A medical doctor, Saudat Ayomide Aminu and a Geographer, Babatunde Ajiwokewu, who completed their National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in June were honoured during the closing ceremony of the three- week orientation programme for 2019 Batch B Stream II corps members at the Lagos camp on Monday.
Dr Aminu was presented with N200,000 for donating a library to Military Primary School, Ikeja while Ajiwokewu got N150,000 for training teenagers from two orphanages art skills they can use to make a living.
The duo was applauded by the NYSC Lagos Coordinator, Mr Sunday Aroni, and the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Dr Yusuf Jimoh.
Speaking on her project, Dr Aminu said she decided to donate a library to the school because of her love for books and the role reading played in helping her cope with loneliness and peer pressure.
“I have a passion for books. It was a personal project for me. I found succour in reading when I was growing up. I was alone most of the time. During the transition phase of my life I read to find solace because we were living in a place where you could not just move out to meet people.
“When we moved to a livelier area where there was more fun, I learnt the good sides and the bad sides. When I was able to mix, there were no external influences as I already had values I held on to because of the books I read. So I felt if I can introduce books to the children perhaps it would help them the way it helped me,” she said.
Dr Aminu said she spent N69,000 out of her allowance to provide shelves and books for the library. She however got some publishers and others to donate books.
Ajiwokewu trained orphans from Bethlehem Orphanage in Ikotun and Compassionate Orphanage in Igando to make craft, paper design, tie and dye, and stencil printing for three months.
He said the beneficiaries can now produce bow ties, clutch purses, slippers, sandals, paper flowers for wall designs and tie and dye to earn an income.
“I discovered that aside from looking at the orphans as less privileged, they deserve more than just being kept in a home where they are being looked after. I wanted to make an impact on their lives,” said the Geographer.
In his speech, Aroni urged the 2,108 corps members beginning the primary assignment part of their service year to identify needs to meet in the communities they are posted to.
“While you are in your place of primary assignment, respect the culture and traditions of the people and do your best to identify with their problems and aspirations. I urge you to identify areas of need of your host communities and mobilize community members to execute projects and programmes aimed at overcoming those challenges,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu counselled the corps members to shun hate speech and other vices.
“You should avoid and preach against hate speeches and other divisive tendencies capable of provoking unrest and threatening te unity and peace of our beloved nation,” he said.
He also urged employers to accept and support corps members posted to their organisations “with necessary welfare facilities.”