~ No road is long with good company ~
Truly, HumansofAREAi have made the journey of impacting lives and making a statement in education for a better world a realistic and achievable dream for Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative, AREAi, day by day.
The first half of 2022 was a demanding year due to the implementation of several AREAi programs and projects, including FastTrack, AREAi’s Flagship Program, Education Digital Equity Initiative Phase II (EDEI), Getting-Girls-Equal, Digital Skills Accelerator, and the onboarding of National Youth Service Corps members (AREAi’s Programmme & Impact Fellows) who had all enlisted in the previous 6 months.
And with all project goals met by FastTrack’s 2,417 IDP beneficiaries, over 40,000 beneficiaries on EDEI phase II across Nigeria, 300 Secondary school girls beneficiaries from DSA, and so on, the organization’s Chief Executive Director, Prince Gideon Olanrewaju, who has the mandate to grow the organization and is always concerned about the mental health of his staff, saw the need for a period of pause,a time to bond with one another, reflect and plan ahead for the second half of the year in order also to inform effective work productivity and delivery of key organisational goals.
The staff bonding, which was scheduled for Saturday, July 16th, 2022 was designed to be a form of relaxation time for all staff members, including the Programs and impact fellows, and lasted up to 5-6 hours. The day started with a meal starter and the CEO’s welcome, who spoke to the staff about the importance of the retreat and the need to celebrate each other’s work progress and success over the previous six months. Each person was able to discuss their most exciting programs and what made them stand out to them, as well as their experiences on the field. The need for this arose from the fact that the majority of Programs and impact fellows were new to the nonprofit world and had never had any experience prior to working as a facilitator to impact lives. It was such an emotional moment.
From March to June, the organization recognized each staff member who performed exceptionally well during the month. Several activities were held, including birthday celebrations for the CEO, other staff member programs as well as programme and impact fellows who also came together to take pictures and celebrate their birthdays as a team.
While wrapping up the team’s bonding time, the CEO states that “One of AREAi’s visions and goals is to foster a work environment in which everyone looks out for one another outside the four walls of the organization’s daily work activities. The work we do as an organization at AREAi goes beyond simply working as a team and instead contributes to the development of a workable system that evaluates both the personal growth of its staff members and the growth of the organization.”
There is no doubt that the staff retreat is one to always look forward to. The importance of having to balance work activities, fun, self-development, and learning cannot be overemphasized as being paramount to productivity, which is what the organization hopes to achieve going forward.