To combat the pervasive prejudice against people with intellectual disabilities, the Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDDN) launched the Action4Change project.
The project, funded by CBM Global, aims to improve the quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by leading advocacy, sensitization, and awareness campaigns.
The project also aims to enable access to quality, inclusive, and affordable healthcare services and economic empowerment opportunities for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Ms. Ekaete Umoh, the Country Director of CBM Global during her introductory statement at the event said that the initiative represented another significant step in advancing and defending the rights of people with intellectual disabilities in Nigeria and breaking the cycle of poverty and instability.
Umoh emphasised that the effort will lessen the stigmatization of people with intellectual disabilities adding that over 7,000 indirect beneficiaries and over 1,000 direct recipients are both targeted by the scheme.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mrs Joko Omotola, the National President of AIDDN, explained that “the Actions4Change Project in Nigeria will engage critical and relevant stakeholders towards enhancing the quality of life for persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities (DID);
“Creating awareness on the nature, causes and prevention of disabilities, embarking on public orientation for positive societal attitude towards persons with disabilities and economically empowers indigent parents of children with IDD in Nigeria.”
She also explained that AIDDN was founded to ensure that people with developmental and intellectual disabilities have access to all that other children have access to.
“We are here to ensure that they get their rights and we are after the welfare of these, our children and persons with Intellectual and developmental disabilities, we want them to access every other thing that other children are accessing like education, health, and other social amenities,” Omotola said.
She also praised the government for its efforts in addressing issues affecting people with disabilities. She called for more to be done so that the needs of those with intellectual disabilities can be met.
The project, which began in October 2022 and is being executed in four nations including Nigeria, Kenya, Nepal, and Bangladesh, will last until March 2025.