What building together entails

Everyday is a learning experience for people. As they usually say, learning is a continuous exercise that stops only when a man is no more. Community development is possible when people are ready to work, learn together, and support each other to achieve common goal. It is on this premise that a recent activity may deserve mentioning. Religious gathering such as the mosque and church offers a group of faithful to share experiences and do things together. The outcomes of these efforts are not only for the benefit of members, but society at large. This is the spirit behind the putting in place a structure that can serve a cross-section of people within a small community and at times, a bigger admission.

According to the President, Archdiocese of Ibadan Laity Council, Mr. Olujide Oladokun, and Chairperson, Planning Committee, 2024 Lay Apostolate Harvest, Catholic Archdiocese of Ibadan Laity Council, Mrs. Adeyinka Folorunso, the new Archdiocesan Secretariat Building Project is more than necessary to embark on. The initiative is meant to serve as an abode for key offices for major groups and societies for better administration. However, to achieve this, is not a mean feat. It requires shared vision, collective will and action as well as great resilience to agree together and manage results whether positively or otherwise. On the other hand, bringing together, people of different backgrounds and social makeups can never be easy.

Oladokun disclosed that since the council came on board close to a year ago, ”we have participated in both national and provincial meetings and conferences. We have also organised seminars for our people where we trained them on how to make solid and liquid soaps as a means of generating income and as small and medium entrepreneurs. We have put in place an effort to secure a business plan to generate funds. Hence, the need to have a secretariat, which led to our intention to complete the Ibadan Archdiocesan Secretariat Building. We have continued to help the poor through laity week programmes. Also, the laity bus that was repaired by the last administration continually generates income into the purse of the laity council”.

The laity president added that the challenges they (laity council) have been facing had to do with the inability of the lay faithful to recognise laity programmes as their own and work for their eventual success. There is also a need for presidents of parishes to give necessary information to their members to get maximum support. On information dissemination, he said a platform of presidents of parishes was created for more access to information. Through this method, as well other programmes, it will make them (laity), to see the council as their own. Oladokun affirmed that the event, is a unique harvest by the reasons of having two programmes this year for the same harvest.

On her part, Folorunso informed that the planning committee members are working tirelessly to ensure that this year’s edition was taking a different shape unlike how it’s being done in the past years. “For the first time in the history of the Ibadan Archdiocese, we’re celebrating the harvest in two different ways”, noting that the reason for this year’s innovation was because “when we realised that this our beloved Archdiocese does not have a secretariat of its own; and with this in our heart, we decided to use this year’s Lay Apostolate Harvest to raise funds for the completion of the Archdiocesan Secretariat Building Project, which will house the Chancery, Laity Office, Catholic Men Organisation (AICMO), Catholic Women Organisation (AICWO), Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (AICYON) and other key offices in the Archdiocese”.

The chairperson said that the major challenge had to do with since we began this planning is that we do not have enough getting enough financial support. “We expect all lay faithful within and outside Ibadan, home and abroad, to support this project financially to bring the secretariat building to completion. We need your presence. We need your support to make the Catholic Archdiocese of Ibadan great”, Folorunso said. It is important to agree that the task of community development leaves no stone unturned. The ability to design complex tasks in a such a way and manner that it would have meaning when results are being computed and harmonised.

In the final analysis, human beings are superior to other creatures because of their ability to perform many tasks at the same time. The above experiments show that there is power in community engagements. Therefore, the need to make plans clear, simple and adaptability. This is what community engagements seek to correct. This time around, the building programme aims at joining people together for a common task that has common benefit and use for the majority of the people. This, therefore, marks another era in the history of the church making great impact when it comes to bring people coming together to realise common realities and hope for everyone even though there is always room for improvement.