Why community service? Who are the beneficiaries? This is platform used by many to nurture their skills and for some it is a passion. In Africa, the number of vulnerable communities from orphans, widows, street children, and disabled, elderly just to mention a few keeps on rising rapidly. Aid assistance is the common theme where through various platforms relief is offered in terms of food, clothing and funds.
What happens if you have neither of the above to offer? Volunteering in organizations comes in handy where you offer your labor force once in a mean time but we are so preoccupied with other tasks that hinder this. Luckily, I will share how I get to do it and maybe join me.
Back at the University I joined certain clubs as commonly referred. Here I got the chance to explore which ones would nourish my skills, increase my knowledge, network not forgetting adventure.
Rotaract club was my first baby which offered community service to vulnerable groups, which stands for Rotary in Action, a global youth program to address the physical and social needs of communities. We were under the supervision of our seniors, Rotarians, where I noticed that after college it did not end there but graduate to a Rotarian and still do community services. Meetings were held once a week where certain agendas would be debated about and a weekly money contribution would be raised, through various fun channels like surprising someone to do a funny act( singing, dancing) and in support of that members would chip in their pennies or else the victim would pay up according to amount contributed. Every Saturday was a day out as we visited various schools, children homes where cleaning, cooking, playing with the kids, planting trees was the norm. More so, if our kitty had enough funds we would initiate certain projects like installing a water tank, fencing a compound and before the end of the semester we would treat ourselves for an outdoor event like hiking, visiting national parks and lakes as an initiative of promoting the tourism sector; booking a hotel that would offer their delicacies would wind it all as an end of semester party. Ooooh yes we won a trophy of been the most active club in school back then.
Peace Ambassadors Kenya is another platform. As the name suggests it is an initiative for building sustainable peace in Kenya through youth empowerment, engagement and unity. This is a chapter in school under the major umbrella Peace Ambassadors Kenya. So far the chapter has been awarded the trophy of been the best among various universities in a row. Most of the activities involve peace walks that last for several days, peace marathons, mentorship in the interior areas of Baringo and West pokot, community services, attending cultural festivals and interestingly the opportunity of crossing into African countries. A calendar of events is usually presented by our umbrella and the rest is left to us to fix in our chapter events for the semester. Am grateful to have been in a university that ensures clubs events are well funded and students contribute the remainder out of their kitties. An amount of 500ksh is paid for one to be a National PAK member and continue with the peace initiative.
President Award Scheme is an international programme having the bronze, silver and gold as its levels. Age is key as one has to be between 14-25 years in order to receive an award. This is more of an individual challenge to encourage personal discovery and growth, self-reliance, perseverance, responsibility and service to community. Skill, sport and community service (the only element done as a group), are the most elements that a member must indulge in for 3hours in a week, indicate in the record book and approved by a coach who guides one in their activities. I must say the award is tough and requires discipline and sacrifice. On completion of the gold level, the residential project comes in where one broadens experience through involvement with others in a residential setting. The most awaited activity is the adventurous journey on completion of each level that involves hiking, mountain climbing, cycling for days in the woods and many more. The award is usually presented and signed by the President of a nation.
Those are my platforms that made my service towards communities go a notch higher.
The thing about community service is getting exposure and seeing the world as it revolves. You learn how to appreciate, trigger your capacity to another level and transform lives in the process. Networking as you meet various executives and seniors in the corporate world makes work easier as you go out there to hustle for that job. The numerous certificates one gains in all those activities involved, contributes a lot to the all-round you plus interacting with people from different diversities and having new friends.
It not about the food, clothes or money that makes the difference in communities but the services you undertake together as a team to make tomorrow more better. That said, why don’t you take that task today and do some community service.