“I wanted to be an astronaut, but I was told that the blind cannot be that and so, I would like to be a newscaster”. The words of Ifeoluwa Jolayemi, one of the graduating student of the Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted Children, Surulere, represents the various sad tales of many blind and partially sighted children in Nigeria and the continent of Africa.
The disappointment that greets a child when he/she hears that his/her desire to practice a certain profession in the future is unachievable because he/she is blind, is grave and must be eradicated from the African society. This disappointment has the ability to affect such a child mentally, emotionally and psychologically and in turn hinder self-fulfilment, hence the need for an inclusive-educational system.
Therefore, to support an inclusive education for all children, the AIFA Reading Society joins the rest of the world to celebrate every 3rd of December (International Day for Persons with Disabilities – IDPD) through its Spreading Cheer initiative. This year, the Society paid a visit to Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted Children, Surulere, Lagos, and interacted with the graduating class of the school as well as made a donation of Slates and Styluses to each of the graduating students.
This project is in line with the United Nation’s 2030 agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which seeks to promote an inclusive, equitable and sustainable education for all as it ledges to “leave no one behind”. It is also in line with the Society’s vision to achieve a world where majority of children and adults can read, write and have opportunities for a decent education.
The Spreading Cheer initiative is a project set up by the AIFA Reading Society to put smiles on the faces of children living with disabilities by helping them have equal opportunity at learning. The Society believes every individual has a vital role to play to tackle educational challenges in our society and it starts with us.