5 January 2023
My name is Charles Nwachukwu, a PG student of Public Health and Community Wellbeing from Nigeria and this is my SHOKE story.
During my time as an undergrad and student leader, I understood that society building is everyone’s civil responsibility and not just for the people in position. I had also learnt that you do not need a position to be a leader (Impact Leaders Academy, Lagos 2014).
I developed an interest in community development as a way of honing my leadership skills and contributing to society building. In 2014, I started volunteering for rural medical outreach programmes to underserved communities in Bayelsa, Rivers, Lagos, and Abia states focusing on nutritional rehabilitation for children, counselling for elderly people on management of chronic diseases, and enlightenment programs for pregnant women under the umbrella of various NGOs.
In 2019, I started a non-profit organisation called Health Leads Initiative which was launched in Bayelsa state on June 14 to mark the World Blood Donor Day; we had done a voluntary blood donor drive for people who needed emergency blood transfusion. We did have our little success story though, proud moment, I guess.
So, when I came to the UK, I saw SHOKE on the school website, I knew I was going to be involved in it. SHOKE stands for Students in the Heart of Knowledge Exchange, it’s basically social prescribing. I have been privileged to be a part of a solution for real life problems presented by Counties. My first project was maximising social values while engaging service providers in Cambridge County and the second was reducing carbon footprint in a bid towards zero carbon emission in 2040 by Huntingdonshire County. Was it tasking? Yes! But was it worth it? surely! But one step attained only means one less step to go and it was quite interesting.
Today I have an electronic badge as a student consultant, I have expanded my network, improved on my skills, gained more experience, accumulated points for a potential VC award on graduation; all of which are preparing me for the future. I feel fulfilled in all of this.
Thank you SHOKE!
Thank you, ARU!