Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Miss Onyinyechi Beauty Solomon, a graduate of Marketing from Abia State University, Uturu, could never have imagined what fate had held for her in Kaduna State until now.
Deployed to Government Secondary School, Fadia, Tudun Wada in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area, she too, like several other prospective corps members had felt a tinge of grudging disapproval at her posting to a state far away from home and at her deployment to a village, instead of the state capital:
“When I was posted here after my orientation course, I felt not too good, especially as we spent more than two hours in a vehicle that brought us to the community from Kaduna town.” But she put all that behind her soon after arriving at her place of primary assignment. She let go the crawling feeling, settling down to the assignment of exercising her strength, energy and ideas to the cause of her community of primary assignment:
“As soon as we got here and interacted with colleagues around, I discovered there was accommodation issue for corps members some of whom coming to the area for the first time.”
Inspired by a great vision, which has been her trademark, and pressed by the rage of the quality of the teaching-learning experience in the school – occasioned partly by lack of corps members to complement the existing staff strength, Solomon decided to try her hand on a dream – a beautiful accommodation for serving corps members in the premises of the school.
Prior to her posting, corps members assigned to the school rarely accepted the offer. Many of them rejected it on the grounds of no accommodation, opting for posts where shelter was guaranteed. The management of the school was tragically helpless. They recognized the gap, which could have been resolved by recruiting more corps members, but had little or no resources to build a new house for corps members.
She admitted that her love for education and children played a significant role in the conception of the project. She observed that the students were not getting a fair deal of learning, a situation, which spurred her to the conclusion that with more corps members, things would change.
The accommodation, which is part of her Community Development Service (CDS), is delightful to behold. It consists of a block of three bedroom flats, each room with its own kitchen and toilet facilities within the premises of the school. She was optimistic that the facility would ensure that corps members are quickly accommodated in the school and are well-motivated to give in their best:
“With the lodge in place, the community will never lack the presence of NYSC members to drive development in the area.” The funding for the building did not come easy, she conceded. It took faith and hard work to pull such resources together and get the desired result: “God blessed some people who in turn blessed the project to make it a reality.”
She remained grateful to God for using her to execute the project while appreciating all the people in the community and beyond that gave her support: “The reality of this project has shown that we can achieve greatness in life with just a little push when necessary.” She urged prospective corps members not to be afraid to serve outside familiar territories:
“Take up the challenge. It would enrich their knowledge of the cultures and peoples of Nigeria. I am from Abia State, for example, but serving in Kaduna State, which is very far from my home. It has enriched my knowledge of Nigeria and endeared me to the people of this state.”
The community was delighted at her contribution and in return, rewarded her with a traditional title. Elder Allahmagani Samuel announced the conferment of the Chieftaincy title of “Gimbiya Fadia” (A Lady of Worth in the King’s Palace) on Onyinyechi and noted that her type was rare.
He expressed the gratitude of the community to the corps member and the NYSC: “This is a good development in our community. We don’t use to have enough
corps members especially those that can teach science subjects because some of them don’t have a decent place to put up. But with the project we are commissioning today, there is hope for Nigeria.
“Let me use this opportunity to once again call on host communities of these young Nigerian graduates to see them as their own children and give them maximum support and protection so they can deliver their services unhindered for the good of the people.”
Earlier, the Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps in Kaduna State, Walida Siddique Isa, said the scheme would always support excellence in all its programmes across the country. She described Solomon as a shining star among her peers just as she enjoined other corps members to emulate her exemplary contribution and conduct during her service:
“With this project initiated and completed by a corps member, it will remind Nigerians the focus of NYSC as number one youth mobilizer in the country. The national integration is very important. This young Nigerian will finish her service any time soon and she may no longer in this area but this project will be here forever.
“Corps members have always influenced their host community positively. Apart from physical services like building of hostel, lodges and hospitals by corps members over the years, they also engage in community services like environmental sanitation, medical services, enlightenment and campaign against drug addict among several others.”
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