Recently, a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, Ilori Ayotola Deborah was in the news after she donated 10 foot-operated soap and water dispenser to some rural communities and offices in Abuja.
Deborah who is currently undergoing her Community Development Service (CDS) under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said she drew her inspiration to embark on the project from the fact that the rural communities were yet to believe the stories of COVID-19.
She said during her outreach programs to educate the rural communities on the preventive measures against COVID-19 pandemic, she realised that the handwashing mode in the communities does not conform with the standard given by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“It was out of the little effort I was able to put when the COVID-19 pandemic started and as a result of my selflessness. At the start of COVID-19, nobody envisaged the lockdown, myself and other corps members, we have been able to do outreach in different places to educate people on the COVID-19 and Lassa fever.
“During my outreach program to communities in Abuja, I discovered that people don’t really know about COVID-19, they felt that the whole thing was a lie.
“We were supposed to donate buckets for washing hands in those communities, but on the second thought, I realised that it may not be hygienic if all of them keep opening the bucket with their bare hands.
“So, I thought of doing a foot-controlled hand washing apparatus such that you don’t have to touch it, I also sensitised them on how to make the hand washing soap and empowered them with the funds to buy chemicals for soap production”, explained.
Describing the foot-operated water and soap dispenser, Deborah said “it is an indigenous solution to curb COVID-19, so what I did was to create a foot-operated hand washing apparatus.
“It is an apparatus you control with your foot, soap would get dispensed into your hand, then you also control it with your foot, you get water dispensed in your hand.
“I gave the apparatus to 10 places in Abuja, Primary Healthcare Centre, Utako community Village, JSS Karishi, NYSC Camp clinic in Kubwa, ECOWAS in Asokoro, NYSC state secretariat, NYSC headquarters, AMAC zonal office.
On sponsorship for the project, 2019, Batch B, stream 2 Corps member said she was able to raise fund for the project through sponsors after she secured approval from NYSC.
“According to NYSC, as a corp member, you have no right to use your money for any project, when you want to embark on a project, you are going to write NYSC, then they will ask you the cost of your project and what you hope to achieve, then you will get a letter from your sponsors.
“So, when I got the idea of the foot-operated hand washing apparatus, I reached out to people, and I got support and I was able to execute the project.
Speaking about the future, Deborah said “when it comes to community service, the needs in the country are endless, so my aim and vision is to reach out to the extremely vulnerable people. With the help of God and the people around the world, I can do a lot of things.
She said she has a passion for children, which a lot of them are out of school, and some of them are not even in school. She said if she has the resources, she would ensure that the children of the poor in the society are able to be enrolled in schools.