By Edoja Sowho, Rotary Club of Effurun GRA, Delta State, Nigeria
The airport road junction in Effurun-Warri, Delta State, Nigeria, is a very busy and strategic location in the oil-rich city of Warri. The government of Delta State constructed a roundabout to ease traffic congestion, but it’s had little effect.
At the center of this hotspot, you’ll find Bisan Michael, a rather remarkable young man who volunteers his time and talent to keep traffic moving, rain or shine. He has been doing this work, with no reward for himself, for years. Practically every motorist in Effurun has benefited from his efforts, unaware Michael is deaf and mute.
In October, my club decided to show our appreciation for Michael in observation of Vocational Service month. On the eve of our club’s first anniversary, we presented Michael with an award certificate, a small gift, and a traffic vest (with the Rotary emblem on it) that he can wear to assist him in his traffic directing. Visiting Rotary members were moved by the presentation and joined in with their own gifts of appreciation.
Michael’s smile said it all, as he waved enthusiastically his appreciation. Local media picked up on the story and gave Michael some much deserved recognition. It also helped us get the word out about what our Rotary club has been doing to help the community. The National Newspaper, the Vanguard, also ran a story.
Michael is not letting his physical challenges stop him from serving his community. It reminds me of the importance of using our vocations to benefit our communities, and the many diverse ways we can all make a difference. Rotary brings together people of all different backgrounds, and gives as a truly unique perspective to solve the problems in our corner of the world, and beyond.
Is there an unsung hero like Michael in your community worthy of recognition? How are you using your skills to benefit others?