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Are Nursing Mothers Exempt from NYSC Camp?

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The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is a one-year mandatory service program for Nigerian graduates who are below the age of 30.

The program aims to foster national unity, patriotism, and skills development among the youth.

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However, many prospective corps members who are pregnant or nursing mothers face some challenges and dilemmas regarding their participation in the program.

Are nursing mothers exempt from NYSC camp?

According to the NYSC policy, nursing mothers and pregnant women are not allowed to stay fully in camp for the three weeks of orientation.

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They are required to register with the scheme, take an exeat from the camp, and go home during the first three weeks of mobilisation.

This is done to ensure the health and safety of the mothers and their babies, as the camp environment is not conducive for them. The camp clinics are not equipped enough for pre and post-natal services and maternity emergencies and treatments.

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Moreover, the camp activities involve some rigorous physical exercises and stressful programs that may jeopardize the health of the mother and the unborn child.

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However, some nursing mothers and pregnant women still choose to go to camp and defy the NYSC policy.

They may have various reasons for doing so, such as the desire to experience the camp life, the fear of missing out on the fun, the need to secure a good place of primary assignment, or the pressure from their families or schools.

Some of them may hide their condition or dodge the officials who would want them to leave. Some of them may also get exemption letters from the camp clinic to be excluded from some activities and exercises.

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NYSC Camp for Nursing Mothers

Nursing mothers who want to serve their country have some alternatives and options to consider, such as:

  • Postponing their service until their baby is old enough and they are strong enough to participate in the program. They can visit their school for another posting whenever they are ready, as it does not involve any form of stress.
  • Applying for a relocation or redeployment to their husband’s place of domicile or any other state that is convenient for them. They can do this online or offline, with a valid reason and evidence, such as a marriage certificate, a medical report, or a security threat.
  • Seeking for a flexible and friendly place of primary assignment, such as a school, a hospital, or a non-governmental organization, where they can work and take care of their baby at the same time. They can also negotiate for some allowances and benefits from their employer, such as a creche, a maternity leave, or a transport subsidy.
  • (Joining or forming a support group with other nursing mothers or pregnant women who are serving in the same area. They can share their experiences, challenges, and solutions, and also help each other with some tasks and responsibilities.
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Conclusion

Nursing mothers and pregnant women who are prospective corps members have to make some important decisions regarding their participation in the NYSC program. They have to weigh the pros and cons of going to camp or staying at home, and also explore the alternatives and options available for them.

They have to consider their health, their baby, their family, and their country, and choose what is best for them.

Whatever they decide, they should remember that they are not alone, and they can always seek for help and guidance from the NYSC officials, their school authorities, their employers, their colleagues, and their support group.

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They should also be proud of themselves for being part of the NYSC program, and for contributing to the development of their nation.


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