So I survived NYSC camp a while back…and I’m sure you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to since that time. Well I was so busy I forgot to write…just kidding. But truly, between my NYSC commitments, which consist of my PPA, CDS (terms explained below), and personal projects I’ve been able to keep myself busy. There are LOTS of acronyms within NYSC (the Nigerian National Youth Service Corps), so I’ve provided a mini-dictionary for the important ones I’ll keep mentioning in my posts.
PPA: ¹primary place of assignment; ²the establishment, usually a school, government office, or private company, to which corps members are posted and technically work 4 weekdays out of the week.
CDS: ¹community development service; ²every week a specific weekday is consecrated for corps members to “serve” with a specific NYSC group that focuses on an area of community service. Examples of CDS groups in Enugu town are Gender, Dance/Culture, Tourism, Road Safety, ICT, SDGs, Breast Without Spots, etc…
So much has happened over the past ten months serving as a corps member in Nigeria. From finding my way around Enugu state, to a robbery attempt, to serving with two different PPAs, and moving multiple times. Through it all, God has been faithful. Due to security concerns in the area surrounding my PPA, NYSC redeployed me to another place in town.
Originally, NYSC posted me to an establishment in Enugu East. The name of my PPA was Inwelle Study and Resource Centre (ISRC). This education facility houses a library and computer lab amongst other things. The main mission of ISRC is to empower impoverished youths, specifically targeting girls and women, with the necessary skills and opportunities to become successful and excel in their future careers. There are various initiatives that the Centre tries to carry out, such as a “Catch Them Young” project, which aims to give girls and boys in primary and secondary school remedial classes in math and English. Another initiative is a summer boot camp, which through the sponsorship of community donors allows girls and boys in secondary schools to attend a one-month intensive program consisting of educational, skills acquisition, and leadership training workshops at the Centre. In addition, ISRC holds an annual summit about a topic relevant to female empowerment in Nigeria; the theme for the 2015 summit was “Females in STEM.”
As a Corps member, my schedule at my PPA ran from 8AM – 4PM Mondays to Thursdays. My Fridays are dedicated to CDS. As I mentioned above, ISRC is located in Enugu East…and not the “commercial” parts such as new Trans-Ekulu and new GRA, but deep inside past Liberty, past Abakpa, past Umuchigbo, until you reach Ugwuorie. And then from there one still has to enter an isolated, bushy area to finally reach ISRC. Y’all know I’m usually down for adventures, but not when a group of hoodlums try to rob you and a colleague in broad daylight less than five minutes from said PPA. That being said I reported the incident to a local police station and the Enugu state NYSC office. The latter redeployed me to another PPA in Enugu. Thankfully everything worked out!
no get part two…