In celebrating the 2013 edition of the annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Abuja, MTN Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility vehicle of MTN Nigeria in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development has again used the occasion to provide mobility aids and appliances to some persons with physical disability.
Executive Secretary MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma, said the theme for this year’s celebration Breaking Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all was very timely especially given the specific thrust of the Foundation’s Disability Support Project. He said, ” By creating an inclusive society where persons with disabilities are accepted and encouraged, you not only perform a humane deed, you also he more people contribute to the nation’s socio-economic development”
MTN’s Corporate Services Executive, Akinwale Goodluck, said “Disability is of the mind and in MTN, we believe that there is ability in disability, which is why we have put in place all these projects to empower persons with disability”.
The MTN Foundation has since 2009 through its Disability Support Project distributed aids and appliances to Nigerians living with disabilities in 36 states of the Federation,the Federal Capital inclusive. It recently proceeded into Phase Four of the project following an impact assessment exercise which made the inclusion of stylus and Mar bugs, galaxy talking phones for the visually impaired and calipers for the physically challenged due to polio available to Nigerians living with disabilities.
The Foundation under its MTNF skills acquisition programme runs a two-year programme which trains persons with disabilities in various vocations in order to empower themselves. According to Goodluck, “We do not believe in giving a man fish, we believe in teaching him how to fish, so he can feed for life.
Mrs Mercy Daodu who spoke on behalf of the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Zainab Maina commended the Foundation’s generous effort with its contribution to the welfare and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities. She said, ” There are over 20 milmillion people with physical disabilities and government alone cannot cater for all their needs which is why we are grateful to companies like the MTN Foundation and other donor organizations who have been our partner in progress. We hope we can continue to count on the Foundation for more effective collaborations towards acheiving our common goals.”
By: Remi Serrano