We’ve Supported 5,000 Children With Disabilities in FCT, Says NGO

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

Sedoo initiative for children with Special Needs (SECHILD), a non-governmental organisation providing care and assistance for children with disabilities, has said that the organisation has so far supported 5,000 children with disabilities since its inception in 2011.

Founder of SECHILD, a non-governmental organisation providing care and assistance for children with disabilities, Mrs Kawan Aondofa, described the plight of children with disabilities in the country as very pathetic.

Aondofa who spoke to THISDAY at a two-day programme organised by SECHILD for peer educators in the Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, said there was need for the public to be sensitized about the existence of the disability rights law protecting their right to basic welfare services.

Speaking on the challenges which children with disabilities face in their everyday life, Aondofa said that the children are abandoned by their parents due to the financial burden and pain of raising them.

She said in some cases, the children experiencing some physical or health challenges are abandoned or scorned as if what they are facing was a curse.

“It’s the myth around it, the people here believe that children with disabilities are not human beings at all and are not desirous of living. Many of them do this because of ignorance.

“They are not aware that disability is a medical condition and not the child or the parents have committed any sin. So we want to re-orient them to realize the true position of things,” she said.

Aondofa said that although the organisation caters for child with celebral palsy, SECHILD has so far impacted on 5,000 children with disabilities since its inception in 2011.

She also said that the NGO has rehabilitated many students at the School of the Deaf in Kuje Area Council in Abuja

“Today we commenced the training of our care givers to become better advocates and to learn how to help children in their communities, advocate for their rights and create awareness about disabilities and to be a voice for them,” she said.

Aondofa enumerated other challenges facing the rehabilitation of the children to include, funding constraints, societal stigma and lack- lustre attitude of parents towards spending money on training of such kids .

She said that most times parents put their children in the facility without being ready to support their upkeep financially.

The event which was meant to scale up access to primary healthcare services for children with disabilities in Kuje Area Council of the FCT in Abuja brought together various care givers who shared experiences on how they were grappling with the task of catering for the privileged children.

Meanwhile, Leprosy Mission Nigeria has said that Federal government has began the enforcement of the law Against any form of discrimination on persons with disabilities in the country.

The Programme Officer at the Leprosy Mission Nigeria Belphine Souso who spoke to THISDAY said that Leprosy Mission Nigeria is sponsoring part of the programmes being executed by the Sedoo Initiative especially the awareness creation

“Enforcement of the law protecting the rights of persons with disabilities has commenced this year . Various organizations advocating for disability rights are enjoined to take advantage of this law to bring to question any violation of the rights of persons with disabilities in the country,” he said.

According to the law prohibiting discrimination against persons with disability enacted in 2018, a person with disability shall not be discriminated against on ground of his or her disability by any person or institution in any manner or circumstance.

For a body corporate, a fine of N1,000,000; was stipulated while an individual offender will be fined of N100,000 or six months imprisonment or both.

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