Wife of Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has harped on the need for Nigerians to show care, love and share goodwill with special children beyond the Yuletide season even as she disclosed that the Lagos State Government was committed to providing facilities for children, including special children due to their peculiarities.
Mrs. Ambode explained that the essence of the Yuletide was â€œto show care, share love and put smiles on peopleâ€™s faces, especially the less privileged ones. This is exactly what weâ€™re doing here for these childrenâ€, adding that â€œactivities like these help them develop in the right way and keep them happy to explore their potential.â€
She stated this in her remarks as special guest of honour at the 17th edition of the annual Development Africa organised Christmas Party hosted for special children drawn from different orphanages and care homes in Lagos state.
â€œThe administration of Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, is committed to providing for all our children, in particular our special children. A lesson for us all to learn is that for as long as we live, we must continually glorify God for his infinite mercies upon us and our loved ones. If not for God, what would our story be?
“I therefore commend Development Africa (DA), especially Mr. Joshua Kempeneer, Country Director, and his staff members, for ensuring the success of this annual event over the years, God will always strengthen youâ€, she stated.
Mrs. Ambode, who was represented by Mrs. Mosunmola Olulade at the event which also had in attendance, Senior National Partner, KPMG, Mr. Kunle Elebute; Director, Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mrs. Laide Latinwo; Business Development Executive, Dredging International, Titilola Adesuyi among other dignitaries.
Highlights of activities at the event, which held at Fantasyland, Ikoyi, Lagos, included dancing competition, train ride and fun time on bouncing castle. Besides being served meals, all the children went home with Christmas gifts from Santa Claus and representative of the Lagos State First Lady, while some of them who excelled in the various games got additional gifts.
The party was hosted by international Non-governmental organisation, Development Africa, with supports from KPMG Professional Services, Dredging International Services Nig. Ltd. and the Lagos State government.
In his remarks, Elebute stated that the objective of the Christmas Party for the special children aligns with one of the core missions of the company “which is to impact our immediate environment with the little that we have. If many of us give the little that we can afford, it will make a difference.
â€œKPMG is proud to partner Development Africa to host this Christmas Party over the years. The objective of the party aligns with how we feel about making a difference. We believe that people donâ€™t have to wait until they have enough before they give someone else; the truth is no one ever has enough. Let us give a little that we have and by so doing we will make a big differenceâ€, he stated.
Earlier in his welcome address, Country Director of DA, Kempeneer explained that the party was in line with the spirit of Christmas which is about giving and showing love, especially to the less privileged members of the society. He added that the four key areas of interventions that Development Africa focus on is support for less privileged children and orphanages because many of them lack social activities, parental care and are deprived of opportunities that the party offers.
â€œWe realised that most of the children lack social opportunities. The primary activity in their lives is schooling; there are no parents to take them out during the weekends. This in turn affects their sense of dignity, self confidence and their ability to compete with their equals, these were some of the reasons why we initiated the idea 16 years ago and each year it gets better and more exciting for the children.
He also commended Mrs. Ambode for her continued support of the project by rallying all the homes and orphanages in the state to attend the party.