Volunteer in Bangladesh
What to Know Before Volunteering in Nigeria
Nigeria is a country located in the Africa. To be precise, located in West Africa on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. Nigeria is slightly more than twice the size of the state of California. It is bordered by Chad on the NE, by Cameroon on the E , by the Atlantic Ocean (Gulf of Guinea) on the S , by Benin (formerly Dahomey) on the W , and by Niger on the NW and N. Popularly called the Giant of Africa due to it’s large population and the country’s massive economy. With its abundant natural wealth, impressive tourist attraction and rich economy, Nigeria is place you should volunteer.
Volunteering in a place like Nigeria, will provide ups and down. You will see everything, the drama, the fun, the struggles literally everything. You will meet very interesting people. As a Nigerian, I can assure you Nigerians are one of the best and happiest people on mother earth. It will be an unforgettable experience, and you will always want to come back for more of it.
Nigeria is a multilingual country and of these, English is the official language used mostly by Nigerians. Ever since the colonization by the British Empire, Nigeria has been making use of the British English as its official language. It is also taught in schools across Nigeria to the students. Though, not everyone in Nigeria is quite fluent in English. This has birthed a raw and unpolished form of English. The Pidgin English, which is a standard for every Nigerians. Pidgin English is used to avoid language barrier where the communicating individuals or one of them is not fluent in English. Here is a list of some phrases and sentences of how Pidgin English is spoken.
“What is your name ?” in Pidgin English it’s “Wetin be your name?”. ” Wetin” being the Pidgin English version of “What”.
” How are you?” in Pidgin English it’s “How you be?”.
” How old are you?” in Pidgin English it’s “How old you be?”.
” Can you speak English?” in Pidgin English it’s “You fit yarn English?”.
Apart from Pidgin English, we also have a whole lot of tribal languages. With the major ones being Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa.
But if you are interested in volunteering in Nigeria, you might need to sharpen your Pidgin English. This is because, we have lots of locales that are not fluent in basic English.
The Nigeria currency is the Naira. The exchange rate seems quite similar wherever you go to exchange. Though, there are lots of business that are familiar with payment by mobile App, debit cards recently. But most of the locales still make use of cash transaction.
If you are the physical cash type, there are a number of banks around willing to exchange your dollar for Naira at a fixed rate.
Located in the Sub-saharan of the continent Africa. Nigeria is considered to have a tropical climate overall, but within that are many diverse physical regions of the country. For instance, the southern coast is home to mangrove forests, swamps and hot and humid temperatures that cause extremely wet conditions, especially along the Niger Delta. And when we talk about the seasons we have in Nigeria. They are of two which are the dry/harmattan season and the rainy season. The rainy season usually start late April till early September. Though we do have little rainfall during September to October. While the dry season starts September, with the harmattan period around November till January. And the dry season continues till April.
Timings and weekends
Nigeria makes use of the GMT +1 timezone, but it sometimes falls to GMT +0. It is closer to London and Ghana time that both share similar timezone. Weekends in Nigeria are for Owambe (Parties), Watching Football, House chores and family time out. For Sundays, Nigerians Christian are known to go to church for worship.
How do you move in this beautiful country?. Well there are various means of transport you can take. Depending on your location, money, and urgency. There are different transport means for each condition. We have the motorcycle (called Okada), tricycle ( called Keke Napep, Keke maruwa or Maruwa), Bus ( called Danfo or BRT), Train, Cabs or You can simply can Uber or Bolt. Uber and Bolt are legal form of transport in Nigeria. They are very common in the capital city of Nigeria Abuja.
Religion & Safety
Well, we have to distinct religion in Nigeria. This includes Christianity and Islam. Both religions, have days they celebrate various religious activities. There are lots of churches and mosques around. But this religion is location bias. We have more Muslims in the north of Nigeria and Christians in the south of Nigeria. But, no one will criticize you for any religion you decide to practice. Though, the African Traditional group is the smallest amongst them it is also quite active. But we still have people who practice it.
These religious groups are quite different from each other. These religious practice have tolerance for each other and hence coexist peacefully. A good number of inter-religious marriages has been witnessed here every now and then. So with that being said, it is common to have the different group co-existing in many homes across Nigeria.
For safety, the police here is effective but not as effective as the western world. That’s, one of the reason you should be careful when you around locales. We have some bad eggs among us, beware of pickpockets and thieves.
You should try to walk in groups or walk in public places. Don’t walk late at night, because we have bad eggs who could harm you. You should try and keep your properties safe. Any property you feel can be dropped at home, drop it
If you visit Nigeria and you don’t have a taste of some of these delicacy. Then your visit to Nigeria is not complete. There are lots of food you can’t afford to miss out on when you visit. Most of these foods are local delicacy, some with a touch of western culture. You can get to eat these delicacy at popular restaurants or bukas (I will strongly advice you don’t because of hygiene). Though, there are some imported Western and Asian delicacy you can enjoy. But there is one meal that has cause controversy and war between Nigeria and one of it’s neighboring country Ghana. The Jollof Rice war, this war was settled once popular musician picked Nigeria’s Jollof Rice over it’s counterparts. Jollof Rice can be served with Chicken or fried rice. Stepping down the food with a chilled cocacola.
You can also try some tribal food. For the Yoruba, you can try eating Amala with Vegetable garnished with cow skin, smoked fish and dried fish. For the Igbo, you can try Starch with Edikaikon a favorite delicacy. For the Hausa, you can try the famous Tuwo Shinkafa.
There are no specific dress sense you should wear. You can wear anything you feel is decent, to avoid embarrassment from the locals or unnecessary stares. Wear clothes that are comfortable.
The health care sector gas been in a bad patch for a while especially when you visit the rural areas. This is all due to poor governance and poor maintenance of structure. Though, we have very well qualified personnel in the country
The health-care system in the country is not well developed especially in the rural areas due to poor infrastructure. This is what drives volunteers to invest more in this sector. Nonetheless, good health care is assured since the medical staff in the country are well trained.
I would personally recommend the privately owned hospitals because they have relatively better infrastructure which costs slightly higher but worth it.
Plan, Visa and Book :
You can get a Visa on Arrival for travelling for Bangladesh if you are travelling for tourism ( tourist visa )
and plan to stay less than 30 days.
Find up to date info on the ( Bangladesh visa on arrival here )
Make sure you take out good travel insurance. And Bangladesh is not the place for finding
accommodation after arriving in the evening in a new place so it’s better to book accommodation and
travel ahead plan for how to reach your destination safely.
Calling hotels directly to be the best way to book or search hotels in ( Bangladesh on
Booking.com ) here .
Key Phrases to know
The Nigerian community loves to hear other natives speak their indigenous language. It would not hurt to learn a few phrases.
Mafo omo iya mi meaning Do not fear, my brother
Your head dey there meaning You have given a great answer.
You must be very good at hyping individuals. Saying stuff like Boss man, Oga mi (My boss), Oga at the top (Boss at the top).
In summary, Nigeria should be one of the first set countries at the very top of your list. If you have any country you want to visit. Nigeria is a must to explore. You could visit the great obudu cattle ranch, Erin-ijesha water fall, the beautiful beaches found in Lagos or rock climbing at Abeokuta.
So that’s all the key facts about volunteering in Nigeria. We have explored a lot of areas in this article.