There are different levels in volunteering. While some give their time, skills and resources, others do not mind giving their money. In the recently concluded ALC 4.0, I met with the “others”: a group of relentless volunteers that are uber-passionate about building the technical pipeline of talents in Africa. These are the Learning Community Ambassadors (LCAs). These are my Heroes.
The Andela Learning Community (ALC) is a network of people, technologists and tech enthusiasts across Africa dedicated to learning how to use technology to solve humanity’s problems. The ALC facilitates learning through the aid of guided mentorship from super awesome learning community ambassadors with the goal to provide an ever-growing population of aspiring technologists with the resources and environments they need to become world-class problem solvers.
2019: The year I made a LIFE
I was appointed to lead the South West II region of Nigeria. The South West II region comprises of 5 states: Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo, Osun and Ogun, and 87 Local Government Areas. The South West region of Nigeria vaunts about being the heart of the learning community. This is because of the admirable level of industrialization in this region. More learners was commensurate to more work. I was desperately in need of the perfect volunteers — selfless and skillful — who derive a sense of well-being and peculiar gratification in helping learners in their respective region attain the actionable KPI targets. Each of the region was also led by a state or lead facilitator who I was in frequent contact with in order to ensure the involvement of other LCAs in their respective region.
The Power of Selfless Volunteerism
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” — Audrey Hepburn
It is difficult to find selfless volunteers who do not take pride in their welfare but in the welfare of others. I was fortunate to work with volunteers that I can brag to the whole world about their selflessness. Because of this, I have earned myself a bragging right for FREE. Although at first it was quite challenging, I enjoyed meta learning — learning how to learn. I also acquired another super power towards success in ethical and effective leadership: wise delegation and effective communication. It is by far very important to note that in this age and time, most people listen to reply and not to understand. Because of this, being able to effectively communicate requires you to be on the lookout for pointers while communicating. Ab initio to this present moment of writing this article, I am fully persuaded that the success of ALC 4.0 wouldn’t have been possible without the self-sacrifice of the learning community ambassadors.
Olufemi, a brilliant and passionate volunteer who has been with ALC right from inception — i.e ALC 1.0 — currently leads the community of ambassadors in Ondo state, Nigeria. His altruism and love for the community is unparallelled. Apart from his selflessness and dedication to the growth of the learners in their respective tracks, Olufemi willingly conveyed Ondo state LCAs to Ibadan during the recently concluded LCAs Hangout. If you think altruism should be replaced with Olufemi in the dictionary, then we are resonating on the same wavelength.
Emmanuel is driven by passion and very eager to take initiative. He has been an active LCA since ALC 2.0 and rose to lead the LCAs in Ekiti State last year. Currently, he still holds the mantle of leadership and creates the needed collaboration amongst the LCAs in the region. One interesting super power Emmanuel possesses is the ability to secure first-class, prime and conducive venue at a very cheap rate: his negotiation skill is ethereal.
One of the best lessons you can learn in life is to master how to remain calm. Let Sodiq teach you this lesson. His calmness cum energetic disposition towards coordinating and supporting the learners is all shades of HA-mazing! Sodiq also gleefully leads the LCAs in Oyo State, Nigeria — as he has done this in previous years right from inception.
If you are in need of strategies to drive learners engagement, Kenechi is your plug.The more strategy he uses, the more strategy he has; I’m constantly in awe of his creative and critical thinking prowess. With an experience of over 3 years as a volunteer for ALC, Kenechi currently champions the LCAs in Osun state, Nigeria.
If there were many Luthfulahi, learners would prefer to attend meetups than their birthday celebrations. Luthfulahi’s persuasion finesse and ability to liven up a flagging crowd is worth celebrating. He co-leads the LCAs in Oyo state and as you expect, he does it with style.
I cannot forget Gbadebo Bello who currently champions the LCAs in Ogun state, Nigeria. His sacrifices will never go unnoticed. Sule Olarenwaju, Richard Oluseye, Samson Olusegun, Bolaji Akande, Franklin Oladipo, Muogho Endurance, Damilola Akinterinwa, Israel Oyinlola, Ifedayo Karim, Olawoore Goodness, Ajiri Gunn, Akingbesote Jesulonimi, Ayotunde Doherty, Yusuf Adefolahan, Bamidele Victor, Olatunbosun Josiah, Omoyemi Adetifa, Odeajo Israel. Adeyemo Michael Adesola, Larry and Ebere are forever written on the sands of time for their marvellous deeds.
Also if I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. Never will I forget Olunuga YeYo, Ejiofoh Joy, Cheruto Mercy, Lina Ng'inja Chuloo, Chimdindu Aneke, SAM ESIDEM, Chizoba Ogbonna, Rotimi Okungbaye, Auwal MS, Chioma James, Uzoma James, Lorna Maria A, Anthony Kiplimo, David Kezi, Asa Lugada, Kanyinsola Oyindamola Fapohunda Oluwatobi Akinpelu, Rahma Halane, Braddox Ogilo, Daniel Otieno, Emem Jonah, Emmanuel Oaikhenan, Rachael Onoja, Chris Barsolai, Timothy Owen, Allela Eunice, Wambui Kahinga, nzaramba samuel and Joshua Mabina.
It is no news that all heroes wear cape. And if you’re yet to believe — convincing you won’t do justice but seeing these heroes in real life as they brandish their cape dauntlessly😎 aiming for victory and invariably attaining it will clear up doubt.