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Students of the Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Ibadan and Civil Society Organizations were in attendance at the Nigeria Network of NGOs/Center for Sustainable Development seminar, themed Development in Practice: Advancing your career in sustainable development which was held on Friday, 26th May, 2016 at Bodija, Ibadan.
Guest speaker at the seminar, Ms. Crystal Chigbu noted that sustainable development is about giving everything of oneself to society as often as the society requires it. She debunked the notion that sustainable development is simply about charity, saying that there have been misconceptions about sustainable development such that many individuals erroneously think working towards the sustainable development goals simply involves charitable deeds or revenue-making for the purpose of funding NGOs. She noted the importance of disabusing this belief, claiming that it encompasses much more. According to her sustainable development is about innovation and transforming your society in your own way to make impact.
Ms. Chigbu said impact can be effectively made when a practitioner finds a focus within the SDGs and diligently pursues it. She elaborates on this by stating the importance of adopting four sustainable keys for practice which she labelled, ‘the Irede Model’; Passion, Picture, Pursuing and Impact. The place of passion, she said, cannot be overemphasized as it is the driving force of one’s career and it is through passion that a picture can be effectively pursued to make impact.
She lauded the effectiveness of these keys and attributed the success of her practice to them while noting they help in building and advancing one’s career in development practice. She further added that to build a successful career in sustainable development practice, it is imperative that a practitioner finds a firm placing within the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals as there is the need for practitioners to familiarise themselves with the goals and join the work towards ensuring an orange (happy) world by 2030.
An interactive session followed where participants tabled problematic areas in development practice.
The seminar featured a panel session by volunteers of the Nigeria Network of NGOs who presented reports of their experience with the Network, answered questions pertaining to their areas of expertise and generally gave updates on the projects handled by the Network while they commended the Network for the opportunity it presented in the area of capacity building. The four outgone interns who now serve as volunteers for the Network also noted the importance of being well informed about the civil society sector and enjoined CSOs to take it upon themselves to find out as much as they can about the sector in order to better protect it against unfavourable laws and practices.
The seminar is the second in the series organized by a joint effort of the Nigeria Network of NGOs and the Center for Sustainable Development and focuses on enhancing human capacity development for achieving sustainable development.