In furtherance of the commitment to strengthen people’s ownership of the development agenda, through enhanced civic engagement and enabling environment for citizens’ action, the Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment has concluded the training of 4,500 members of the Lagos State Volunteer Corps (LSVC) on effective execution and delivery of sustainable projects.

Addressing the media at a training session held in Adeyemi-Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs. Solape Hammond, explained that the training was initiated to scale-up interventions by identifying the gaps in structure and capacity of volunteers towards harnessing the inherent value and contributions they make to social-economic and environmental development of the State.

The Special Adviser said: “Having a structure that assembles individuals, who are passionate about SDGs’ cause and have the requisite skills necessary to carry out the tasks, has inspired the government to further strengthen their capacity and motivate them towards making a meaningful impact in the society”.

Hammond, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary, Office of SDGs and Investment, Mrs. Abosede George, noted that the training programme would go a long way towards deepening the engagement with volunteers, helping them to understand their impact and empowering them to contribute to the attainment of sustainable development goals.

“Given the complexity of volunteerism as a social practice that cuts across different structures, sites, intensities, aspirations and categories, this training offers a critical opportunity to share this administration’s philosophy in providing access to regular support mechanisms”, she enthused.

She explained that volunteerism is a powerful way of encouraging more people to engage in civic and development activities at a local level for planning and action, stressing that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration has strengthened civic engagement, safeguards social inclusion, deepens solidarity and solidifies ownership of development results.

Her words: “The rapid and widespread changes in the social, political, economic and technological landscapes across the globe have heightened citizens’ expectations of the government in creating a broader space for citizen engagement. It is, therefore, critical that you help your volunteers feel ready to jump into their roles”.

Applauding the commitment of the volunteer corps, the Special Adviser stated that volunteerism, as one of the most selfless acts in our life, is indispensable to achieving the goals of the SDGs and it is essential to improve their confidence and knowledge.

She pointed out that while volunteering creates a ripple effect that inspires others, and advances the transformation that is required for the SDGs to take root in communities, it also enhances people’s capacity, builds community participation and social cohesion.

In his remarks, the MD/CEO of OMIRAH Elites Solutions Limited, Mr. Opeyemi Oluleye, who was the lead consultant, enjoined the Volunteers to look beyond immediate benefits while admonishing them to give their best towards making the State the most desirable place to live on the planet.

“While you are giving your time and effort to help others and making a difference in their lives, you are also experiencing many positive effects on your own life. The benefits of voluntary work are extensive through new connections, work experience and skills. It broadens your horizons by increasing empathy, emotional intelligence and enhances your feeling of belonging”, he submitted.

The Volunteers, who were drawn from all the 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs were trained in batches, with the last batch of 500 Corps participants completing their training on Friday. The training, which was part of the programme to engage the volunteer corps as major stakeholders in the SDGs ecosystem, was designed to add value and advance the scope of the volunteerism structure in the State.

The programme is also part of the yearly activities of the Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment aimed at improving the capacity of the State’s Volunteers Corps for seamless project execution and delivery.

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