News From NYSC Camp
News From NYSC Camp
An Eagle just back from the National Youth Service Corps Orientation Camp speaks of her experience and what makes CU graduates outstanding among their colleagues.
May we know you?
CORPS MEMBER: My name is Yomi Ayoyinka Sodipe, a graduate of Economics, Covenant University. I am currently a National Youth Service Corps member, posted to Shendam LGA of Plateau State.
How was your experience at the orientation camp?
CORPS MEMBER: Fine. It was an interesting and challenging experience. Apart from the military training, there were opportunities for seminars and other specialized trainings for Corps members, especially in health-related matters.
As an Eagle just released for a glorious flight, how did your training here at Hebron help you adapt to the camp environment?
CORPS MEMBER: The discipline and the mentality of an eagle being inculcated here, accord one a unique sense of responsibility, mission and unusual carriage for accomplishment in any given task. At the camp, while others were busy wasting their time eating and drinking and doing all manner of things, we (CU Corp members) were quite different being conscious of who we are. Some of them (other Corps members) were particularly angry at me because I was busy reading when they were having fun and they were like who is this missing all the camp experience which made some to be afraid of me and some angry at me because we were totally different from them.
What struck you most on your first day at the camp?
CORPS MEMBER: I was shocked because of the living condition there. In fact, on the first day, accommodation was not really available so we had to sleep on the bare bed bunks, and because we had gotten used to enduring and being patient, we bore it till the following day. The weather was also very unfriendly and unusually cold, but we had to get things like gloves, head warmers to keep warm.
At that point did you have a sense of nostalgia and a feeling of coming back to CU, a place where you had heaters in your bathrooms and a readily available accommodation right from the inception of the University?
CORPS MEMBER: You know we have been taught as a leader that you have to be able to adapt to any environment whether conducive or not. I knew I had to survive because what if it was a missionary journey where you have to live with people under unusual conditions and yet still reach out to them. So, while others impatiently wanted to jump out I maintained the disposition of a leader, all I needed was to adapt to the environment and enjoy it while it lasted.
So how many of you from CU were posted to Plateau State?
CORPS MEMBER: About 25 of us, and we had a sense of community and family love amongst us. We were looking out for each other and asking after each other particularly when we all needed to be somewhere.
Was there anything striking about CU graduates?
CORPS MEMBER: Yes. We did quite some things that amazed our fellow Corps members and officials. Our participations in programmes really made them to know how we did our things at CU. Two of us were group reps, and our participations made them to ask about the University where we came from. The confidence, boldness and the way we carried ourselves got them thinking and saying so this is the way they are and even during programmes our recommendations were really adopted because they saw that it brought results and this made us stand out and also the pageant in my camp was won by a CU student.
You said you made some inputs that were later adopted by the camp authorities, can you mention some of them?
CORPS MEMBER: We made valuable inputs in the several programmes that were held to train Corps members, particularly in the millennium development goals. A CU member, Jonathan Odebiyi, wrote a poem, which was read by another CU student. It was equally a CU Corp member that recommended the logo for the programme, which was adopted.
Your sojourn in CU, did it adequately prepare you for the challenges you encountered, or do you regret passing through here?
CORPS MEMBER: No. The CU environment has really prepared us, it has given us a good personal identity unlike some out there who just want to belong without a good personal identity, as they do not believe in themselves so they just want to be lost or mingled with the crowd. But CU has taught us to be ourselves, live an empowering lifestyle which helps you to be on your own even if the whole world is against you, you just move on once you know that you are on the right track. The perception of being different has really helped me as a person in standing out in the crowd.
The original concept of NYSC was targeted at community development impact and you took part in the University’s home grown Community Development Impact Initiative, how did that prepare you to face the challenges of your primary assignment?
CORPS MEMBER: We were ready because we had been prepared. When we got there and had to embark on such it was not a new thing at all, we were just like this is another community development programme, and so we were readily available to work. For instance, we had trainings and campaigns on HIV/AIDS programme that involved us going out and telling youths that abstinence is the best way. It wasn’t difficult for us to fit in because we were prepared and CU Corps members were fully involved.
So what do you want to accomplish during the service year?
CORPS MEMBER: I want to raise about 40 pair educators on the issues of HIV/AIDS prevention, so as to help the immediate society because lack of knowledge has really contributed to the prevalence of the disease. Also, I want to educate our youths on how to keep their virginity and avoid HIV/AIDS, because preserving one’s virginity is something of great prize that needs to be held on to, and it reduces one’s risk in contacting the virus. These, among other things, I believe will help in empowering them to fight the scourge of HIV/AIDS in our society.
Do you have any message to other Eagles still in the making?
CORPS MEMBER: CU is a place where you should allow yourself to be groomed and let all the virtues inside of your be harnessed and not try to rush out. It could be frustrating out there once you are out and you are not groomed yet because the expectation is really high out there. They expect a high level of moral value from you, and you will be used to set the standard so please stay and be ruled by the rules so that you are fully baked and not become a bye word at the end of the day.
Do you have any word for the University?
CORPS MEMBER: Thank you CU for getting us ready, we taught we were being mistreated, but now we know these values are life values because we were really different from other graduates in camp. We want the University to keep up the good work and we out there will make the University proud in Jesus name.