With only 3 weeks until the end of our ICS placement, we really had a lot of work on our hands to complete the cycle the standard we wanted to. The pressure was on particularly because we knew now that we were going to be the last cycle in Ikorodu, so we had to wrap up absolutely eveything, instead of having the luxury of being able to pass things onto the next group of volunteers to carry on.
Week 10 was primarily spent doing murals! For mine and Helen’s Community Action Day we chose to do a mural on Gender Equality, as this is something both of us are passionate about.
While we were working on Sam’s mural (back in week 8), a gentleman saw us at work and told us that he owned a college (and several others!) and asked us if we would paint the wall in front of it with murals. In return for us doing three separate murals on the wall he generously donated ₦50,000 to the Back to School programme which pays to send children in Nigeria to school and provide them with necessary equipment they need, when they can’t afford to.
As well as mine and Helen’s Gender Equality mural, we also painted one on bullying and one on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
We spent a few days working on these murals and definitely had some laughs in the process! I wish I could put all of the photographs on here as there are hundreds of hilarious ones but, alas, I don’t think the internet would be able to handle that…
As there are 14 of us in the team, our Project Officer, Clement, said that we would each be assigned with a student that we as individuals have sent back to school, so we could correspond with them and have updates on how they are progressing at school. We were all so incredibly pleased with this! Definitely an impact that we could see before our eyes which isn’t something you always have on this type of project.
During the week, we also organised a Women’s Health and Rights programme in Majidun. Here we had many ladies – mostly mothers – who came to listen to us speak about various topics such as breast and cervical cancers, female empowerment and child protection.
The event was a huge success and the team worked really hard and all did brilliantly with their public speaking and ability to teach the community about their health and rights.
At the weekend I had one of the best days I’d ever had during ICS! We had arranged a trip to Lagos Island which was so incredible. We visited Shoprite (of course!) and I had two Mars Bars because I’d been craving them all week! Then we went to the Nike Art Gallery which was such a treat. I loved looking at all of the art work and sculptures – it’s something I just love to do whatever country I am in – and there were, I think, 3 or 4 floors to take in!
While we were there I bought a small piece of artwork, which I was totally over the moon with. I love buying art and I had been so determined to come back from Nigeria with a piece. I also bought various presents for my friends and family – beaded jewellery and African carved pens.
Then we were allowed to dress up in the traditional clothing and take photographs! This was so much fun.
It’s so weird how time has just flown since I came here… But at times when I’ve felt anxious or homesick it has definitely felt slow!
I’ve been having such an incredible experience here in Nigeria, but soon it will be time to say ‘odaaro’ (goodbye), and a while a part of me is so excited to get home and see my family and sleep in my own bed, I will really miss this place.