The Engraced Ones Prayer Support Initiative has called on the public to see Millions of Reasons to take care of persons with cerebral palsy.
They made this call during the fourth annual awareness rally organized by the group in collaboration with IKE Foundation for Autism on Saturday in Jikwoyi, Abuja to commemorate World Cerebral Palsy Day.
The Awareness rally which well attended by major stakeholders in the field such as Lola Aneke, Nifemi Adams, Agbo Chris Obiora, Francis Oko, Omotunde Ellen Thompson and many others, saw the group marched from the LEA Primary School, Jikwoyi where the group have a school for children with cognitive disabilities(School of Grace) to the major road in Jikwoyi with placards which has different inscription of information about cerebral palsy, there were fliers which has relevant information about the condition that were distributed to motorists, shop owners and residents.
The CEO and Convener of The Engraced Ones, Mrs. Bibora Yinkere in his speech appreciated the dignitaries who found time to come and participate in the rally. She narrated how the organization started and they have nurtured it with scarce resources, having parents who can even afford a home and they have children with disabilities who need absolute care.
She narrated how they met Lola Aneke who later took two of the children to her school on scholarship.
She shared the story of Mummy David whose her husband abandoned and ran away because she had a child with cerebral palsy, she had to be taken care of her child, she had nothing, she will bring the child to The Engraced Ones’ School of Grace and because she does not have money to go back home and come later for her son, she would stay around the school the school till closing time. This happened for sometimes before she employed to work in the school and Mrs. Yinkere said that the David is now on her family scholarship.
She pointed another case of a parent who have nowhere to stay, the organization contributed within themselves and rented an apartment for her. Graciously, her child is now at Jesus Kids for autism kubwa on scholarship from a friend of the organization.
She solicited that the School for Grace need a bus because conveying to and fro by the parents has been an uphill task and it is unaffordable to some parents which led to withdrawing their children from school.
She encourages parents to take appropriate care about their children with cognitive disabilities because their brains are intact and they are always something so special about them. She used her daughter as an example, her daughter Miracle according to her are more observant than all her siblings, her neatness is topnotch and she is also more considerate than of them. It is unfair that some parents are hiding their children with cognitive away from the public and even their closest relatives. They cannot have these children in their families’ album and they do not go out with them because they are not even proud of them. She counselled that the act is destroying the lives of these children because their condition is not hopeless, they need our care and support to blossom.
She called on partners and grant making organizations to come and support their group, and agencies of government saddled with these responsibilities should see reasons to make provision for the education and health needs of persons with cerebral palsy.
Mrs. Yinkere expressed satisfaction with the expand of the Engraced Ones, this year’s rally took place in other states such as Bayelsa, Rivers, Kaduna an other state, it also took place in UK and USA.
Mohie Francis Oko, the Executive Director, IKE foundation for Autism, in his remarks said that if the persons with cerebral palsy are not taken care of, the society is not complete. Therefore, the society should not neglect these persons with disabilities because the burden on the parents is huge because it is quite expensive to enroll a child with cerebral palsy because a lot are involved. The physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy and when it is case co-morbidity (where the child may have more than one condition), the parents are faced with more sever challenges because the child may seizure, epileptic and others.
He urged parents to seek more knowledge about their children condition in order enhance their communication with their children and develop more skills on how to care for their children.
He urged government officials to work the talk, if the schools are meant to be inclusive, let them actually make them inclusive, if there is budget for building of diagnostic centers, let them actually execute it. We are in this unfortunate situation today because a lot of us have neglected our duties.
The Engraced Ones Prayer Support and Advocacy Initiative is a NGO established in April, 2015 with the main purpose of rallying round one another as parents of children with cognitive disabilities and to sensitize the public about the condition while advocating for better health, education and good living condition of the children.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. CP is the most common motor disability in childhood. Cerebral means having to do with the brain. Palsy means weakness or problems with using the muscles. CP is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain that affects a person’s ability to control his or her muscles.
October 6 is set aside as the World Cerebral Palsy Day and it is regarded as a movement of people with cerebral palsy and their families, and the organizations that support them, in more than 75 countries to carry out massive and aggressive awareness campaign on the rights of Persons with CP and management of CP. The vision is to ensure that children and adults with Cerebral Palsy have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in our society.
The theme of 2021 edition is Millions of Reasons- it is a World Cerebral Palsy Day campaign supported by CP360 – Cerebral Palsy’s Global Network to create a universal agenda that strives to bring cerebral palsy the attention and funding it deserves—in every corner of the globe.