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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Gwagwalada, Abuja, Nigeria

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Gwagwalada, Abuja, Nigeria
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Msulleiman75



Registered: December 2017
City/Town/Province: Gwagwalada,Abuja
Posts: 1
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I was basically raised in a slum. My house's decaying roof, my neighbor's paint-weathered walls, and the rotten-egg smell of overflowing gutters across my street surrounded me with an air of poverty but my schooling and education convinced me of a better tomorrow.
I wanted the best of education, but could not afford it. Hence, for the past three years since I graduated from high school as the best graduating student, I have been utilizing my time by engaging in various community services and volunteer works. Whenever I reflect on these engagements, it makes me happy because these were experiences that gave me the platform and opportunity to contribute to my immediate community. This, for me, is what counts wherever one finds oneself. This is why I cannot give up despite my poor background, as it is what defines my personality.
Recently my friends, community members and I, engaged in a community service project that lasted for a period of six weeks. It involved the construction of a drainage and walkway connecting the community’s clinic to the main road. Due to lack of drainage for water to flow and a walkway to ease the passage of people in and out of the clinic, the annual rain has made the area very erosive and muddy and in summer time, very dusty. There have been many reports of accident cases and due to the close proximity of the clinic, it was easy to get treatment. It didn’t really bother anyone, not until I witnessed an old woman, in her eighties, who could barely walk except with the aid of a walking stick, took a wrong step and landed on the floor and never stood up. She died instantly.... I stood there perplexed, I wanted to move, but my legs failed me. That incident would forever be engraved in my heart. News spread like wildfire of the old woman’s demise. It was then I decided I had to do something and fast! I met up with my friends and we came up with an idea of writing a letter to our local government chairman. Next, I went to the café to do more research on how the road could be transformed to prevent further accident and coincidentally, I came upon the Nicodermus Wilderness Project. After going through the website, I became more motivated and inspired. My resolve was strengthened! I was going to kill two birds with one stone- be an apprentice of the Nicodermus Wilderness Project, and improve my community.
My friends and I wrote the letter to our local government chairman requesting for the construction of a drainage and walkway at our community hospital. luckily enough, funds had already been approved for the commencement of the project! It was among the projects to be carried out for the community.
In less than three weeks, the project commenced.
Every morning after finishing my house chores, on my way to the construction site for the community service project, I call my neighborhood friends so that we can walk together. It was always refreshing and never boring walking with friends, arguing about things but at the same time, learning new things as well. It was amazing learning things that were never taught in school. For instance, I learned that; the longest street in the world is Yonge street in Toronto Canada measuring 1,896km, the average human brain contains around 78% water and dreamt is the only word that ends in ‘mt’. I also discovered from my Fulani friend who I met at the site and whose family rears cattle that, cows don’t have upper front teeth. Although, I didn’t believe him till I confirmed it myself.
On my first day at work, I was unaware of the names of most materials and the names of the few I knew, was how the ley man called it. Learning the names and functions of each material and process was exciting! Being a female, I felt more confident knowing these things. Construction involves math and clever thinking. On my first day, one would think because I’m a female, I would remain on the sidelines like the other females and just watch or do menial jobs like holding the emergency flag. But no, I first observed how the work was being done by the males. Yes, I have seen several times how the digger is being raised in an arc across the head before bringing it down to strike. Hence, I retrieved a tool from one of the boys that was already tired and joined in the digging. Next, I proceeded to pushing a wheelbarrow of the dug-up drainage to fill at the erosive area where the walk way is to be constructed. My engagement in the drainage construction process served as an example to girls who were feeling inferior and also, proved to our male counterparts that, we females, are equal to the task. The believe that it was only the boys that could handle the project process was abolished. As we began to know each other, We shared many laughs and stories while we worked. It was satisfying because we were improving each other’s lives
As the project progressed on under the supervision of professionals, I now had experience in more things, like the pattern of laying blocks, the meaning of casting, curing and their importance each and the mixing of sand and cement. Also, I found out that there is need for the drainage to be reinforced in order for it to bear external and internal load. And while the reinforcement is constructed, there are also precautions to adhere to. There are different sizes of reinforcement. The 6,8 and 10 mm are used for stirrups and cannot be used for beam and column, as well as in casting pillars and columns because they are too small... I take pleasure in how much I’ve learned at the construction site. I had no idea that my everyday 6 hours of community service would turn into 8 hours, for no reason other than the fact that I love it!
As I continue to walk on this site, a feeling of ease and self-satisfaction gradually spread through my whole body knowing that people can walk through that path without having to worry about falling or injuring themselves while simply walking down the road.
Date: December 31, 2017 Views: 3063 File size: 24.0kb, 4722.7kb : 2448 x 3264
Hours Volunteered: 90
Volunteers: 50
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 21 & 18 to 25
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