Posted by ELIZABETH EDOZIE on Apr 08, 2019
Rotary International, District 9110, Nigeria under the leadership of the Inspiration District Governor, Kola Sodipo and two of its clubs have partnered Rotary Club of Accra East in District 9102, Ghana on a wheelchair donation project to aid the mobility of cerebral palsy victims in Nigeria.
The two District 9110 clubs involved in the project- Rotary Club of Victoria Garden City and Rotary Club of Ikoyi Metropolitan, decided to key into the District Governor’s goal of achieving bigger and bolder projects this Rotary year through district/multi-club partnerships but took it a step further by making it an international project with the inclusion of Rotary Club of Accra East.
A total number of 21 wheelchairs were however donated by the club to Benola Cerebral Palsy Initiative, a not for profit organization committed to change and progress for persons living with Cerebral Palsy.
The District Governor, in his opening remarks during the donation exercise on Monday, April 8, 2019 stated, “It is good to be good to people, especially those in conditions that seems helpless. As Rotarians, it is naturally a part of us and for non-Rotarians, it is highly commendable.
It is only God that will reward each and every one of us”, he said, while thanking the other clubs that partnered with the district to make the project possible.
The Founder, Benola Cerebral Palsy Initiative, Air Vice Marshall Femi Gbadebo (Rtd) revealed the idea behind the establishment of his cerebral palsy initiative. Gbadebo noted that Benola, which was born in 1996, will be 23 years in two months.
According to Gbadebo, “I have travelled extensively with my wife and I have realized that the way we manage cerebral palsy differ from that of other countries. Situations like this has led to a lot of broken marriages; it has also led to children having to live with the stigma.
“The reason why these things happen is because of parents who cannot cope with these situations. All we need to do is manage these situations well and help these children be the best they can. Our mission in Benola is to make people see things differently and create a positive change with respect to cerebral palsy in our society”, he said.
He further noted that over 17 million people are living with cerebral palsy in the world, over 700, 000 people are living with cerebral palsy in Nigeria, while over 80, 000 people are living with cerebral palsy in Lagos. “Because of Rotary, this donation has been made possible and because of Rotary, Benola is going to benefit from this donation. Thank you very much for what you have done”, he added.
Dr. Boyo of Pine Crest Hospital in Mafoluku, Lagos state who is also a member of Benola Advisory Board, while giving his remarks said, “Rotary club and Benola have been able to show true altruism. To the average Rotarian, it’s not about ‘What do I gain?’ Each time we give a wheelchair, each time we lend a helping hand to another, we do it for God.
“Our prayer is that when these chairs go out, they will not only bring joy to the heart of the patients but will also touch the lives of everyone around them”, Dr. Boyo said.
Members of Rotary Club of Victoria Garden City led by the club president, Victor Edomwande and members of Rotary Club of Ikoyi Metropolitan led by the club president, Tunde Adeleye who was represented by Rotarian Moses Omuetha, were also present at the donation ceremony.