NGOs fete kids with special needs

BUKOLA BAKARE

As part of activities to mark this year’s Children’s Day celebration, the Golden Hearts Touching Lives Initiative in collaboration with the Live Abundantly Empowerment Initiative, on Friday organised a funfair to celebrate the day with children with special needs.

The event was held at the Ojuwoye Inclusive Unit in the Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos. The elated children were undeterred by their seeming peculiarities and participated in a number of games and activities at the event and won prizes as well.

Speaking to SUNDAY PUNCH on the significance of the event, Programme Officer for Golden Hearts Touching Lives Initiative, Launrentta Aikohi, said the not-for-profit organisation was keen on touching lives and putting a smile on the faces of the special children.

She said, ‘‘We connect and try to bridge the gap between the rich and poor in the society so, a time like this is a period to celebrate these kids because it takes a Nigerian to help  fellow Nigerians. That’s why we have taken it upon ourselves to come to this school and make these children feel loved and appreciated in the society.’’

On her part, the Mindful Giving and Event Coordinator for Live Abundantly Empowerment Initiative, Sharon Ezinwoke,  stated that children with special needs should not be seen as disabled children,  adding that they are only distinctively different and should be viewed as such.

She said, ‘‘We are here to celebrate with these children and also give them gifts such as exercise books because we strongly believe in the value of education and they shouldn’t be deprived of this because of their situation.”

Also speaking at the event, the Chief Education Officer at SUBEB; Barrister Abimbola Obaseki  told SUNDAY PUNCH that she was elated that these NGOs have chosen to celebrate the kids and stressed that it is important for them to forget their seeming disabilities and move on with life.

She said, ‘‘ It is imperative that these children don’t feel left out  because of their disabilities and our society shouldn’t relegate them to the background because of their condition.”

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