka’s shared below motivate us to go harder.
“My name is Azuka and I currently work in the Abuja branch of Nigeria Info FM, one of the leading radio stations in Nigeria. I joined Volunteer in Nigeria in late 2014. At that point, I was fresh out of university where I studied Accounting. I hated Accounting and was confused and unsure of my future. It was a period of darkness in my life – a time when I felt my sun was setting, when in fact, it was supposed to be rising.
For me, life was never unpredictable. I had to be in control of everything, every second and every moment. I liked being predictable. Imagine how life changes from that perfect morning to a midnight in a split second. A relationship I built over the years came crashing right before my eyes. From battling depression to falling ill and almost committing suicide, my life made me question a lot of things. I was lost and thought I was going to die. Nobody could see what I was going through because I kept a happy and calm disposition (if any member of my family reads this, they would find this unbelievable).
After battling an illness that almost took my life, I made a decision never to let my circumstances get to me. I started to be a bit outgoing, and through a friend who advised me to get busy, I got to know about Volunteer in Nigeria. I spoke to Chioma Tanwa, who needed me to volunteer with Volunteer in Nigeria at a radio station in Benin City (where I lived) on short notice. It was a media campaign project organised by Volunteer in Nigeria to commemorate the International Volunteer Day. Well I volunteered, and that 5 minutes interview changed my life forever. The following week, I got a job at that same radio station as an on-air personality. Today makes it 2 years since I took that decision to volunteer, and I am currently working with my third media organisation. I volunteered and got my life back.
Broadcasting and motivational speaking has become my passion and my life. I can’t thank God and Volunteer in Nigeria enough for helping me discover myself. I still volunteer often and I have dedicated my life to helping and sharing people’s problems. I hope my story inspires you to overcome whatever you are going through and understand that true happiness and fulfilment comes from helping others.
I am Nsonwu Azuka Oghogho, a Volunteer, Humanitarian & Media Executive, and this is my story.”
This year, the theme of the IVD is #GlobalApplause, and we are set to inspire many more people to volunteerism. Consequently, we are embarking on our media campaign again.
See posts on our previous editions here.
CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
If you are interested in getting on the radio and TV to speak about this special cause, please reach out to us by following these steps below. If you know a television or radio broadcaster who can host our volunteers, or are one yourself, please reach out to us as well.
Step 1: Read the post requirements above carefully
Step 2: Make sure you are comfortable with speaking about volunteerism and inspiring others
Step 3: If you are fully available on & before December 5 and interested, kindly register at http://volunteers.volunteerinnigeria.org (skip this step if you have registered in the past)
Step 4: Drop us a comment below this post (NOT the registration page) with your name, active phone number, active email address and state of current residence.
NOTE: Your comments with personal information will not be published. Please do not leave a comment if you have not registered and be sure to leave a comment on this very page with the opening announcement after you register. We close recruitment in about a week or two. Therefore, your comment needs to come in (and follow the guidelines above) before then to be considered. Thank you!