The Irede Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization focused on encouraging children living with limb loss (either acquired or congenital) to live a life of fulfillment, is set to hold the 9th edition of its annual Out-On-A-Limb Advocacy Walk to raise awareness for limb loss and limb differences.
The walk will also help raise funds for children living with limb loss in Nigeria and to also spotlight the challenges peculiar to them whilst celebrating their uniqueness and ability to thrive against all odds.
The walk, which is scheduled to hold on April 8, 2023, across 60 locations worldwide, is themed “A Walk for Inclusion”.
While addressing journalists at a press conference to announce the 2023 Out-On-A-Limb Walk, the Executive Director of The Irede Foundation (TIF), Mrs. Crystal Chigbu explained that “TIF started as a result of my personal journey. I gave birth to a daughter without bones in her legs and ultimately we had to amputate her legs. As I continued in life, I realized there were a lot of children like her, and I wanted to put an end to stigmatization.
“I wanted to ensure inclusion in the society, and inspire people with disabilities that it is possible to live a FULL life.”
Chigbu buttressed that “the crucial thing is that we can’t do it alone, so we need the help of the media to help spread awareness and it is limb loss awareness month which makes it all perfect!”
The communications director for the foundation, also stated “as The IREDE Foundation continues to lead conversations on limb loss, inclusive education, and disability matters that restrict Children with disabilities from living full lives, initiatives like Out on a Limb, is our opportunity as a society to call out stigmatization, discrimination, and factors that are all-round limiting, and lend our voices for causes like this that enables inclusivity.”
Corroborating her, the Programs Lead, Ms. Wuarola Kayode pointed out that “it is important that we have the media involved in this. There is a lot we can do with the publicity that comes with it. Last year, we got the highest referral (of children with limb loss) so far and that was because word kept spreading, and some people heard about The IREDE Foundation for the first time last year. Overall, we had over 450 referrals and we were able to provide a total of a hundred and two limbs.”
This year, the walk will be held across 60 global locations simultaneously and the foundation aims to have an indirect reach of 15,000,000 people with 5,000 participants which will enable opportunity to raise awareness about Limb loss & Limb Difference, increase top-of-mind awareness about the limb loss and the support available for children with disabilities, inclusive education, and raise funds to continue to empower child amputees.
According to the organization, in 2022, the Out on a Limb Walk attracted over a hundred advocates globally, who walked in different locations to create awareness whilst raising funds through the sales of T-shirts and to provide limbs for Children with Limb loss.
In 2022 alone, the foundation provided a total of one hundred and two (102) prosthetic limbs to ninety-one (91) child amputees, three (3) of which came from proceeds from the walk.