By Udeme Akpan
Total E&P Nigeria Limited, an International Oil Company, IOC, has selected 13 children for training and capacity building, under its Total Access to Disability Mobility Initiative, ADIU.
The company said the Total ADI is a diversity and corporate social responsibility, CSR, initiative of Total E&P Nigeria Limited, designed with the goal of launching the independence and capacity building of out-of-school, visually impaired children, to prepare them for school.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of ADIU, held at the Women and Children with Disability Initiative, WACWDI, Lagos, recently, Executive Director, Corporate Affairs and Services, Total E&P Nigeria Limited, Mr Abiodun Afolabi, said: “We select 13 children, who are unable to attend school as a result of visual impairment and who are from indigent homes within Lagos State for the programme.
“We will obtain the consent of the parents and/or guardians for the care and training of beneficiaries throughout the implementation of the Total ABI school-ready project; evaluate the mobility needs of each beneficiary and provide coaching, as well as life skills, to facilitate their independence, and also facilitate the enrolment of beneficiaries into school and provide school-readiness packs for the 2020/2021 academic session.
“The project focuses on the needs of the disability community. Through the training sessions, we’re working towards fulfilling the expectations of these children to be offered placement in schools of their choices. Today, we are pleased to see that 13 out of school children from indigent homes stand a better chance of enrolling in a specialized school, as a result of the training they have received.
“We wish to thank our partners, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, for the enablement and collaboration. We also thank the community and families here for allowing us to work with the children to create a more inclusive society. Every child, regardless of their cultural background, age, gender or disability, has the potential to learn and must learn, and we, as Nigerians, must embrace this core belief every day in every way possible.
“To the beneficiaries, we charge you to put into use the mobility skills you have gained, knowing that no disability is bigger or more powerful than your will. Know that there is no greater hunger than the hunger of a child to learn, and that has nothing to do with disabilities, race, or poverty.
“I, therefore, call on you to join us in spreading this message. The message is when people with disabilities reach their full potential, Nigeria will reach hers,” he charged.
Earlier, the President, WACWDI, Mrs Funmi Gbadamosi, said: “It is indeed a gracious corporate socially responsible action by Total E&P Nigeria Limited, worthy of emulation by organisations that seek to genuinely touch the lives of people whose course in life has been negatively impacted or altered through circumstances that are not necessarily of their own making.”