The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program in Nigeria incorporates Community Development Service (CDS) as an integral part of its mission to foster national unity and contribute to the development of host communities. Under the CDS framework, corps members engage in various activities aimed at improving the living conditions and addressing the pressing needs of their host communities. This article will go into the different types of CDS in NYSC, highlighting their purposes, activities, and significance.
Types Of CDS In NYSC
Group Community Development Service (Group CDS)
Group CDS constitutes one of the main categories of NYSC CDS. It requires corps members to dedicate one day per week to engage in group activities that aim to uplift the host communities. On designated CDS days, corps members are exempted from their primary assignment duties. However, the specific CD days may vary across different states in the country.
Let’s explore some of the prominent CDS groups in the NYSC scheme and their functions:
1. Corps Legal Aid Group (CLAG)
Purpose: Provide free legal services to the less privileged and indigent prison inmates, while sensitizing the public on fundamental human rights.
Activities: Advocacy, prison visits, legal assistance, public lectures on fundamental human rights.
2. Sports CDS Group
Purpose: Promote recreation, healthy competition, and encourage a healthy and purposeful lifestyle among corps members and the community.
Activities: Participation in sports competitions, talent identification and training, organizing sports events.
3. Environmental Protection & Sanitation Group (NEMA/NESREA Vanguard)
Purpose: Promote and sustain a healthy environment, create awareness on sustainable environment management, and control erosion and sanitation issues.
Functions: Tree planting, drainage control, erosion control, sanitation campaigns, afforestation, landscaping.
4. Education Development Group (Mass Literacy, Adult Education, Extra Murals ICT)
Purpose: Enhance the education standard of the host community, provide career guidance and counseling for students.
Activities: Campaign against illiteracy, organizing extra-mural classes for adults, in-school programs.
5. Cultural & Tourism CDS Group (Band, Dance, Drama & Tourism)
Purpose: Promote arts and culture, disseminate socio-economic and political information, and identify and nurture talents.
Activities: Identifying talents, establishing theater groups, cultural performances.
6. Road Safety Club (RSC) CDS Group
Purpose: Contribute to public safety on roads.
Activities: Sensitization and traffic control, first aid administration, establishment of road safety clubs in schools.
7. Editorial/Publicity CDS Group
Purpose: Complement the activities of the NYSC Public Relations Officer (PRO) in disseminating information to the community.
Activities: Making presentations in mass media, enlightening people on socio-cultural education.
8. Disaster Management Group (NEMA)
Purpose: Create awareness on disaster management, disseminate information on disaster control, and liaise with NEMA for emergency assistance.
Activities: Public enlightenment, formation of emergency vanguard clubs in schools.
9. Medical & Health Services CDS Group (Red Cross, Breast Without Spot, Polio Plus, etc.)
Purpose: Promote and provide medical services to the community.
Activities: Health outreach programs, first aid administration, establishment of community-based clinics.
10. Service Delivery CDS Group (Attitudinal Change, Re-Branding)
Purpose: Sensitize on service delivery and promote good work ethics.
Activities: Training sessions, sensitization programs, group discussions on value re-orientation.
11. Drug-Free & Quality Control CDS Group (NDLEA, NAFDAC, SON)
Purpose: Eradicate fake and adulterated foods and drugs, create awareness about the dangers of drug abuse.
Activities: Campaigns, sensitization programs, the establishment of drug-free clubs in schools.
12. Charity Services & Gender Group
Purpose: Improve the living standards of the underprivileged, conduct charity outreaches, mobilize funds and resources.
Activities: Visits to orphanages and prisons, donations to homes, fundraising activities.
13. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) CDS Group
Purpose: Create awareness and work towards achieving the eight goals of MDGs.
Activities: Advocacy, mentoring programs in the host community.
14. Agro-Allied CDS Group
Purpose: Support agro-allied activities in host communities, promote food production and security.
Activities: Demonstration farms, extension services, establishment of farmers’ cooperatives, advocacy, teaching new farming techniques.
15. Anti-Corruption CDS Group (EFCC & ICPC)
Purpose: Help eradicate corruption through campaigns and awareness.
Activities: Sensitization programs, awareness creation in schools and organizations, establishment of anti-corruption corps members.
16. Reproductive Health & HIV/AIDS Group
Purpose: Train and mentor students, strengthen community-based responses to HIV/AIDS prevention.
Activities: Sensitization campaigns, community mobilization.
It’s important to note that in some states, certain CDS groups may be merged based on their interchangeable functions. For example, Disaster Management CDS Group and Environmental Protection & Sanitation CDS Group might merge to form a comprehensive environmental CDS group.
Personal/Individual Community Development Service (Personal/Individual CDS)
Apart from group CDS, corps members are encouraged to engage in personal/individual CDS projects that address specific needs in their host communities. These projects are initiated and executed individually by corps members alongside their group activities.
Potential personal/individual CDS projects include:
- Construction projects like building toilets, incinerators, bridges, classrooms, and game facilities for schools.
- Social/educational projects such as establishing ICT laboratories, school libraries, extra-mural classes, campaigns, charity work, and vocational training for unemployed youths.
Furthermore, NYSC collaborates with national and non-governmental organizations, as well as other establishments, to implement development programs. These collaborative CDS initiatives involve signing Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) that outline the roles and responsibilities of each partner. Corps members actively participate as volunteers in these programs.
Some examples of collaborative CDS groups include Road Safety Group, Reproductive Health & HIV/AIDS Group, Anti-Corruption Group, Service Delivery Group, MDGs, Medical and Health Services Group, and Drug-Free and Quality Control Group.
To execute a CDS project successfully, corps members need to identify the specific needs of the community through thorough needs assessments. These assessments can be carried out through observations of community challenges or discussions with community members, including youths, market women, opinion leaders, and elders.
During project execution, project selection becomes crucial. Projects must meet the SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Rewarding, and Time-bound) and align with the felt needs of the community to ensure their effectiveness.
Corps members are advised to consult CDS schedule officers, zonal/local government inspectors, and other relevant personnel for guidance in project execution.
NYSC CDS Rules
The main rule is, you must not miss your CDS meeting. If you must, inform your CDS cooordinator.
Punishment for missing NYSC CDS
If you miss your CDS for any reason without permission, you might not get cleared during monthly clearance and you must answer NYSC query letter for missing cds.
General CDS NYSC
General CDS is usually a meeting of all the CDS groups in the local government. It holds the last week of every month according to Batch.
The various types of CDS in NYSC offer corps members opportunities to contribute meaningfully to community development. Each CDS group has its unique purpose and activities, with corps members utilizing their skills and talents to make a positive impact. Whether engaged in group or personal/individual CDS, corps members play a vital role in improving the living conditions of their host communities.