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Educationist raises alarm on plights of kids with disabilities

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By Grace Alegba

Lagos – An educationist, Mrs Abosede Oyeniran, on Friday raised the alarm on the plight of mentally and physically challenged children in the country, saying that some parents of such kids were resorting to suicide.

Oyeniran, Head Teacher at Atanda-Olu School for Physically and Mentally Challenged Children in Surulere, Lagos, made the statement at a charity visit to the school by a group, known as Eternal Care Foundation (ECF).

She said that several children in the school were not born with disabilities but acquired their conditions from wrong medications, nerve injuries and other causes beyond control.

Oyeniran explained that it was costly to take care of physically-challenged children because they needed huge resources to be cared for, saying that government needed to step in to assist parents and caregivers managing such kids.

Thanking the foundation for visiting the school, she noted that some parents had lost their jobs and homes because of their children’s disabilities with some resorting to suicide when they could no longer cope.

Speaking in an emotion-laden voice, the head teacher narrated the ordeal of a five-year-old pupil of the school whose mother committed suicide because of a lack of support.

She solicited for increased government and corporate support for the school and caregivers, to enable them cope with the cost of caring for children with special needs.

The head teacher solicited for assistance for the school, including logistics for workers and teachers to enable them discharge their duties.

“Most of these lovely children were not born like this. Some acquired the disabilities from unprescribed medications.

“People should not run away from specific children. It is not a disease. It is just a condition that cannot be spread. It is not contagious. Please love them, care for them.”

Oyeniran also appealed for support and understanding from fathers of children with special needs, who also abandon responsibilities to their wives and sometimes abandon their families.

The Director-General of the ECF, Mr Olabode Garbadeen, said the visit was to identify with the plight of children in need.

While presenting gifts to the children, Garbadeen praised the mothers of the children and workers at the school for their perseverance to work for God and humanity.

“You are special human beings and prophets to stand by these children. God has given us various gifts and those that are taking care of these children are utilising the gift of God to do so.”

Special Christmas carol rendition by pupils of Atanda-Olu School for the Physically and Mentally Challenged Children in Lagos on Friday at a Christmas and charity event organized by Eternal Care Foundation

Garbadeen lauded the Lagos State Government for giving assistance to the kids, calling on corporate bodies and individuals to also come to the aid of the school.

He said the ECF would evolve a strategy on how to meet additional needs of the school to bring succor to the children.

The highpoint of the event was a dancing show by ECF members, parents and teachers, to celebrate Christmas with the special needs kids.

The children also presented cultural dances to entertain their guests.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the foundation donated bags of grains, processed foods, toiletries and various goodies to the school.

(NAN)

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