AE-FUNAI GRADUATE MAKES RECORD, DELIVERS 5 NYSC COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTS IN 5 MONTHS TO MEET 2030 SDGs.
Mr Samuel Dike Omaka, (KW/19A/1928), a 2018 graduate of Computer Science at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike,Ebonyi state, who served in Kwara state, for the NYSC programme made record for championing 5 landmark Community Development Service projects in his state of service within 5 months during his service year which was a major breakthrough for some communities forgotten in the rural areas.
With the zeal of meeting the 2030 targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, Samuel Dike led World Suicide Prevention Day Campaign/Conference/Rally in Kwara state, which saved lives and hit national newspaper and local radio stations, sensitized over 1200 students on SDGs across 4 secondary schools in Edu LGA, Kwara, provided school uniforms to indigent pupils and pair of a dozen classroom chairs to LGEA Primary School Ndeji, Edu LGA, in a bit to lift pupils from writing on the floor and provided Sabongeri-Ndeji a borehole within a month.
Under the mentorship of Enene Akonjom Foundation, he was able to meet up with his targets before the end of his service year. The AE-FUNAI graduate dedicated the first 5 months of his service year preparing, planning, strategizing and carried out needs assessment in Edu LGA. Haven drawn up his over 9 community development driven plans, he strived to achieve results believing that giving up was like giving up the hope of many communities in Edu LGA.
World Suicide Prevention Day Campaign/Conference and Rally which took place at the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development on September 10th, 2019 was his first project and it was made possible through networking with over 18 organizations in Kwara State. With an unquenchable zeal to deliver on his well crafted agenda, Mr. Dike Omaka approached government and private organizations seeking for partnership, with enviable results to the extent that all resources and funds needed were contributed from different organizations, most of whom were people readily committed to the cause of suicide prevention. Suicide and Depression Awareness Foundation (SADAF) for instance partnered with Dike Omaka linking him to relevant sources for his requirements.
He also had UNILORIN students with burning zeal for humanitarian services as volunteers on WhatsApp. At that point he could use the power of collaboration with energetic youths to achieve the global goals. The Nigerian Red Cross Society was of a great assistance with their volunteers, technical advice and resources. The Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development Kwara State offered their hall for the conference. Linkage from volunteers gave Omaka and his team free airtime to use UNILORIN FM 89.3 MHz for suicide prevention sensitization. The outcome of the whole event was pushed to feature in the Guardian Newspaper, all for free with Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) giving professional and technical assistance to the team. We utilized Online and outdoor campaign including billboards and radio stations (Harmony Fm and UNILORIN Fm) were utilized to reach Kwara people and the environ, all for free.
In April 2019, the then Corper came across a primary school in Edu (LGEA Primary School, Ndeji), where pupils sat on bare floor to learn and triggered with empathy for those children he pledged trusting that he could lift them from sitting on the floor to learn, therefore began to seek support from NGOs who could assist in giving children more quality education.
The advocacy was coupled with the provision of school uniforms to 15 indigent pupils in same school who could not have access to proper dressing. Enene Akonjom Foundation and Leave Impact for Eternity (LIFE) Foundation made donations leading to the construction of pair of dozen classroom chairs and 15 school uniforms at minimal costs for the chairs due to the mutual collaboration with the Community Timber Association supplied wood at 50% discount.
October 2019, Mr Omaka set out to sensitize over 1200 students across 4 secondary schools in Edu LGA, on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Teaching the SDGs in secondary schools was a major target to raise the next generation social change-makers, who do not see problems from the perspective of government’s failure but as a global challenge that needs collaborative actions to make the world a better place to be.
December 2019, he volunteered for the SDG Family Activation (World Largest Lesson) anchored by DEAN Initiative, to extend the SDG sensitization to a community in Edu LGA called Sabongeri-Ndeji. The outcome of the sensitization exposed the only source of drinking water which was bad and pitiable. The community pleaded with him to save them from the health danger they face with the water.
Omaka quickly took snapshots of the situation in NYSC uniform and uploaded to twitter (@sam_unleash) seeking for intervention, taking it upon him to advocate for them which resulted in the collaboration with Mr Kehinde Akinsola, the Coordinator, World Largest Lesson Kwara Chapter and we formulated the #ConstructSabongeriWater twitter hashtag. The campaign officially kicked off January 1st, 2020 with the support of the Kwara State SDG Activators Team and a separate WhatsApp group of volunteers dedicated for the cause. Omaka’s responsibility was to compose daily advocacy tweet while the team made it viral. The viral campaign came across the path of many government organizations and NGOs as well as International organizations whose cause is about water. Next Blue Stories, an international storytelling platform about water followed the campaign update and sent a private message tagging the campaign an inspiring one and requested the inspiring story behind it published on their international storytelling platform. The campaign terminated on the 23rd day of January, marking 23 days of consistency. The #BuildAWell #FixABorehole #WaterTheNeedy twitter team intervened. Within 7 days, construction of a manual borehole was completed on the site and from 30th January, Sabongeri-Ndeji had access to clean water for the first time in the existence of the community.
According to Mr.Samuel Dike Omaka, worthy ambassador of Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State and a true patriot of this generation, the actualization of these projects tells how collaboration and networking with people (especially youths) of like-minds can be of great support for local actions towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. He challenged and as well encouraged all Corps members to live up to the tenets of their service to our fatherland through implementation of community development service projects and meet up with the main objective of the National Youth Service Corps scheme.