🏠 » One on One With Arogi Volunteer – Ushie Theresa Ushang

One on One With Arogi Volunteer – Ushie Theresa Ushang

Meet Ushie Theresa Ushang, a Beacon of Dedication to Humanity. Join us as we delve into her inspiring journey with Arogi Trauma Care Foundation and discover a cause truly worthy of emulation.

– Odusanya Adedeji Ademola (Clinical Psychologist – Interviewer)

How can we meet you?

My name is Ushie Theresa Ushang, I am from Cross River State. I am currently a student of Nasarawa State University, a final year student, 400L.

What drew you to Arogi Trauma Care Foundation, and what motivates you to volunteer your time and effort?

What drew me to ATCF are things that people are going through in society. If you look at society, people are going through a lot of things. Emotionally, people are dying silently. There are those that need help, but have no opportunity of such. Some need someone to talk to but could not get. So, noticing that people were going through a lot, it drew my attention to Arogi when they came, and they asked for volunteers to render assistance to the vulnerable. So it is a good thing to be available for others. As a volunteer in Arogi, people will be able to reach out to someone like me and get attention. I once found myself in such a condition before when I needed to talk to someone, but there was no such opportunity for me. So I have been there, and I know what it means to be a volunteer.

How would you describe your overall life philosophy or perspective on life?

It is my philosophy that one understands and considers others’ opinions. Knowing that no matter how seeming nonsense the other person is saying, there is a sense to it. I like putting people first and making them comfortable with what they are saying. To me, that’s life. It doesn’t make sense when you don’t share the perspectives of others. Essentially, you need to put people into consideration so that you don’t make them feel less of who they are. Beyond that, life is worth going out of your way to render support to people, because life has no meaning when it is about you alone but when you live for others.

Can you share a personal challenge you’ve encountered in the past and how you overcame it?

Wow! That’s a lot. May be you read through my earlier published interview titled – My Encounter With Shades of Trauma and How I Pulled Through

How satisfied are you with your volunteer experience?

All I can say is that I am so happy about the whole thing. Most especially on the day of the outreach on campus, I couldn’t help it but to keep shaking my body despite the fact that I didn’t know how to dance like that. The fact that this volunteering will give me the opportunity to mingle with people makes me so happy. Beyond that, it will make me come in contact with different cases and issues such that you get to see and know more about other people’s problems and be able to render assistance to them. Largely, I will say I am satisfied. At some point, I could not hide my feelings, but to voice to my friend – I said, “Susan, I don’t know, I’m just happy about this thing. I don’t know, I’m just happy.” Like, I was being myself. So I am okay, 100% okay with it like that.

How do you manage your time and commitments outside of volunteering?

Well, I will say it’s all about “time planning”, if I can use that word. I have to plan, know when and when, what and what I have for a particular day and set my timetable accordingly. For instance, if I have an academic lecture from 8am – 10am and I have volunteer work clashing at the same time, I can go to that 8 to 10 lecture, then after the lecture I can see if I could catch up with the volunteer work, since clashing of this sort will not be every time.

“An efficient volunteer is someone that is very active, dedicating his or her time, who knows what that word “volunteer” stands for, knows what that thing you are going to do stands for.”

Essentially, it’s about time management. I have to create my own time schedule that will accommodate all activities that will include academics. In other words, I have to create a timetable that will accommodate my decision to go to school, work, and volunteer. Like I have a colleague who is a graduate. While I am still a student, I am also working. So, we are both working. So, while I go for my 8am lecture, she will go to work by 8am. So time management bearing adjustment, where necessary, is the main thing.

In your opinion, what qualities are essential for an efficient volunteer?

An efficient volunteer is someone that is very active, dedicating his or her time, who knows what that word “volunteer” stands for, knows what that thing you are going to do stands for. You dedicate your time to humanity. It’s someone that knows the importance of people’s health, who knows the importance of what he or she is going to do. It is someone that is very dedicated that can care about others. To be effective as a volunteer, you must be dedicated to your work, to humanity, to assisting people, and must have a good heart – a heart that can feel other people’s pain. That is willingly ready at any point in time when they call you. You’re always there to help people to become better than they were, you’re always there to render your services to people. You must be able to be attentive to people’s needs and understand the meaning of the message you are sending out. More importantly, an efficient volunteer is that person that is ready to give himself to humanity without expecting anything in return.

Have you ever had to deal with a difficult situation while volunteering, and how did you handle it?

I would say not really. But let’s assume I come in contact with such issues. It depends on the kind of problem that would be. I heard a story of a lady that took her own life because her parents were monitoring her and her boyfriend and felt back home there was no peace. If I come in contact with such people, the only thing I can tell that person is that suicide is not an option. That’s number one.

“An efficient volunteer is that person that is ready to give himself to humanity without expecting anything in return.”

I would tell that person to leave that place for some time. Just go find yourself something to do. Get yourself busy rather than staying in that place that is denying you peace of mind. With time, you’ll forget all of that and as you are leaving, you don’t hold any grudges against anyone. All you have to do is to leave them and give them their space. I’m saying this out of experience, when I was going through all my drama, like from what happened to me in 2022 that I was telling you about, I had to leave everybody. Then, learn how to stay home, fend for myself, and work. That was the genesis of my working to earn a salary. What this means is going out to work, coming in contact with people on a daily basis, which improves my social interaction. In essence, I had no time thinking or worrying. So my advice for that person is to leave that toxic environment and go to another side. Find yourself! You will not die. You will find a helper. Definitely it’s not going to be easy. It wasn’t easy for me, rather because everyday people provoke you, get you angry, but then you have to deal with it for your own betterment. If I have the opportunity to advise you in such a situation, I would tell them to leave the place to have your peace and if you go back there, they’ll see you like a visitor. They’ll embrace you because you have become a new person. Even if you were my mother, I would leave you, and I’d be talking to you on the phone. Just try to forget, because if you keep holding that in your mind, you will never move forward. So, in such a situation, just leave that environment, go far away, fend for yourself, get yourself some kind of job and get busy. Like me, if I go to work, and I come back around 11pm, which time I will have to be talking about irrelevant things. So I will sleep off the next morning. I’m going just like that. So, before you know, everything will just go.

What role do you believe volunteers play in a community or society?

I would say a volunteer plays the role of assistant. They play the role of assisting people in society. Because people are going through a lot. You see people smiling, but they are dying slowly inside. So, volunteers help people in society to have a rethink about their life, to know what they want. So a volunteer helps people in society to become better people. If a volunteer is there to assist others, they’ll become a better member or better person in society – a better father, a better mother, a better sister, a better niece who is going through maybe being assaulted, being raped, and he or she is scared of voicing this out. With the help of a volunteer in society, he helps that person to reset their mind, to give them that confidence that they need, because without it, they are just there, the only thought that will come to their head is to take their own life. I believe in helping them to become better, and accept themselves the way they are. Letting them know that these things that have happened cannot be reversed but to healthily walk through it to become better.

Can you discuss a memorable experience or interaction you’ve had while volunteering?

Although I’ve not really gone into the volunteer work deeply for now, regardless, I’ll say it was an awareness that I was doing at my workplace when Arrogate Trauma Care Foundation came.

“…creating a space for Arogi Trauma Care Foundation is accommodating humanity in your plan.”

I was sharing the information cards and flyers and one of my colleagues picked up the card and said, “I’ll call these people, and I’ll make sure I call them.” So as I was explaining, she just said come, come, come, let’s make a video. So I had to make that video which, as at then I never thought it would go viral, but it is now. I had to make that video. I was talking, she was videoing me, we were just laughing and laughing. But really seeing the video has an impact, making it memorable kind of.

What are your long-term goals, and how do you see volunteering fitting into them?

Well, I envision a future where I get engaged with a better job, and, in a way, get an opportunity to introduce Arogi Trauma Care Foundation to people, telling people about what Arogi stands for, advertising them to people, passing the knowledge to other people to be aware that there is this kind of NGO that go about assisting people. Even at this point, I think that the future of enlightening people more about Arogi starts. I envision a future where, with what I’m doing, I’ll be able to create a space for Arogi. This translates to the fact that creating a space for Arogi is accommodating humanity in your plan. This is a cause that I have volunteered myself for and absolutely nothing should hinder that.

How do you think you could positively impact our organization and its mission?

So for me to contribute positively to Arogi is to be actively involved in everything that the organisation stands for. To help the organisation to move forward means I need to bring something to the table in terms of ideas and strategies in a way that it will help people to become better. This also translates to thinking critically outside the box. Knowing the motto of this organisation and what it stands for, and work accordingly with that. We know the mission of Arogi Trauma Care Foundation is to provide succour to the people that are traumatised. Actualising this is to be an asset and not a liability to the organisation. The whole essence is to help this organisation to become even better than what it is already. As for me, that is my decision.

What are some ways you practice self-care and maintain balance in your life?

First, to practice self-care, you have to accept yourself. Accept some certain things the way they are. Instead of trying to be someone else, try to be yourself! Accept yourself the way you are, do your thing the way you know you can do it best! Even if you are blind, deaf, or saying something, people will laugh about it. Don’t do it because this person is doing it, so let me follow you, no! Maintaining your balance, don’t care about what others are saying. Just embrace yourself the way you are. Care for yourself, make yourself look good, do what will make you happy, just be happy, be yourself, that’s all that matters.

How do you stay motivated and committed to volunteering during challenging times?

I might be going through a rough day, challenges and at the same time, my personal challenges, and I’m doing volunteer work. And somebody just came and said, Kai, my child, my daughter, this thing you’re doing, you’re doing very well, you’re a very good person, God bless you. That has already motivated me. If I turn my eyes and look at you, I’ll just smile. I’m already motivated. It’s just like when I am praying and people around me are saying amen, then I’m motivated to go higher [Laughs]. Oh, God!! Well, you can also motivate me by giving me gifts or money stuff, so I’m already motivated when I see those. Yeah, I’ll just smile – maybe those challenges and the pain I’m going through at that moment will just disappear [Laughs]. Actually, words of encouragement really motivate me. You’re telling me to do more. Even, let’s assume, in the class situation I raised my hand to answer question and having answered it I get a “that’s very good” feedback, I’ve already been motivated to go further.

What expectations do you have for this volunteer program, and how can we support you in meeting them?

I expect this organisation on a bigger level through creating more awareness and enlightening people more about it. In addition, I expect Arogi to support this expectation through provision of necessary resources for outreach, advocacy and activities that align with this volunteer program. We also need more training, tutoring on how to go about this. This is more so as you cannot just wake up and go and stand on the road to say you want to help people. With adequate support, we can extend this initiative to places like schools and churches, enlightening them about their mental health and letting them know about the fact that there is an organisation called Arogi that treats people free of charge concerning emotional trauma.

Do you have any recommendations for how we can improve our volunteer opportunities?

To improve our volunteer opportunities, more community engagement is essential. We need to reach out to various groups, including churches and schools, to enlighten them about Arogi’s mission. The volunteer team should be divided into groups to increase our reach to these places and have wider coverage. Getting the opportunity to have at least 30 minutes of presentations in churches is not out of place. We can do more. We can visit primary and secondary schools to enlighten the young ones. By doing these, we can change peoples’ mindset about mental health and, as well, gather more support.

How long do you intend to volunteer with the foundation?

As long as I can, if the organisation let me, it depends on them.

Generally, what motivates you?

This question again! (Laughs) Seeing people happy motivates me.

What are you hobbies?

Baking cakes, watching movies and designing clothes, T-shirts and Kampala.

Adedeji Odusanya

Odusanya Adedeji A., is a Licensed & Certified Clinical Psychologist whose domain of expertise cuts across management of specific mental health issues such as, Depression, PTSD, Anxiety & Anxiety related disorders, Substance Use Disorder, etc

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