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Nicodemus Ibanga, Sales Associate, YDTP Volunteer

I am Nicodemus Ibanga. I’m always inspired to solve my own personal problems but every opportunity gives me an edge in solving other people’s problems. As an orphan, I started school late. I worked in many organizations to gather enough resources in order to get a good education.

In 2013, Oje Olaolu Ivagba posted on our Facebook Group, “Akwa Ibom State Students Summits Worldwide”, inviting youths to apply for the LEAP Africa Youth Development Training Program (YDTP) sponsored by Diamond Bank. I applied for the program through the recommendation of a good friend and a youth Advocate, Mr. Ubong David. My participation in the five days YDTP Training Program in 2013 was remarkable. It marked the beginning of my journey with LEAP. 

The program commenced at 7:30am and lasted till 5pm each day and all the sessions were amazing. Through effective time management techniques, I was able to accomplish various tasks. I was made to understand that each and every one of us has an equal amount of time but how we make use of it makes the difference.

Although I was a sales representative in Samuf Educational Limited before I enrolled into the program, I interacted well with the school administrators to promote educational books and we made outstanding sales.

After the training, we were inspired to become real change agents and we chose to give back. I, alongside other beneficiaries of IBOM LEAP organized a one-day seminar for some selected secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State in 2014 through the approval of the Akwa Ibom State Secondary Education Board. I took a session on “The essence of ethics for nation building”. About 50 students benefited from the program. We tasked ourselves to give free exercise books and other prizes to the benefiting students. I remain grateful for being the programme coordinator of IBOM LEAP.

Fast forward to 2015. LEAP brought the Leadership, Ethics And Civics (LEC) Program to my state and I was invited to volunteer for the program. The Training of Trainers (ToT) was quite impactful. Despite the fact that I was writing my second semester exams, I ensured I made the best out of it. The trainers, Mr. Asuquo and Amaris did a wonderful job. After the ToT and the course on “Leadership For Change”, I was able to restore the electricity problem that had lasted for more than two (2) years in my village through the support of various stakeholders.

I was assigned after the ToT programme to foresee the LEC Program in Community Secondary School, Aka Offot, Uyo and the experience there was incredible. Participants were impacted with leadership and life skills required to cope with life’s challenges. The greatest part was the implementation of the students’ change projects to improve the lives of people in their school and community: The Zebra Crossing at Sacred Heart Cathedral/St. George RCM Primary School and the Campaign on the Effect of Drug Abuse, did not only change the lives of the community members but the students as well. All the students were well coordinated throughout the whole exercise.

LEAP played a major role in making this dream a reality. Thanks to LEAP Africa for being part of my story.

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