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CEREBRAL PALSY DAY: Engraced Ones sensitizes Abuja residents, sues for govt/public support as they unveil their first special school

On Saturday 5th October, 2019, The Engraced Ones Prayer Support and Advocacy Initiative organized their 2nd annual Down syndrome and cerebral palsy prayer/advocacy walk. The awareness Walk which was to mark the world cerebral palsy day took off from Karu Market and terminated at LEA Primary School, Jikwoyi, Abuja. It was characterized with educating the marketers/other residents in different languages on how to identify a child with down syndrome, autism and cerebral palsy condition and the need to contact the Engraced Ones for assistance. Fliers and posters with the same messages were also shared. The same message was carried out also along the major road from Karu market to Jikwoyi.

The highlight of the event was commissioning of the Engraced Ones’s Special School with the name School of Grace at LEA Primary School, Jikwoyi Phase 1, Abuja by Air Vice Marshall Nelson Calmday. School of Grace already have about 8 to 9 children with these conditions and with the more public support, they will admit more.

Mrs Biby Yinkere the founder of The Engraced Ones while talking to the press calls for more support from the government and the general public because it is too expensive to cater for children with down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and other intellectual disabilities. She proffered that economic empowerment of the parents of these children will go along way towards assisting these children. She cited example with their newly launched school, out of the 9 children with special needs at the school, it is only one child that the parents could afford a little out of the required fees for educating each of the children. The economic wellbeing of a good number of the parents is nothing to envy, they can’t afford the health demands of their children not to talk about expensive nature of their education. She frowned at some parents who are discriminating against their children living with these conditions. She said that some of the parents don’t even have their children with special needs in the family album, they don’t want the public to know that they have children with special needs and as such they can’t even take their children with special needs to school. She scolded these parents and reminded them that children with intellectual disabilities deserve good life like others, they can also excel in life, all that they need is extra support from their parents.

The Founder, Engraced Ones Biby Yinkere addressing the Press

The representative of National Orientation (NOA) Chinwe Ikaraoha (Assistant Director, Special Duties, National Orientation Agency FCT Directorate told the press that the government have signed the disability bill into law to give the persons with disabilities the room to demand for their rights. She said that the rights of the children with intellectual disabilities have been granted by the law and NOA is working to publish the law in different languages to educate the public about the law.

Chinwe Ikaraoha (Assistant Director, Special Duties, National Orientation Agency FCT Directorate)

The representative of the Federal Ministry of Health expressed strong commitment from the ministry to ensure that all Nigerians access healthcare services irrespective of their status. She said that the ministry is interested in child’s health especially the children with intellectual disabilities, the government can’t do it alone but the ministry is putting process in the place to ensure that children with intellectual disabilities access medical care in all government hospital across the country.

A resresentative of The Ministry of Health

The 2019 2nd Annual Engraced Ones Down syndrome and Cerebral Advocacy Walk was elaborate and successful through partnership with some other individuals and organizations such as Gbenga Adeleke(CEO, Community and Family Care Initiative), Pastor Augustine Ogbogu(Honey Embassy Church), Francis Morhic( MD, IKE Foundation for Autism), Nnoli Chris(Director, Mary Slessor Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre), Chinwe Ikaraoha( Assistant Director, Special Duties, National Orientation Agency FCT Directorate), Mrs Sophie Too(MD, Even Charity), Air Commodore Marquis(Directing Staff Nigeria Defence College), Agbo Christian Obiora( Publisher, The Qualitative Magazine) and Gospels artists Femi Ajide and Yemisi Marquis.

Agbo Chris, The Publisher The Qualitative Magazine posing with placard inscribed with a message at Karu Market,

Engraced Ones is prayer support and advocacy initiative established in April, 2015 to bring together parents of children with intellectual disabilities and other adults who love these children for the purpose of encouraging parents of the children, educate the public about the condition and advocate for their access to healthcare services, education and other rights. The group as their name implies refer to these children living with down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and other intellectual disabilities as Engraced Ones.

Francis Morhic( MD, IKE Foundation for Autism) speaking to the press

The event witnessed the presence of some well-wishers, friends, parents of children with special needs, schools, persons with disabilities, partners, federal ministry of health, women affair ministry and National Orientation Agency FCT Directorate and members of the press.
One of the group numerous activities is the Annual Prayer/advocacy walk to mark The World Cerebral Palsy Day. The maiden edition took place last year 2018 when the group walked from Apo under Bridge to Gudu Market.

Air Vice Marshall Nelson Calmday speaking to the press

Cerebral Palsy Day is a social movement and a day to celebrate and affirm the lives of the 17 million people living with cerebral palsy (CP). The project was launched in 6th of October, 2012 by Cerebral Palsy Alliance (Australia) and United Cerebral Palsy (USA). It is supported by over 450 cerebral palsy service organizations, universities, parent groups, research institutions, student groups, schools and children’s hospitals from 65 countries.

The front view of the School of Grace
Commissioning of the School of Grace by Air Vice Marshall Nelson Calmday

CEREBRAL PALSY DAY: Engraced Ones sensitizes Abuja residents, sues for govt/public support as they unveil their first special school


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