By Vivian Onyebukwa
Every December 3rd is known as International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), a day set aside to raise awareness on challenges faced by people with disabilities.
The 2020 United Nation’s theme is “Building Back Better: Toward A Disability-Inclusive, Accessible And Sustainable Post-COVID-19 World.”
This year, stakeholders and organisations in Nigeria commemorated the day with different activities. One of such organisations is the ”You Matter To Us Organisation”, a Lagos-based Non-Governmental Organisation, driven by the vision to create exciting opportunities for children living with disabilities and the less privileged in Nigeria, joined in the commemoration of the day with series of activities.
The NGO took the commemoration/Christmas party to disabled children in four locations; Surulere, Mushin, Idimu and Ogudu, all in Lagos.
Nollywood actor and actress, Kunle Remi and Ireti Osayemi were celebrity guests on ground to add colour to the day and also put a smile on the children’s faces.
In her address, Ireti Osayemi noted that, since the global COVID-19 outbreak, the world, and especially people with disabilities have been extremely affected by the health, social and economic consequences of the pandemic. She called for more support in the application of digital technologies for the empowerment of learners, especially children with disabilities and capacity building for their teachers.
“It is our 5th edition of remembering the special kids this season, and we will like everyone to know that our society is incomplete without children living with disability”, she added.
On why the organisation focused on the disabled children, Omolara Ajetunmobi, Founder, “You Matter To Us Foundation” said, “We are doing this to promote Inclusiveness because every child matters and deserves equal right to access the world.”
Children at the event participated in different games with winners awarded with gifts. Also 600 children with special needs were impacted with educational Christmas gifts, school bags, and exercise books,
“You Matter To Us Foundation”, is an International Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) organisation based in Nigeria, driven by the vision to create exciting opportunities for Children Living with Disabilities and the less privileged in Nigeria.
The foundation evolved from the annual charity project hitherto undertaken by “Ideas and Smiles Concepts”, a corporate body up till 2019.
In six years since its establishment, the foundation has visited over 64 schools for children with disabilities and orphanage homes in over 10 Local Governments, impacting over 25,000 children.