Background of this idea
The Dewdrops Community Centre for Special Needs is a duly registered independent NGO and non-profit provider of special and inclusive education in Nigeria. Working in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), we have continued to support children and young adults from low income families and underserved communities to access special and inclusive education in Nigeria since 2015. We also empower parents, teachers and caregivers with training so they can take power in their hands to bridge the deficits of special education. Our objective is to have a larger number of individuals with special needs growing to become independent adults, thus reducing poverty levels in Nigerian communities, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO, 2013) as a growing global public health concern and estimates its global prevalence as one (1) per 160 persons. However, in Nigeria it is assumed (largely from hospital–based studies) that one (1) out of every 125-150 children are living with this condition this amounts to about 600,000 Nigerian children. April is observed globally as the international month for Autism awareness as declared by the United Nations. Since 2015, we as an organization have conducted the Family Fun Day event, with an annual turnout of not less than 500 children with autism and related disabilities and their families from Abuja and environs.
Benefits and Impact so far
• Removal of stigma and discrimination from families who are socially isolated due to cultural beliefs about autism and other disabilities.
• The inclusive recreational activities have helped to foster social interaction skills in many of the children with autism.
• Knowledge gained from the Fun Day awareness educational talks has encouraged many parents to commit to early intervention for their children diagnosed with ASD.
• Knowledge gained from the Fun Day awareness educational talks have helped young adults with ASD and other disabilities to self advocate and also know what to do in the face of potential sexual exploitation, abuse and violence.
• The free audiological tests have helped many families to identify potential hearing problems and seek for early intervention.
• A great opportunity for parents of children and young adults with disabilities to de-stress and socialise.
Based on the positive outcomes and inspiring feedback from the past events, our specific objectives for this year’s event are to:
• Reach out to the general public with education and orientation about the true state of children and young adults with special needs and their families.
• Promote understanding, acceptance and social inclusion through play and recreation for children and young adults with autism and other disabilities and their families, in an inclusive setting.
• Provide a platform through which knowledge can be shared and support networks can be built among families and various professionals in the areas of special needs, with the aim of empowering families of children and young adults with disabilities.
In order to ensure that this event meets its intended objectives, the following strategies will be employed:
• Feed and host at least 500 children and young adults with autism and other physical and non-physical disabilities, and their families to a full day of fun and recreational activities with non-disabled children;
• Work together with the Federal Government and agencies of the FCT to address the challenges of societal stigma and discrimination against for children and young adults with autism and other disabilities, and their families;
• Conduct awareness presentations and knowledge sharing about the rights of children and young adults with autism and other disabilities;
• Provide education about sexual exploitation, abuse and violence against persons with developmental disabilities;
• Conduct free assessments for autism, audiological tests for the hearing impaired.
• Broadcast the event to the public on both traditional and social media.
Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development
Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development
The Albino Foundation
Joint Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) in the FCT
MSF/Doctors without Borders, Maitama Abuja
Mercy Corps, Jabi Abuja
Save the Children, Maitama Abuja
Nigerian Police Force
Hope House Initiative Abuja
FCT School for the Blind Children
Abuja School for the Deaf
JKS Home for Children with Special Needs, Kubwa Abuja
Daughters of Charity, Kubwa Abuja
Zeebah Foundation, Maitama Abuja
Improved understanding of autism spectrum disorders and related disabilities.
Improved understanding of government authorities and the general public on the challenges and barriers faced by persons with disabilities and their families in effectively participating in social interactions with mainstream society.
Improved understanding of the vulnerabilities of children and young adults with developmental disorders to sexual exploitation, abuse and violence.
Increased participation of persons with disabilities and their families in recreation and social inclusion in Nigeria.
This event is scheduled to take place on 18th April 2020.
The proposed venue is BMT African Garden, located in Wuse 2, Abuja. Any change in venue will be communicated accordingly.
Taking into account the need for a collective action towards upholding and supporting the welfare of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, we are pleased to invite the general public to be a part of this noble event. You may also want to support by purchasing the following resources for distribution to parents and caregivers on that day:
1. Special Needs Made Easy (Vol.1) by Lola Aneke – N2,500 per copy.
2. Mastering Autism by Lola Aneke – N5,000 per copy.
Cheque can be paid into “Dewdrops Community Centre for Special Needs” or via bank deposit into:
Account Name: Dewdrops Community Centre for Special Needs
Account number: 0814606449
Purchase the books securely online now by clicking here >>> https://paystack.com/pay/booksbylolaaneke
We would sincerely appreciate your generous consideration in being our sponsor for this noble event. Thank you for your time, and please accept the assurances of our highest regards. Together we can make a difference in our world.
Omolola Aneke, M.A.T., SpEd.
The Dewdrops Community Centre for Special Needs®