Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
At such a time as this when young people are crying for survival and saving for their future, a corps member who concluded her service year last week with the Cross River State Internal Revenue Service, Ugwueze Joy Oluchi has performed an extraordinary feat by using savings she made from her monthly allowance to touch the lives of secondary school children in Calabar. She distributed over 200 sanitary pads and exercise books to students of Federal Government Girls College, FGGC, Calabar.
Ugwueze in an interaction with TNN shortly after distributing the items said she loved to leave dazzling emblems wherever she went. She said she was motivated to carry the project because of the difficulties female students faced on a daily basis in the society.
She said: “Students are faced with so many trials, especially those in higher secondary school. It’s a stage where their minds can be easily manipulated and as such, they need to be encouraged. I carried out this project to encourage students on the importance of education with the mindset of them seeing me and wanting to be a reflection of me someday.
“I also want to encourage people, especially corps members that community of societal growth is in the hands of everybody in that environment, for them to know that no matter how small you’re given, you can still impact lives.
“I saved N3, 000 from my monthly allowance for 12 months which amounted to N36, 000. The total expenses for the project was N98, 000, so I had to do a graphic design with my name, State Code and Call-Up Number so that people will understand that I am really a corps member to solicit support from the public. In the graphic design, what I wanted to distribute was boldly written. Friends supported, my family supported, staff from my Place of Primary Assignment, PPA, supported and strangers too supported me”.
Ugwueze who hails from Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu state averred that she felt relieved after accomplishing the project. She urged teachers to constantly encourage students by counseling them on the importance of education.
“For parents, I will advise they give adequate time to their children because they are at the age where their minds can be easily manipulated. My mother would say “no matter how stubborn a child is, ‘they will never forget the words or advice of their parents”, the corps member advised.
The graduate of statistics from the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi in Edo state also advised her fellow corps members to always ensure they empower or encourage people in whichever locality they are posted to and not just to focus on the group CDS.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean to do a huge project; there are so many ways of rendering services, ensure you partake in any before the completion of service year, remember; ‘with dedication and selflessness’.
“At first, I was confused, I didn’t know how to generate the money, but I kick- started with what I had saved and God made it possible”, she said.
In his remarks, Vice Principal of the school, Mr. Ogunyemi A. O. commended the project. He thanked the corps member for choosing the school, praying for God to be with her in all her endeavours.
Earlier, NYSC Cross River State Coordinator, Mohammed Nakamba who was represented by the Zonal Inspector for Calabar, Mr. Tony Odey was proud of the project, stating that though the service year was short, the Corps Member was able to come up with a laudable project like that. He added that the Community Development Service is one of the cardinal programmes where corps members are encouraged to impact the life of their host communities by carrying out projects like the one Ugwueze did. He applauded her for being exceptional among her colleagues.