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Ibadan is a thriving and vibrant city and his home to communities from around the nation. It is the people that live here that make Ibadan special. That’s because there’s a huge appetite from people to get involved in local projects and decisions to make our city better for everyone. Are you inspired to join them? There are so many ways that you can become involved. You could take up a role anywhere; join an existing project in your neighbourhood; or sign up to one of our cooperative projects. Take your pick and get involved.

The overall aim of our work is to encourage people to work together for the benefit of their communities and to be able to influence decision making at local levels. A community could be the residents in a street, a village, a neighbourhood, a ward or a larger community area. It could be people coming together to address a topic or an issue or to discuss solutions to a shared experience/problem. There are various ways we can do this:

  1. Support local people to set up a community group.
  2. Help people to influence local decisions through the production of a community-plan.
  3. Promote Community Area Partnerships to involve the wider community in what they are doing and reach parts of the community that don't often get involved.
  4. Support organisations and community groups to more widely involve and consult a broad cross section of people.
  5. Provide training, mentoring, facilitation and coaching for groups.
  6. Run workshops or training on key areas or issues.

Henry Ford (American Industrialist) "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is Success”

What motivates you?
– It may be you want to become a special neighbourhood watch person as safety is important to you, or that you want to become more involved with your local school, or you may have a spare hour each week to help an older person. Whatever your motivation there’s something for everyone in Ibadan. Lots of people take on a Community Role in their spare time and by doing this they help improve the City for everyone. Here are a handful of ways you can do this – these may not be right for you but there are many more opportunities. Let's get together to make a difference.

Things You Can Do to Get Involved in Your Community:

Whether you want to join activities or take a formal leadership role, there are many ways to get involved in your community. It can be as simple as baking for a block party or as complicated as serving on the board of a local community organization. Decide how you want to get involved. Here are a few ideas:

Low-level involvement:

  • Attend neighbourhood association or crime watch meetings to find out about issues.
  • Write a letter to your Councillor about something happening in your community.
  • Welcome new neighbours when they move into your community.
  • Help translate at a community meeting.
  • Keep an eye out for elderly neighbours.
  • Pick up trash on your way.
  • Watch the neighbour’s house while they are away.
  • Report a street light outage or graffiti.
  • Clean up after your pets.

Medium-level involvement:

  • Join your local club, neighbourhood association or crime watch group and participate regularly.
  • Be a coach or mentor to local youth.
  • Host a “coffee chat” at your home to introduce your neighbours and talk about neighbourhood issues.
  • Organise a neighbourhood clean-up drive.

High-level involvement:

  • Become an officer of the local club, neighbourhood association or crime watch group.
  • Join the board or a committee of a local charity or not for profit organization.
  • Lead an issue campaign to address a problem facing your neighbourhood.
  • Run for political office to address policies affecting your neighbourhood.
  • Write a letter to your Council representative.
  • Speak to a news reporter about neighbourhood issues.

Getting Your Family Involved

It's easy to feel disconnected, as many parents juggle work, school, kids, and activity after activity. But some simple things can bring a family closer — playing a game, going for a hike, or cooking a meal together.

It can strengthen your family. Volunteerism is a great way for families to have fun and feel closer. But many people say they don't have the time to volunteer after fulfilling work and family commitments. If that's the case, try rethinking some of your free time as a family. You could select just one or two projects a year and make them a family tradition. For example: become involved in repair and renovation efforts for low-income residents. Younger kids might not be able to do the big jobs, but helping out by fetching a paintbrush or holding the nails involves them just the same. Work at a community food bank or soup kitchen as a family. Find an organization that serves the elderly. Take food to people who are homebound and visit with them. Your kids can brighten a lonely senior's day instantly. Making and donating gift baskets to care facilities for the elderly around the holidays). Offer your family's help at the local animal shelter. Help plant flowers or trees. The possibilities are endless.

Whatever you choose to do, volunteering and community service can benefit both the community and your family. Get involved today!

One of the most satisfying, fun, and productive ways to unite is volunteering for community service projects. Volunteerism also sets a good example for your kids and helps the community.

Getting involved as Kids

If volunteering begins at an early age, it can become part of kids' lives — something they might just expect and want to do. It can teach them:

  • A sense of responsibility. By volunteering, kids and teens learn what it means to make and keep a commitment. They learn how to be on time for a job, do their best, and be proud of the results. But they also learn that, ultimately, we're all responsible for the well-being of our communities.

  • That one person can make a difference. A wonderful, empowering message for kids is that they're important enough to have an impact on someone or something else.

  • The benefit of sacrifice. By giving up a toy to a less fortunate child, a child learns that sometimes it's good to sacrifice. Cutting back on recreation time to help clean up a beach tells kids that there are important things besides us and our immediate needs.

  • Tolerance. Working in community service can bring kids and teens in touch with people of different backgrounds, abilities, ethnicities, ages, and education and income levels. They'll learn that even the most diverse individuals can be united by common values.

  • Job skills. Community service can help young people decide on their future careers. Are they interested in the medical field? Hospitals and clinics often have teenage volunteer programs. Do they love politics? Kids can work on the real campaigns of local political candidates.
    Learning to work as a team member, taking on leadership roles, setting project goals — these are all skills that can be gained by volunteering and will serve kids well in any future career.

  • How to fill idle time wisely. If kids aren't involved in traditional after-school activities, community service can be a wonderful alternative.

Getting involved by corporate

One excellent way to market any business is through networking. And how do we network efficiently? By becoming involved with our community! Participating in local activities not only helps promote brand awareness, it can also leave organisations feeling great for giving back to a supportive community. Here are five tips for getting organisations involved with the community:

1. Volunteer Time or Space
It doesn't take much space for a small group to meet. Consider volunteering your facilities to local clubs or related organizations. For example, if you sell comic books or other collectibles, loan your space to the local collectors club for their monthly meetings. If you don't have the space, give of your time. If you sell books, offer to read to pre-schoolers at the library's story time. Besides getting the personal satisfaction of helping others, you'll be interacting with a few potential customers.

2. Teach a Class
Most organisations are experts about the products they sell and have a wealth of information to share. Check with the local college or library about teaching a class in your expertise. Another way to share all of that knowledge is by holding your own clinics right in-store. Many large hardware companies have used this idea with free weekend how-to sessions.

3. Host or Sponsor an Event
Whether it's the Relay for Life, Red Ribbon Week or some other local program, most communities have at least one large event in need of sponsors. Read the local newspaper for upcoming events. Can't find a local event that fits your business? Host your own! All it takes is a little planning, support from your suppliers and favourable media coverage and you have the makings of a wonderful marketing opportunity and a great community event.

4. Adopt a Project
Once you start looking for a community group to become involved with, you will probably find your community has many projects, big and small, that could use your hands-on help. Don't forget to contact the media outlets for additional exposure.

5. Join a Group
Getting involved can help build a bond between your business and the community. It also lets you meet others who may share common interests and needs. Become a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau or another club to make some business connections, as well as some friends.

Getting Involved in case of Natural Disasters

When communities are hit by natural disasters, while monetary donations are always appreciated, they're not the only way that you can get involved. Here are some active ways that you can help out:

  • Donate clothes, food, or other items. Check with your local community centre or place of worship to find out whether you can drop off donations or if there's another way you can contribute. You might suggest donating your time to help sort through donations and/or delivering goods to families affected by the disaster.
  • Organize a fundraiser. Perhaps you could help your place of worship or local school organise a fundraiser to collect money or supplies for disaster victims. For a donation drive, ask the organization you'd like to donate to whether it needs the items you plan to send. Sometimes, charities get too many donations and have to spend money storing or handling the excess items.
  • Organize a community event. Talk to your place of worship, child's school, or community centre about organizing a walk, run, bake sale, or other activity to raise money.

If you are not able to help out right now, consider contributing in the coming weeks or months. With the degree of damage in disaster-struck areas, the need for donations and funds will be ongoing and your contribution will be appreciated just as much in the future.

If you have a passion for community development, ideas and enthusiasm to share with your local community and with the national community, we welcome your participation!

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