As part of activities to create awareness and advocate for people living with mental disabilities in the society, the Lady Atinuke Oyindamola Memorial Home, Badagry, Lagos, on Wednesday kicked started activities to mark its awareness week.
The event, which will round off on Sunday, November 13, will afford the Home the opportunity to focus its efforts more on advocacy, fundraising, and celebrating the uniqueness of people living with mental challenges.
Speaking during a press briefing to announce the commencement of activities for the week, the Founder, Lady Atinuke Oyindamola Memorial Home, Mrs. Elsie Akerele, said the theme for the event is, ‘I Can’, noting that the weeklong event will provide and create the requisite awareness about mental disability generally and in the Nigerian society in particular. Akerele noted further that the thrust of the awareness will be on early intervention programme which helps to ameliorate the deplorable plight of people with mental illness.
Series of activities have been mapped out for this awareness event, which also marks the 9th year of existence of the home. These include taking members of the Home out for recreational visits, seminars, charity walk and fundraising drive.
Kick starting the activities, yesterday, Thursday, November 10, was an educational and advocacy seminar that discussed educational, medical and socio-economic issues of people with mental disabilities in Nigeria, which held at the Multi-purpose Hall of the Home in Badagry. Following the seminar was a visit to Whispering Palms Beach along Iworo-Ajido Badagry Expressway with an aim to have a recreational moment with the children as part of integration process into the society.
The charity walk for this year, which aims at walking to keep fit whilst raising awareness, will take place on Saturday, November 12 around Morogbo and it’s environs while a thanksgiving service at the Methodist Cathedral Church, Jegba Quarters, Badagry on Sunday November 13 will round off the events.
Akerele who said the week promises to be exciting, eventful, informative and entertaining, called on Nigerians to use the opportunity afforded by these weeklong activities to show love to people with mental disabilities as well as be their advocators. The Home established on September 20, 2007 with an objective of catering for people with physical and mental disabilities in Nigeria, also have a vision to bridge the gab between people with mental challenges and the rest of the society through family and societal support system with an aim to integrate people with mental disabilities into the community and society.