On Saturday 9th October, 2021 was a joyful and remarkable day in disability community as a new NGO known as Disability Advancement Initiative (DAI) was launched.
Disability Advancement Initiative (DAI) was founded by one of the renowned disability rights advocate who based in FCT, Mr. Obinna Bede Ekujereonye, the immediate past Chairman of Nigeria Association of the Blind (NAB) FCT Chapter. He has led a lot of disability related projects and advocacies and he is known for being vocal while canvassing on the issues of disability.
On this day, Mr. Obinna and his team presented to the public his new founded organization to advance his advocacy for persons with disabilities.
As a result-oriented individual who believes in touching lives not rhetoric, the School for the Blind, Jabi, Abuja was chosen for the launching.
The event which has in attendance some members of the board of Trustee of DAI, friends and some notable disability rights advocate was slated to also launch the website of the organization.
The founder and Executive Director of DAI, Mr. Obinna Ekujereonye in his welcoming address said that the organization came as a result of the challenges faced by persons with disabilities, no inclusive education, no access to inclusive health, no access to political participation, no access to social justice etc. He reminded that when he was the Chairman of NAB FCT, he did all he could to bring the Association to the limelight and after his reign, because of his passion towards continuing advocacy for the inclusion of PWDs, DAI idea was conceived. So the organization became a reality in April when its registration was completed.
So, he informed that DAI choose the School for the blind for the launch of their logo and website because they discovered the students have need for educational materials and food stuff. So DAI decided to hold the event at the school to celebrate with the children as well as donating some educational materials and food items to them.
He said the DAI represents inclusion, access and rights of PWDs in education, health, politics, justice etc. He said that it is an era of advancing the rights of PWDs so PWDs need their rights to be upheld and DAI is around to contribute to its realization.
He also said that DAI is interested in advancing the rights of every PWDs including children, women and girls with disabilities.
He acknowledged that DAI cannot do it alone and call for partnership with other organization to advance the cause of PWDs.
Earlier, The Executive Director, The Qualitative Magazine(TQM), Mr. Chris Agbo in his goodwill message eulogized the founder, recalling his achievement as the Chairman of NAB FCT and believed strongly that DAI would be a success.
He said that DAI is calling at the right time because there are need for more organizations to cover challenges being faced by PWDs. He offered to partner with DAI to promote inclusion of PWDs.
The Sunday N. Okeke, Deputy Director, NPHCDA, expressed his joy seeing a beautiful initiative that would contribute to the promotion of the rights of PWDs. The rights of access to public places and other rights that would guarantee dignified life for PWDs. He reminded that disability can come to anyone at any time so it requires an adequate attention which organization like DAI has come to provide. He congratulated the founder and his team.
Abdulmumuni Ujah, JONAPWD FCT Chairman, while congratulating the founder of DAI, stated that it is in the spirit of leave no one behind that the initiative was founded because the initiative gears towards inclusion, access and promotion of rights of PWDs and also on the basis of nothing about us without us.
He stated that JONAPWD is committed towards promotion of rights of PWDs especially women and girls with disabilities. He pledges that JONAPWD would partnering with DAI to ensure that NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND.
Comfort, an Accountant at Pepraspective representing the CEO of the company, in her speech, while appreciating the founder for the initiative said that the company is glad to associating self in service to humanity.
Speaking further, she said that there is stigma attached to PWDs especially in Nigeria and Africa, which has led to depression, sadness etc on the part of PWDs to the extent that some have committed suicide along the line. There should be awareness for the public be aware that disability is not failure and people with disabilities should not give because the society have treated them badly. This is why this initiative is coming at the right time to promote inclusion.
“if every organization can employ one or two persons with disabilities in their organization, we will have a better and more inclusive society” she added.
She urged the public to connect with the DAI website because it is one that would be beneficiary to PWDs and the Society. She reaffirmed the commitment of Pepraspective towards assisting PWDs to realize their full potentials.
The event also had activities such as unveiling of the DAI and the logo by cutting a DAI unveiling cake, DAI program officer explained the features of the website, there were dances by blind students and presentation of the gift by DAI to the students.