The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Civic Engagement, Mr. Kehinde Joseph has made a call to Community Development Associations, Committees and non-governmental institutions to embrace the culture of community volunteerism as a way of complementing the efforts of the State government in addressing the various needs of the citizenry without necessarily expecting any financial reward.
Joseph made the call in his address at an awareness campaign on volunteerism organized by the State Government with the theme: “Volunteerism: A Tool for Community Development”, held at the Secretariat, Ikeja.
He maintained that one of the keys to instituting a system that will make life more abundant for the people and guarantee happiness for the greatest number of people is being a Volunteer in the society.
The Special Adviser described volunteerism as a powerful means of engaging people in tackling developmental challenges within their communities, adding that such communalism spirit promotes understanding among various community groups and assists in building a social relationship within the community.
In his words, “Volunteerism strengthens trust and solidarity among citizens by giving voice to stakeholders and mobilizing people to contribute their quota to the development of the society. As such, there is a need to create space and environment for people to volunteer their time, skill and knowledge to supplement government efforts in addressing the needs of the people”.
The Special Adviser explained further that volunteering does not imply that the role of CDCs and CDAs is being substituted, but rather as a strategy for communal development.
He, therefore, urged community leaders to identify individuals and groups that can work for the good of the community to form an alliance with the Office of Civic Engagement to achieve the aspirations of the residents in their respective areas.
While noting that volunteerism assists government to save cost, Dr. Dele Ashiru of the Department of Political Science, University of Lagos stressed that the more members of the public that embrace volunteerism, the more money that would be available to the government to embark on more meaningful developmental projects for the benefit of the populace.