By: Mayen Etim
FCT, ABUJA, Nigeria – The group, National Volunteer Group on COVID-19, on Monday, was among six others honoured by the United Nations Development Programme, (UNDP) for it’s contributions to youth leadership and development.
The award ceremony jointly organized by UNDP and Yiaga Africa was held in Abuja, and UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Africa, Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa, was at hand to present the awards to the recipients.
Responding, Founder of the NVG on COVID-19, Mallam Yusuf Amoke, expressed his pleasure to be among the six young Nigerians doing things for humanity that are deemed great worthy to be honoured.
According to him, NVG on VOVID-19 has done a lot of things reaching out to the most vulnerable in the society and other actions against climate change that we thought nobody of this magnitude is seeing us, but to my greatest surprise today, it is an arm of the United Nations that has just presented me with this award.
He thanked UNDP for the privilege and promised to do more; and as well appreciated Mr. Samson Itodo and his team for the recommendation. “This award is dedicated to my team – the NVG on Covid-19,” Amoke said.
The NVG on Covid-19, a sub-group of the Green Climate Africa was established at the peak of the pandemic, immediately after one death was recorded in Nigeria.
The Group was formed to provide an emergency response platform where citizens at community level can organize and collaborate towards solving some of the immediate development and humanitarian challenges the pandemic was envisage to come with.
The Group which has more than 2000 volunteers across all the 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria was focused on responding to both the direct challenges (such as preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus and dispelling popular myths), and indirect challenges (such as alleviating hunger, enabling vulnerable persons to access essential services, and providing information needs).
By December 2020, the NVG on COVID-19 had successfully raised and distributed over $500,000 to vulnerable citizens through cash and in-kind supports (specifically food items and personal protective equipment).
The Group had successfully directly mobilized volunteers and donated an estimated 1000 pints of blood to the blood bank of the National Blood Transfusion Services, (NBTS) in Nigeria.
Also, the Group championed the prosecution of 21 perpetrators of sexual abuse and domestic violence, most especially rape of minors, and worked with the wife of Kaduna State Governor to enact a stringent law on rape of minor by the State House of Assembly.
In recognition of these achievements, the Group has so far received awards from several organizations, notably, Peace Revival And Reconciliation Foundation of Nigeria; Global Emerging Pathogen Treatment Consortium, (GET Africa); Stand Tall Africa and the National Blood Transfusion Services.