Community Development Service (CDS) is a fundamental program for all corps members, enabling them to make a positive impact in their host communities and leaving a legacy of honor and value. It fosters community development, empowers youth, and promotes national development.
OBJECTIVES OF NYSC CDS ARE:
- Enhancing Rural Community Life: Making a positive impact on the improvement of rural community life.
- Fostering Entrepreneurship: Cultivating the spirit of entrepreneurship among corps members.
- Youth Empowerment: Tackling the challenges of rural development and instilling in Nigerian youth qualities such as leadership, endurance, selflessness, community service, national pride, and creativity.
- Cultural Exposure: Introducing corps members to the rich traditions and customs of host communities.
- Promoting Local Innovation: Providing a platform for corps members to turn their ideas into tangible achievements, reducing reliance on foreign technology, and encouraging the use of local resources in project execution.
- Utilizing Talent: Harnessing the diverse talents and skills of corps members to drive positive change in rural communities.
- On-the-Job Training: Offering on-the-job training and practical experience for corps members.
- Complementary National Development: Contributing to national development efforts by teaching underprivileged populations basic self-help techniques through appropriate technology concepts promoted by NYSC.
- Dignity of Labor: Instilling in corps members a strong work ethic and a sense of pride in their labor.
- Government Support: Complementing the activities of government at all levels in the pursuit of national development.
CLASSIFICATION OF NYSC CDS
There are three types namely:
- Group Community Development Service (Group CDS): Corps members dedicate one day a week to group CDS activities, focusing on projects and programs that enhance the living conditions of host communities.
- Personal/Individual Community Development Service (Personal/Individual CDS): Individual corps members identify and address community needs through projects such as constructing facilities, offering educational support, or vocational training.
- Collaborative Community Development Service: NYSC partners with national and non-governmental organizations to implement development programs, with corps members often volunteering their services.
IDENTIFICATION OF PROJECTS THROUGH NEEDS ASSESSMENT
- Observation: Identifying challenges faced by the community, such as lack of essential services or common issues like disease, illiteracy, and drug abuse.
- Community Engagement: Engaging with community members, including youth, leaders, and elders, to identify various needs and priorities.
- SMART Criteria: Projects must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Rewarding, and Time-bound.
- Community-Centric: Projects must align with the felt-needs of the community to ensure their relevance and impact.
STEPS FOR EXECUTION OF CDS PROJECT
- Community Engagement: Interacting with community stakeholders to identify community needs.
- Funding: Identifying funding sources and creating a viable proposal with clear details.
- Approval: Gaining approval from NYSC and relevant authorities.
- Resource Mobilization: Collaborating with community members, government, and organizations to gather resources.
- Execution: Actively executing the project.
- Reporting: Providing regular progress reports with documentary evidence.
- Completion and Handover: Completing the project and handing it over to the community.
- Feedback: Providing feedback to project sponsors and donors.
CRITERIA FOR CONSIDERATION OF CDS PROJECT FOR APPROVAL
- Submission of a written proposal through the appropriate channels.
- Demonstrating the relevance of the project to the community.
- Ensuring sustainability and benefits for the community beyond the corps member’s service.
- Choosing project locations that are accessible and non-disputed.
- Sourcing funds from community, government, and stakeholders.
- Completing all CDS projects within the service year.
CDS GENERIC TIMELINE
Month 1: Orientation Camp
Month 2: Placement in CDS groups and settling down.
Month 3-5: Proposal development and submission.
Month 6: Project approvals and commencement.
Month 7: Supervision and monitoring of projects.
Month 8-9: Continuation of project execution and supervision.
Month 10: Final reports and project inauguration.
Month 11: Passing out.
Identifying and engaging community gatekeepers, including traditional and religious leaders, youth and women leaders, opinion leaders, and other stakeholders.
ACTIVITIES OF COMMUNITY ENTRY
- Interacting with the host community to identify projects based on their needs.
- Building support for the project through advocacy and sensitization in collaboration with Local Government and Zonal Inspectors.
- Obtaining necessary consent from community leaders.
- Ensuring contact with relevant linkages for project execution.
STRATEGIES FOR MOBILIZING FUNDS AND MATERIALS
- Funding is a shared responsibility of the community, government, and stakeholders.
- Corps members should not use personal funds for CDS projects.
- Funds can be sourced from corporate organizations, NGOs, philanthropists, government agencies, and community members.
- Comprehensive financial tracking and accountability are essential.
- Mobilization of resources should involve community members and stakeholders.
- Providing feedback to project sponsors is important.
LINKAGES AND THEIR USEFULNESS
Linkages include governmental and non-governmental organizations that support CDS programs.
These linkages provide local support and resources for corps members’ CDS activities.
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