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MY FIRST OUTREACH

John Obanor

On my first day of resumption at ACE Charity, the first thing I saw was a wall inscription which read “Work for a CAUSE not for APPLAUSE”. These words struck a chord with me and confirmed my observations from the interview process that ACE Charity was all about impact! At that moment, I felt right at home. After all, my career path and purpose has always been to add value not for accolades, but to make a substantial difference in the lives of others. My interview for the position of Junior Administrator is one I will not forget anytime soon.

The interviews were scheduled to start at 12 noon and 3pm respectively; mine was scheduled for 3pm but I arrived much earlier. I met over fifty (50) young men and ladies in the waiting room, most of them very quiet and looking tensed. This possibly had to do with the fact that the verdict of the interview was immediate, you are either asked to wait behind or leave which meant that those asked to wait stood a chance to be hired while those asked to leave were unsuccessful. I pulled myself together and established an intellectual conversation with some of the applicants (this measure was to calm my nerves and also rate the intellectual ability of the applicants). I was able to spot my competitors from the conversation and simply asked God to help me. And lo! It was my turn, my name was called, my heart was racing, and nonetheless, I encouraged myself as I confidently walked into the interview room. I was just about to take a sit when I was asked “why should we hire you?”  this honestly threw me off balance but I swiftly responded. The questions got more technical and I was sincere with my responses. After much drilling, I was asked to wait.  I ran to the gents to shed some tears of joy and appreciation to God. I had this belief that I will be selected amongst the few people asked to wait. And today, I am proud and grateful to be on the ACE Team.

My first outreach with the team was an eye opener for me. The outreach was to take place in a government primary school in Wuse, which is located in the central area of Abuja. I automatically assumed there are kids who had it worse and perhaps we should start with schools on the outskirts of the city center. I soon realized my view was myopic. Yes, the school is located in the heart of FCT where millionaires and Federal Government Agencies are located however, it was immediately evident that the pupils were not benefitting from the luxury that appears to be abundant in the area. ACE Charity saw these children in several communities in Abuja, identified their needs and came up with a caption #SchoolInABag, what a brilliant caption!

Essentially, these bags are durable, waterproof, made in Nigeria bags which are kitted with various school supplies such as water bottles, notebooks, pencil cases to make schooling more convenient. Currently, in Nigeria, basic education is “free” but only tuition free. Therefore, the burden of buying school essentials is on the parents which can put a strain on the finances of families that are already struggling. ACE Charity does a beautiful job of standing in this gap and with donations received, was able to give a total of 59 bags on our first outreach to the school.

I am excited about what we are doing as a charity and I have a better understanding that presumptions do not cut it in the development world, one must always be open minded so as not to miss opportunities to positively make an impact even in places that may appear not to need it any intervention. ACE Charity donated gifts to the children to make school and learning easier and more efficient. Ultimately, the joy and hope of ACE Charity is knowing that these children will attain education to a point that gives them a level playing field in the society.

We at ACE Charity work for a CAUSE not for APPLAUSE. I sincerely desire to grow with ACE Charity and positively impact the lives of many.

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