See-Hear Initiative (SHI), a Non Governmental Organization has offered scholarships to 13 graduating students of The School for the blind, FCT, Jabi, Abuja.
The cheering news was disclosed during the school’s graduation ceremony which held on Saturday, 17th July 2021.
The organization also donated computers and accessories to help revive the dormant ICT laboratory of the school along with promises to take responsibility for running the school’s ICT centre and the training of teachers.
While presenting a 50,000 naira donation at the launch of the maiden edition of ‘Vision Magazine’ published by the school, SHI’s board member, Mr John Bamidele restated the Organization’s commitment to ensure the ICT unit of the school returns to functioning and stays operational and to ensure students of the school acquire the needed ICT skills.
In her speech, Philomena Nwaeze, another board member of SHI and Deputy Director at Radio Nigeria, Abuja, explained that the organization, in her efforts to ensure the students of the school are well taken care of, has been supporting the school for the past one year and counting.
She went on to reveal how the organization had supported the school with foodstuffs last year. “This year, we have brought computers and accessories to ensure the ICT unit again becomes operational.” She said.
Nwaeze also restated her organization’s commitment to train ICT instructors so that they will be adequately equipped to impart required knowledge to the students.
A promise was made to sponsor the 13 graduating students through secondary school. According to the board member, available information from reliable sources indicated that majority of the students hardly go beyond primary schools – citing the absence of funding as the major problem. She warned parents to stop living in denial of their disabled children, remarking that disability is a matter of the body not the mind, and if adequately utilized will inevitably result in productivity.
Nwaeze went on to enjoin members of the public to identify with their organization and begin to see positivity in Persons with Disabilities. She urged them to shun discriminatory tendencies as it only brings drawback.
She called on the larger society to join hands with them to continue making impact in the lives of both deaf and blind children, she explained that the organization is presently operating on self funding by board members.
Also speaking at the occasion was Mr Josiah Bukoye another board member. He pointed out that the education of the Deaf and Blind is of paramount importance to SHI given their desire to change the stereotypical narrative which is the status quo.
Mr. Josiah revealed that the organization has partnered with the Hon. Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nwajuba, who according to him, is very passionate about SHI’s efforts and initiatives.
Accordingly, the Minister has assured of supporting the 13 graduating students through Federal College of Education, Kwali, an Inclusive School. In his words, ‘this will give the students an opportunity to mingle with other children’.
Bukoye assured of the organization’s commitment to take responsibility for tuition and other necessary materials the students might be need. He explained that apart from the organization commitment to supporting these amazing children through school, SHI is also committed to ensuring that those uninterested in further studies will be empowered through vocational training to help them become self reliant.
While soliciting sponsorship from well meaning Nigerians, he pledged to mobilze support to bring an end to discrimination, stigmatization and stereotypical narratives that have continued to fuel low self esteem among these children.
He also admonished parents to love, support and accept their disabled children, and to see them as gifts from God for a purpose. He further tasked them to do everything in their powers to put an end to negative attitudes toward these amazing children and accept them the way they are.
Mr. Josiah concluded by stressing the old saying that there is ability in disability. He noted that if the talents of these children are adequately utilized, they have what it takes to make changes in the world. However this is only achievable through full support and cooperation of parents and the larger society.