Rural Pulse: In Community Work, Think Like an Entrepreneur
While the world celebrates the arrival of the new millennium, northern Nigeria welcomed it with seething resentment as religion took a center stage. The protest by the Christians in Kaduna to eliminate Sharia quickly spread into violence. Buildings and religious houses were razed; victims were shot while some were buried alive. In the end, no fewer than 2,000 people lost their lives to the unfortunate incident in Kaduna, one of the key northern states in Nigeria.
However, this peace hiccup sparked another revolution of young people who came together to stage a revolution of peace in Nassarawa, one of the poorest suburbs in Kaduna.
One of the key members of this peace revolution is Nentawe Gomiyar. He, alongside a group of young men that comprise of Christians and Muslims — the faction among which the current religious crisis has been sparked, created a youth forum that will unite the community.
15 years on, Nentawe is still actively involved in development work. He still works in the same rural community where he started his development work.
On this week’s Rural Pulse, here is Nentawe’s counsel (based on his experience) for people who are working/ who desire to work in rural community like he does:
“Don’t just look at a problem from the development angle, look at it from the eyes of an entrepreneur.
Anything that you want to do, look at it from the eye of an entrepreneur. Ask yourself, what is the opportunity that is available in this field? Think about the education. Think about the money. If it is on education, think about “how can I deal with education and how can I make money?” “How can I use that money to sustain that project?”
You have to look at it from the aspect that if you call in volunteers to work on a project and they are not getting any stipends, it will be difficult to get them to come back and work for you because there is no motivating factor.
Most importantly, think twice. Is this really, really something you want to do? If not, you should pursue other career. This is because if you are not a die-hard person, you will give up.”