All You Need To Know About Personal CDS

by Sanjo
personal CDS

Personal/ Individual CDS is executed by individual corps members in their host communities based on community felt-needs. Corps members are encouraged in addition to the group CDS, to look out for areas where they could make individual impact in the community.
A Corps member may embark on a personal Community Development Service for the purpose of improving on the host community’s infrastructure, humanitarian services to the less privileged and for youth or women empowerment and so on. Also, corps members do personal CDS because of local, state or federal award but it is most advisable you carry out your project without expecting an award in return so that even if your project is not awarded you won’t feel the pains at the end. Your reason for personal CDS should be passion to impact lives, not to win an award.
Before you embark on any of the under listed projects, consult to make sure it is the felt need of your place of primary assignment or host community.

  1. Construction of a sport centre like volleyball court, basketball court, long tennis, table tennis.
  2. Establishment of a Library, I.C.T Centre, school, clinic etc
  3. Construction of a manual or electric borehole for your place of primary assignment.
  4. Donation of books and writing materials to school libraries.
  5. Supply of essential drugs to schools.
  6. Supply of crops, fertilizers and farm tools to farmers.
  7. Organizing skill acquisition training for youths, women and men for free.
  8. Payment of WAEC, NECO enrollment fees for bright but poor students in your place of primary assignment.
  9. Sensitization on climate change, gender equality etc
  10. Embark on a health sensitization scheme like free dettol distribution, setting up of wash hand basins in every class of your school, etc.
  11. Introduce road signs and road directions for motorists to easily navigate their way around your place of primary assignment.
  12. Work with the power supply company to install a transformer and connect power to all households.
  13. Donation of clothing, and/or food materials to orphanage homes.
  14. Construction of public toilet in your place of primary assignment.
  15. Organizing youth programs like sports or quiz competitions among students in your place of primary assignment and rewarding the best.

As a Corps member, the sense of self fulfilment that comes with adding value to the lives of people/communities cannot be estimated in monetary terms. Furthermore, the immense appreciation shown by communities as well as project beneficiaries coupled with the skill acquired in project management are of great value to committed Corps members who execute personal CDS projects in the course of the service year. However, the scheme also provides opportunity for Corps members, based on a procedure of selection, evaluation and verification of CDS projects, performance in the place of primary assignment, orientation course and winding up activities to give awards in the following areas:
i. Local Government Honors Award : This comes with a token or medal from the chairman of the local government council.
ii. Commendation Letter From NYSC State Coordinator: It is usually a letter to boost your CV.
iii. State Governor’s Award: This award comes with a certificate and may be a token below N500,000 and may also include employment letter depending on the decision of the state governor.
Iv. Presidential Honors Award: This award comes with automatic employment, scholarship up to Ph.D level in any University of your choice in any part of the world. For one to qualify for this award, he/she must first have received the local government award, state coordinator’s commendation letter and state governor’s Award.
(a) A written proposal must be forwarded by the corps member addressed to the State Coordinator through the Local and Zonal Inspectors.
(b) Relevance of the project to the community must be stated in the proposal.
(c) Sustainability and benefits of the project to the community after the departure of the corps member must be stated.
(d) Location and accessibility of the project
– Projects to be executed by corps member(s) should not be in disputed areas and should be accessible to members of the host community.
(e) Source of funding:
Funds should be sourced from the communities, individuals and organizations within the state of service. On no account, should corps members fund CDS project with his/her allowance or money from parents/relatives.
(f) Period of project execution:- All CDS projects must be completed within the service year.
The steps are:
1) Interaction between corps members and community stakeholders to identify the felt needs of the community;
2) Identification of sources of funds and relevant linkages for the project.
3) Preparation of a viable proposal with the guidance of Local Government and Zonal Inspectors containing the following:

  • – Introduction
  • – Name of project
  • – Estimated cost of project
  • – Source of funding
  • – Expected time of completion
  • -Proposed date of commissioning.

The work plan should be attached and it should contain the following:

  • – activities and time frame,
  • – period of report submission and
  • – documentation, etc

4) Approval of project by the NYSC Secretariat after consultation with the Zonal and Local Government Inspectors;
5) Mobilizing resources in consultation with community members from the community, Local Government Council, Government and Non-Government Organizations as well as public spirited philanthropists. On no account, should corps members write letters to government, parastatals and private organizations without passing through the State Coordinator.
6) Ensuring contact with linkages relevant to the execution of the project jointly carried out by corps member(s) and the community;
7) Execution of the project;
8) Submission of bimonthly progress report with documentary/pictorial evidence;
9) Submission of completion report to the NYSC State Secretariat
10) Commissioning and handing over to the Community; and
11) Giving of feedback to persons that donated towards the execution of the project.
The community participatory approach built into the aforementioned steps allows for decision making on project to be jointly taken which ultimately leads to sustainability of such projects and community ownership.
For your project to be successful and recognized, you must avoid some errors and do the following:

  • Carry your NYSC L.G.I. and Z.I along at every stage of your project execution
  • You must study the two of them and know their type of person. Some may not like frequent calls. Some may prefer you just keep sending them SMS only because of a lot of official issues they often have on their tables while some would prefer you come physically. Whichever it is,try to study them from the outgoing corps members.
  • You must be in good terms with your immediate boss in your PPA, because, at the end, NYSC will send assessment form for your boss to assess you and score you.
  • Ensure you take pictures of the project site before you start, during project work and after project has been fully completed all with your NYSC full attire which includes hair dress, crested vest, up and down kaki dress including your jungle boot unfailingly.
  • Do not use your personal money. If you do, the project will be cancelled. Use only community money, reason being that, the host community will value the project most and sustain it if the project is done with their money. If the social amenity is truly beneficial to them, they will contribute money or direct you to their wealthy sons and daughters in far big cities.
  • Never approach them asking for money, instead, ask for material donations, such as sharp sand, gravel, blocks, cement, wood (used and abandoned by them in their compound depending on the type of project embarked upon). Trust me, if they have, they will donate without delay and it will give them more confidence in your seriousness that you want to impact on their community. In case they don’t have the material item you requested for, they could willingly give you the money to get it but if you go asking for money, they may think you are after the money and not the project.
  • You must avoid argument with the host community members. If any of them can’t meet up, leave him and go to the other.
  • Never quit in search of money for the execution of personal CDS, remember quitters never win. You must also learn to swallow what others are saying about you. But you must listen to genuine complaints about yourself from fellow corps members and others.
  • For you to succeed in your personal projects, you must not argue with your NYSC LGI or ZI. Listen and do exactly as they instruct you. They have been guiding project corps members before and they know it better than you. This secret rule is very important.

Make sure you finish project four or three months to your passing out date. Your ability to finish early will enable your LGI or ZI to do project competition on your behalf. If you are lucky, your project may come first, second or third in your state of deployment which automatically lists your project for NYSC Presidential National Honors Award. I guess you know what it means.

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1 comment

Anonymous March 1, 2022 - 5:42 am

I did a personal community development programme and got a states award. I was told I would be given a form to fill for federal award but I wasn’t. How then are you considered for federal award?


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