Extraordinary Starts Here: What I learned from the Community Service
Written by Alexander Murigi, a Lapid Leader:
As part of the Lapid Leaders Experience, one is expected to do a minimum of 24 hours of Community Service. If one had told me that Community Service Experience would be as fulfilling and enjoyable as I have found it to be, I would have said that they are either outright crazy or high on some hardcore drugs, no further discussion.
Today I am the proponent of the former line of thought that indeed community service is not only necessary for one to be a complete human being, but can also be extremely fulfilling and enjoyable. It makes us complete.
When I began my placement as a volunteer through the Lapid Leaders Experience, I thought that I was joining an ordinary institution whereby a volunteer signs in, does a predetermined set of duties, meets their daily hours and signs out. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I found that Lapid Leaders Africa partners with the best institutions so that by the time you finish (if you ever) your service term you, are a better leader.
I conducted my Community Service with Kusoma Tu Trust. My main tasks revolved around teaching the students in various rehabilitation centres. Later, we worked alongside the Trust to organize a fundraising walk from Nairobi to Magadi that was dubbed #ZindikishaTicha. I responsible for Communications while other Lapid Leaders were responsible for logistics. The walk was only a few months away and the pressure was really on. At times, I would feel like relinquishing my role but every time I wanted to do that, I realised how much the role needed me. I was being baked to a better leader though at that time it felt as if I was being roasted, ALIVE.
The walk took place as planned and it was a huge success despite all the electioneering period hullabaloo. A
midst all the pressure I learnt that it is my duty to serve, to provide solutions and expect nothing in return. It is not something that one does to feel good, service is something that must be done and needs to be done by you and I. I found that Community Service helps to shape character like no book can. As a millennial, one thing I have observed is that we are in constant need of approval. We are always looking out for someone to pat us on our backs for a job well done. This not only makes us lack initiative but also makes us slack at our work places. A needy employee and a needy partner have one thing in common, no one wants them.
Community service naturally eradicates that neediness. It shapes your character in that you learn to decrease yourself so that others can be increased. You learn that life is and should never be about you. You become more humble and all of a sudden people want to work with you more. You are a better team player. I may not understand the science of community service in shaping character but it’s pure genius. It’s something that everyone seeking transformation needs to do. You need to serve to become a better leader. Service to others in your community helps shape your character and equips you with life skills that no conventional class can teach you. The experience was so eye opening that I have decided to be a lifelong volunteer!
Join the next Cohort of Lapid Leaders to take part in this and other exemplary activities that will grow your leadership skills, practically!