The Lagos State Government, through the Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment (Lagos Global), has concluded plans to launch the Lagos State Volunteer Corps, an initiative designed to encourage Lagosians to support efforts geared towards the attainment of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 20
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs. Solape Hammond, who made this known during an interactive session with the technical partners on the project, Teksight Edge and Zeno Lynk Technology Limited, noted that the State Government sought to promote the use of short, medium and long term volunteering to support the development agenda of the State.
Explaining further, Hammond stated that the Lagos State Volunteer Corps will address the gaps in essential service delivery, provide an opportunity for people to give back to society, build positive community relations, and improve employability prospects of youths through job experience, among other noble objectives.
She affirmed that the initiative is informed by the desire of the government to leave no segment of the society behind in the development of the State by ensuring equal distribution of resources to meet their needs.
According to the Special Adviser, volunteering for a project of interest is easy and flexible and can be done online, real-time, through the website (lsvc.ng), adding that Online Volunteering allows the government to tap into a wide range of skills and expertise as students, people in the Diaspora and others can volunteer from anywhere. The programme also targets retirees, people who are actively engaged in the labour market and people with disabilities.
“Government is seeking support from residents in Lagos to volunteer their time and get involved in any projects; education, environment, health, information technology, social work – any area that appeals to them as detailed in the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the present administration”, the Special Adviser stated.
Speaking on the development, the Chief Executive Officer of TekSight Edge Limited, Mr. Charles Edosomwan, said that as an innovation-driven public relations agency they deploy technologyas much as possible to assist brands deliver value.
“That is basically what this project is all about. It is a CSR for us because we want to be able to help the government to sort out most of its needs. We have to support the government or partner with them if we really want to move our communities forward.
“We see this as service or obligation to the general public. Thus, we are volunteering as a business. We are also encouraging other businesses and individuals to partner with the government on the SDGs because the tenets of the Goals touch the very needs of the society. We all can volunteer to do a whole lot of things”.
Edosomwan added that different and specific projects under the Volunteer Corps shall be unveiled in the next few days. “Basically, it is time for us to really go back to our citizens-participation side and really help grow the country,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Hammond encouraged interested residents of the State to sign up at lsvc.ng, register or log-in either as an individual or an organisation to allow them to participate in any project of their choice, stressing that Volunteerism is a global practice that entails providing time and skills for the benefit of other people and causes rather than for financial benefits.
Hammond listed the benefits of Volunteer Corps to include, securing access to basic social needs, community resilience for environment and disaster, risk reduction and management, youth engagement and skills development.