Camp was all about competition among the various platoons; football, volleyball, cooking, Mr Macho, Miss NYSC, athletics, etc (my platoon won nothing!). There were also karate classes (for only people who were interested) and lectures on different topics including anti-corruption, HIV, sex, career development, etc. At night, there were a bunch of fun activities to partake in at the maami market (hanging-out, drinking, dancing, eating, and playing games). The officials, who were mostly men from ranks of the Nigerian Army, Police, Man-O-War, and SSS, were quite gentle on us compared to the way corps in other camps were treated.
Variety Night (sponsored by beat fm)
In camp we were fed 3 times daily. Each corp had a meal ticket to use anytime to collect food in the kitchen. We had an assortment of meals including rice, yam, porridge, beans, bread, etc. I heard the food was nice, but I never went to that kitchen. The accommodation was really ‘wonderful‘ – I remember having close to 35 roommates. The rooms were stuffy and always dirty, but I had funny and wonderful roomies. The bathrooms/toilet? Nothing to write home about (as my high school instructors would say…)
Hostel room (i had over 35 roomies!)
On the last day of the Orientation Programme, each corp was assigned to a place of primary assignment (that is where you will be working for your one year in service). You will be expected to go through various registration processes and when that is done, you are good to go! You’ll be assigned to work in a government institution (schools, hospitals, local government, etc) – no private firms. The institution then accepts or rejects you. If you are accepted, you’ll resume work… if rejected, you’ll look for somewhere else. I was originally posted to a Primary School, but I couldn’t work with kids so I went to a local government. Also as a corps member you need to join a community development group, such as social group, dance and drama group, health group etc. Each of the groups will hold meetings at least once in a week. Also the allowance each corps member gets from the federal government currently stands at #19800 (~ 125 USD) per month. **Tip: Your one year of NYSC can be best spent in 2 ways – either you work somewhere you have a chance of being retained after service or work in a place where you can develop yourself/career. Working with the local govt. isn’t as strenuous hence there’s time to do other things e.g. get a professional qualification, run a side business, etc.
Overall, the NYSC camp was fun and useful for me because I met a lot of people (crazy, stupid, holy, party, drunk, beautiful, ugly, different tribes etc). It was well worth it. Everyone should experience it and the programme should not be scraped.
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