Volunteering: You render services without expecting any form of remuneration – Ayeni
Paul Ayeni is a technician, social volunteer and media strategist. In this interview he shares with our correspondent, Mercy Ezeokonkwo, about his journey into volunteering, the challenges, benefits and achievements. Excerpts
May our readers know you?
My name is Paul Ayeni, I am the CEO of OATEC TECHNICAL SERVICES, a company that provides cooling comfort for individuals, corporate organization and companies. I also run a volunteering organisation and also double as a social media strategist.
Briefly tell us about your background?
I was born and raised in Lagos Nigeria to Mr & Mrs Ayeni. We are a family of 6 including my parents. I am the 2nd born. I attended God’s time nursery and primary school before proceeding to Livingstone Model College for my secondary education.
What does volunteering mean to you?
To me volunteering is all about rendering services without expecting any form of remuneration
How did your journey to volunteering begin?
Well all my life, I have been volunteering in one way or the other, but for me, it started officially in 2015.
A friend introduced me to Mr Wale Tejumade, the convener of Lofty Heights Conference.
That’s where I began my Volunteering journey.
What had been your experiences during these services?
It has been mind blowing, Interesting, educative and impacting.
The joy one gets while Volunteering is second to none.
How can one find volunteering opportunities?
There are various ways to find volunteering opportunities, but the most popular and effective is by joining a volunteering organization. Here they share different volunteering opportunities.
What are the benefits you’ve gained by volunteering?
While volunteering, I have been able to develop some soft skills such as communication skills, inter personal skills and how to become a social media strategist. I have also gotten contract for my business while volunteering. It has also given me access to top speakers and entrepreneurs in different field. I have also met wonderful people with the right mindset.
What are the challenges you’ve experienced in the course of volunteering?
The challenges while volunteering, for me, has not been so much….
Few of them are leaving the house so early on empty stomach and not eating till the event ends
You might also face stigmatization when going for community outreach
What does it take to be a professional volunteer?
Before you can be a professional, experience is the number one criteria. And also you need to belong to a volunteering organization.
Who are those who inspire you greatly?
There are a lot of people that inspire me…
But one thing I look out for is people full of positive vibe and people with the right mindset
Some of such people are Dr Myles Munroe, Fela Durotoye, Dr. Ubong King, Mr Mark Idiahi, Mr Sanmi Akindipe and a host of others.
What are your achievements so far?
Ambassador for Africa Project against Suicide (APAS), Nigeria Volunteers Award Hall of Fame 2020, Outstanding Leadership Honour from Mogi Global Leadership School, The Most Outstanding Volunteer for 2019 by Unsung Heroes Award, International Volunteer Award Recognition by World Safety Organization.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
In the next 5 years, I see myself leading one of the biggest household companies in area of providing cooling comfort.Having a Purpose Discovery Academy. One of the most sought after speaker on purpose Discovery.
Who are your strongest support systems?
Family, mentors and likeminded friends
What’s your personal mantra?
Life is about planting trees under whose shade you don’t expect to sit.
What challenges did you face putting up your volunteering organization?
Well, we need to understand that volunteering is not meant for everyone.
So the first challenge is getting people with the heart of service and also getting with the right mindset.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Reorientation is the key.
We need to re-orientate the people on what volunteering entails and also getting the right set of people in your inner circle.
Please leave an advice for the Nigerian Youths
To all Nigerian youth, HOPE is that thread that keeps us moving forward, so I will say, never lose hope, keep pushing and stay true to yourself. It will definitely end in praise.
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