Community Development Service (CDS); The Reawakening
Community Development Service (CDS) aims at improving the quality of life for the society by providing programs of economic development, housing and manage resources for efficient achievement of the society. In a society whose major aims and objectives is to give the best basic amenities to its people, community development service is a vital key to achieve the basic need of the people in the society. In a bid to achieve this basic need, all hands must be on deck and more importantly there must be groups of devoted citizens who are poised to support, promote and execute any project which their nearest community is lacking.
The National Youth Service corps (NYSC) scheme was created May 22nd 1973 in a bid to reconstruct, reconcile and rebuild the country after the Nigeria Civil war. As a developing country, Nigeria is further plagued by the problems attendant upon a condition of under development, namely; poverty, mass illiteracy, acute shortage of high skilled manpower (coupled with the most uneven distribution of the skilled people that are available), woefully inadequate socioeconomic infrastructural facilities, housing, water and sewage facilities, road, healthcare services and effective communication system faced with these almost intractable problems, which were further compounded by the burden of reconstruction after the civil war.
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Reason Behind the Community Development Service (CDS)
Moreover, Community development service has been an applauding program introduced into the NYSC scheme since its inception. Community development service brings corps members from different geo-political zones, colour, religion and family background to plan, execute and mobilize funds for a project which is highly needed by the community they are serving. As a developing country, there is no gain saying the fact that the future of Nigeria depends on the youths. The youths of Nigeria acknowledge this fact and have consistently laid claim to the nation’s leadership.
The Community development service under the NYSC scheme is an umbrella providing shade for important sectors which provides basic needs, amenities for the community and this service is rendered by corps members in their various primary place of assignment (PPA) or community of service. As Community development service is a vital program being run under NYSC, there are several sectors under community service which are Charity, Education, Servicom, Agriculture, PET, Road safety, ICPC/EFCC, Sanitation etc. Corps members in every local government in Nigeria are assigned to one CDS group or the other. In order to provide a long lasting solution to any problem affecting their communities. CDS has gone a long way to provide the basic amenities for the communities, also providing technical know how for local skilled workers.
Ways of Improving the Community Development Service (CDS)
If the CDS program is being seriously looked upon, it will play a major role in building the rural areas to a good standard and prepare the communities for technological advancement. But it is a pity, that the Community development service is not really manifesting its aims and objectives because of so many factors and if these factors are not critically looked upon CDS might lose its glory.
The community development service needs nothing but reawakening as soon as possible.
Enlightenment of Corps Member
Corps members must be enlightened and educated about Community development service, they must know that it is not a just a part in NYSC scheme but a necessary program which can speedily promote the growth of our dear country Nigeria. Workshop and symposium should be organized specially like the entrepreneurship program in orientation camps to prepare and enlightened corps members about the community development service and there must be an interactive segments for corps members to choose desired CDS group.
Little or no supervision has make CDS lost its glory, corps members gather together once in a week to plan, motivate and execute a project which is important in their community. As we all know, corps members coming together spending their money, time to come together giving their community of service a wonderful project cannot always be forthcoming, if a tight supervision and assessment is not adopted. Because 90 out of 100 corps members feel free to use their allowance on food, clothes, parties rather than spending on community development service. NYSC officials or staffs must strengthen and equip their staffs with modern technology to monitor their designated CDS groups and always motivate each CDS group because many loves to collect while few donates freely.
Projects Should be Executed
Apart from a tight supervision, NYSC officials should make it a must for time to time project carried out by every CDS group, CDS group meeting should not just be unnecessary gathering of corps members and every CDS group should be able to execute at least four projects in a month. The projects may not always be a donation, sensitizing the community on one important thing of the other is also a major tool in nation building.
Reawakening of the community development service, is not a thing to think twice but an important step to save the community development service, when we walk around communities, we can see lots of laudable projects by corpers which the communities still use up to date. That means if the community development service is being reawakened rural area can enjoy more of basic amenities not always waiting for local, state or federal government to always provide. The community development service sure need to be reawakened.