Martins Ifijeh
The Children’s Developmental Centre (CDC), a non governmental organisation, has called on Nigerians to share love and compassion with children and young adults with special needs, as this will boost their abilities to achieve their full potential in life.

The Founder and Director of the Centre, Dr. Yinka Akindayomi, who stated this during activities to commemorate the organisation’s 20th anniversary in Lagos, said the anniversary celebration, tagged: ‘compassion, connection: why our communities should care,’ was due to the realisation that the inclusion of children and adults with disabilities into the mainstream can only come through the compassion of the people and communities.

“Without compassion there is no connection, without connection there is no You and I. In order for a community to grow, it must include everyone’s needs. This is why the value of compassion is even more relevant concerning issues of today,” adding that, “the sense of disconnection is so pervasive that unkindness, indifference, and selfishness appear as the norm, while compassion, kindness and caring are the outliers,” she added.

She said CDC was set up with a vision to support children and young adults with developmental disabilities and their families, and in doing so, help them to build their self-esteem, social skills and achievement, and most importantly for creating an environment that is accepting of differences.

“Over the course of two decades, CDC has pursued its mandate with single-minded determination, evolving into a major humanitarian leader for children’s wellbeing in Nigeria. During this period, the organisation has impacted on the lives of over 2000 children and young adults with development disabilities and their families in Nigeria.

“Slowly, our impact is being felt through various projects dotted throughout Nigeria. Who would have thought we would be here today providing comprehensive services and programmes to a wide range of families,” she stressed.

Akindayomi, added that for societies to ensure the desired transformational impact on the lives of the people, stakeholders must collaborate and move beyond rhetoric to match lofty words and plans with action.