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Obianuju Ndaguba: Volunteering – Where I Find HOPE

Obianuju Ndaguba Akinlolu

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dreamstime_m_32512715Have you ever wondered if it was truly possible to change the world? Ever wondered when and how to start? Or if the notion of ‘the world can be a better place’ is just a vain myth?

One thing that has fuelled my desire to live, to grow and to love is the fact that I am created for a purpose greater than myself. We all are! I find fulfilment in knowing that I can contribute my own quota by spreading the light that is in me and giving myself to service.

In 2011, I came across an NGO, the Eagles HOPE Foundation. What struck me the most was that HOPE brought together a family of world changers, and like nothing I had seen before. These people gave so much of themselves that I wondered what was left for them.

Through this platform, I also got to interact with young teenagers. Let me tell you a story that has stuck with me from 2011 CITY Summer Leadership camp.

I was age 18, barely disconnecting from the ‘teenage’ experience and since the camp brought together teenagers from the age of 13-16, I was no different from them (if only the guys that referred to me as ‘aunty’ knew). The only thing that was different was that I was a university student. It qualified me to be an ‘adult’ – like the rest of the volunteering team;  some of them took some time off work to attend participate in the camp.

In 10 days or less, and through my interaction with the teenagers, I realised two things about life. First of all, you do not have to have all the money in the bank to make a difference. Trust me on this one; at this time, my bank account often went on summer holiday when school closed.

Secondly, all you need to do is to positively influence a small number of people who will further influence much more people and that how the whole world can be changed.

So here was an 18 year old, who just wanted to be a broadcaster in future. This, for me, was my biggest aspiration; but after volunteering at the CITY Summer camp 2012, and the years after even up on till last year 2015, I discovered that I can change the world.

My ambition transformed into something bigger. I soon started asking myself: what do I have to give to the world?

Remember I said I was going to tell you a story?
I am that story…a story of HOPE.

No one is ever too busy to make a change… how ever minute. In fact, maybe the world has had enough of busy people. What the world need are sacrificial people determined to influence one person who would influence another until all the dots are connected.

The idea of volunteering is that it gives you a different world view of life. You see life though the lens of other people’s experiences. We are drawn to doing much more to help. The question is not what do you get out of it, but how much are you willing to give?

We are all given the same opportunity to be of help. We are accorded the same responsibility to do something beneficial to others, more so, if this world would be a better place. It begins with a simple act of kindness and of service.

Do I enjoy volunteering? YES! YES!! YES!!!

More importantly, I am a better human being because I have decided not to live for myself alone, but to be a part of this move of change taking the world by storm. We all can flow into the wind, we all can make a change..

This for me is where I find HOPE.

Photo Credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd | Dreamstime.com

Obianuju has growing experience in Communications and PR. She has worked in communication across different industries. In 2017, Obianuju delivered a TED talk on "how communities can improve through radio". She writes about business, communication and gender-related issues.

13 Comments

  1. Rebecca Abisola Alabi

    August 10, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    You found hope where you least expected

  2. Solomon Akinboyewa Olawale

    August 10, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    This is the evidence of things

  3. B

    August 10, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Nice!!. I have been looking for NGO’s and Programs to volunteer at. Seriously interested in case anyone can link me up. Thank you.

    • Yaya

      August 11, 2016 at 8:45 am

      Hi B, please drop me an email on [email protected]

      Thanks

    • nikky

      August 11, 2016 at 11:06 am

      I’m also interested, can I send an email too? 🙂 been looking for places to volunteer, glad i came across this post BN kisses to all xxx

  4. Jennie

    August 11, 2016 at 12:17 am

    I believe dt one of my life goals is to work with women organisations and d less privileged and probably set up a charity organisation in future,I would really love to volunteer with any NGO concerned with this things so DT I can learn wt its like.My location right now is a challenge but I believe things will fall in place.

  5. Oluwatoyin Ayobami Olufunke

    August 11, 2016 at 12:49 am

    I love the interview session with the lady

  6. Quossy

    August 11, 2016 at 5:01 am

    Am currently a project community volunteer with an NGO that looks after orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), it’s always a great experience especially when am in the field, i’ve got to see life from other people’s point of view

  7. GraceOfGOD

    August 11, 2016 at 8:29 am

    @ Obianuju Ndaguba

    Good morning Madam, according to your NARRATION I am OLDER than you and therefore MORE IMPRESSED about your OWN contribution in making this world a BETTER place for ALL. Your article gave me HOPE, the timing was GREAT. Actually I created a GROUP on facebook with the PURPOSE of bringing people TOGETHER so that we can JOIN our HEADS and make the world a BETTER place for ALL. There I share some ARTICLES(from Bella Naija and OTHER sources) and I even write mine to RAISE AWARENESS on topics which I find IMPORTANT but somehow the level of INTERACTION is VERY LOW. People BARELY comment even though they are THERE. Recently I ask myself if I was WASTING my time, I thought may be it was NOT possible to bring a CHANGE, to AFFECT lives including MINE positively through that facebook group BUT this line of your post gave me HOPE and DETERMINATION to PURSUE my vision=>”What the world need are sacrificial people determined to influence one person who would influence another until all the dots are connected.” Indeed even if ONLY ONE person can be affected POSITIVELY through our “WORK” then our EFFORT is NOT in VAIN. THANK YOU for your post, may GOD bless and INSPIRE you the MORE so that you can continue making the world a BETTER place wherever you are. Have a GREAT day and stay BLESSED 🙂 🙂 🙂

  8. chigurl

    August 11, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Can I sign up too?

  9. Lanre

    August 12, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Hello everyone, here is the website of the Foundation Obianuju wrote about. eagleshope.org. You can click here to volunteer eagleshope.org/volunteer-with-us-2/. For more inquiries, please call 0809-999-4673 or email [[email protected]]. Thank you Obianuju for mentioning HOPE in this article.

  10. HORDUNAYOR

    November 29, 2016 at 12:42 am

    Oby, this is very Apt! i am a proud volunteer on different platforms for different cause.

  11. Vivian

    February 28, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    This is truly beautiful and motivational, Obianuju. This beautiful, well written article calls us out, to not just seek to act, but to also question ourselves on our contributions in making the world a better place, and then, acting without expecting anything in return except good fellowership. This would therefore dot the lines and create a unison. Where’s there’s agreement, peace takes its place,and where peace rests, there’s growth. Let’s make this world a better place. Thank you for this encouragement.

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