Charity & Volunteering, Life & Happiness, Travel

ICS Week 9: Let the Goals begin…

This week was a busy one again! 12th August was International Youth Day, so we had three days of events to celebrate and educate young people in the area on the Sustainable Development Goals.

The SDGs are goals created by the United Nations, and are areas that we should be working on globally, with the aim of achieving them by the year 2030. These were created to replace the Millennium goals created in 2000.

 

There are 17 SDGs:

  1. No Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health and Wellbeing
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. Renewable Energy
  8. Good Jobs and Economic Growth
  9. Innovation and Infrastructure
  10. Reduced Inequalities
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption
  13. Climate Action
  14. Life Below Water
  15. Life on Land
  16. Peace and Justice
  17. Partnership for the Goals

The first event we held was a youth festival. Each member of the team chose a Sustainable Development Goal to represent for the day – I was Gender Equality! As the main theme of International Youth Day was regarding sustainability, we all created costumes and accessories out of leftover fabric from the local tailor, plastic bottles and bags. We decorated our faces to represent the Goals and delivered information about them at the festival.

The festival was also a chance for local youths to perform dances and raps and they all seemed to have a really good time.

Our second event was a seminar educating young people on the SDGs. This went really well, and after a long and tiring day previously, it was nice to have a sit down event!

The third event was a sports day for the younger children. We split the children in four groups and named them after four of the Sustainable Development Goals: Zero Hunger, No Poverty, Clean Water & Sanitation and Gender Equality. This was to help educate them on at least one of the Goals and to encourage them to be passionate about what they were representing.

Everyone had such a good day – there were running races, egg and spoon races, sack races and football and volleyball. It was a very hot day though, so I was absolutely exhausted by the end.

On Saturday we were invited to a wedding! This was really fun as it was the brother of one of the CCSVs we work closely with. They served Chinese food which was actually very nice, and all the single women had to stand at the front and try to catch the bride’s bouquet! One of the In-Country volunteers, Uduak, broke her shoe in the process! This was hilarious.

My homesickness returned with a vengeance this week. Again, due to the fact I hadn’t spoken to my family in so long I think, and because we are nearly at the end of the cycle. I made a long and expensive phone call to my parents and felt a thousand times better at the end! I almost cried when I heard their voices, it was so nice.

As much as the homesickness sometimes affects me here, I generally feel very at home in Ikorodu. I have grown to absolutely LOVE the food, which was the main thing I was worried about when I arrived in Nigeria. My favourite meals to eat here are probably rice, stew and plantain… and boiled yam and egg sauce. My counterpart Emem can cook very well so I love it when she makes food for me. I’m hoping she will visit me in the UK someday and I’ll cook her equally tasty UK food!

One thing that distracts me from homesickness or anxiety is reading. I love to read books, and as I already finished the ones I’d brought with me, I borrowed one from Alice – Half of a Yellow Sun. Oh my goodness, I fell in love instantly! We were given three days off at the end of this week to catch up on rest, and I spent the majority of that time with my nose in this book and finished it within four days. It’s a Nigerian novel about the civil war in the late 1960s, and I think it will remain on of my favourite books forever. If you’ve not read it before, I urge you too immediately, if not sooner!

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