On May 17, 1972, the World Development Information Day was passed into law by the United nations General Assembly and has since then been celebrated annually on October 24. It roots from the dedication of the United Nations to draw attention of world public opinion towards the developing problems and for strengthening International & national cooperation to solve them. It is a day that is aimed at informing and motivating the general public towards to fight against and find solutions to social and general health problems that affect nations and continents at large.
The focus issue for this year’s celebration is dubbed ConnectCharity: Spinal Cord Injured Victims. Highlighting the challenges of spinal cord injured victims and their rehabilitation home in Amuwo Odofin, The Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Nigeria (SCIAN). It is dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with spinal cord injuries and educating the public on connected issues. The association’s has been in operation since 1984, and the secretariat serves as home to many spinal cord injury patients.
A person suffering from a spinal cord injury finds it almost impossible to perform the simplest of tasks we take for granted; getting up from the bed, moving to the restroom, even to scratch an itch far down his back, he needs to turn to someone else for help. But we do when we come across them? We mostly turn our backs and try hard to blot them out of our minds as we focus on ‘more important tasks’. Nobody actually wants to address the challenges facing these disabled persons.
According to the Chairman of SCIAN, Mr. Obioha Onongbu, “Nearly all the residents here weren’t born like this, some are victims of motor accidents, some prolonged or ignored health issues. But they all have one thing in common, they have been abandoned by their relations and can’t face living in the real world because people have made them feel useless.” He further adds “What we do here is, we give them a place to live and take the simple everyday tasks that have become challenging and help them conquer it. However it’s difficult when we don’t get adequate help from the government and Nigerians.”
This is where we come in, ConnectCharity is a brainchild of the True Worshippers’ Family (TWF), an inter-denominational Christian group based in Lagos. Created in 2005 and has held benefit concerts annually for the first four years. The roll call includes Eben, Samsong, Buchi, Hephzibah, Pita, the gospel comedian Akpororo, Deji of Soundcity, Bolaji of Radio Intercontinental, to mention a few. According to the Public Relations Officer, Ms. Kimberly Ojirigho, “Each year, there is a special focus and the dividends of the concerts are remitted to them. We’ve gone from AIDS patients to destitute, etc. we have partnered with different NGOs to make lives of their dependants easier and this year we are in with SCIAN focusing on how to help spinal cord injured victims through life”.
What will ConnectCharity be doing for SCIAN you may ask, The Head of the Special Project Team, Ms Kemi Akinola also answers “Plans have been put in motion to create awareness for SCIAN within her immediate community. There are very gifted people here, so we will also help integrate the residents into the immediate society by helping to package & sell their handiworks.” The objectives for this year’s partnership also include:
- Outward beautification of the SCIAN environment
- Improvement of the infrastructure at SCIAN
- Creation of a platform for easy donations to SCIAN
All these will be achieved from the TWF benefit concert tagged “I AM THAT I AM” which is scheduled to hold on Dec. 24, 2012 at Arapasopo Gardens, Amuwo Odofin Estate, Mile 2, time’s 7pm. Artistically talented residents will be performing alongside top gospel acts everyone to see. It’s bound to be a night you will remember for a long time.
Please click on the link http://www.scianigeria.org/news.asp for testimonies from residents of the home
Ms Kimberly Ojirigho
Public Relations Officer
True Worshippers Family