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Kpakpando Foundation, on Sunday, celebrated our 2021 Valentine day with 70 women living with disabilities in the Federal Capital Territory. 

The foundation believes in the ingenuity of Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWDs) and works with them to acquire the educational skills and resources necessary to build self-sufficient purposeful lives, Items distributed by the foundation to the women included food items, snacks and cash.

The founder of the Kpakpando foundation, in a speech at the “All-Inclusive Valentine Day Party” held in Abuja, said the foundation decided to celebrate the day with women as the world “cannot do without the female gender”.

Sen. Osita Izunaso, who was represented by the Director-General (DG), Mrs Pat John-Oseh, urged other stakeholders – government, organisations and individuals – to celebrate the day not just with their families, but with PLWDs.

“We know that women suffer a lot, not just women with disabilities. Women suffer from rape, molestation and other vices.

“Today, we invited a very special educator to come and talk with these women on intimacy.

“They really need to know what intimacy is, how to live well with their husbands. We need to talk to them about a lot of issues, including hygiene.

“For those of us who are not disabled, we are also going to benefit a lot from this topic, because intimacy is very powerful,” he said.

The DG, in her own speech, recalled that the NGO in 2020 also invited a disabled educator to speak to the women on “self-love and self crush” which impacted the lives of the PLWDs.

John-Oseh, who commended the current administration for its attention to the PLWDs, urged the Federal Government to do more.

She said that the NGO played a key role in ensuring that President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Disability Bill and also the inauguration of a National Commission for Persons with Disabilities.

John-Oseh said that the foundation had also played a key role in ensuring that people with disabilities had access to education, especially to those who could not afford it or those that dropped out of schools.

“We have paid WAEC fees for some and also assisted many to go to higher institutions.

“We have 2,000 persons with disabilities seeking to enter schools. Some have been sent abroad for first degrees while others are undergoing post-graduate programmes.

“So far we have sponsored over 1,000 for WAEC secondary school certificate examination. We have 300 who wrote to us after their secondary school examinations. They are seeking university admission.”

She, however, canvased more efforts to ensure easy accessibility to public and private infrastructure for people living with disabilities.

Mrs Mary Unbubadu, a Lecturer at the Department of Special Needs and Rehabilitation Sciences, Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State, advised disabled women to have a positive perception of themselves.

Unbubadu, in her presentation, said that there was ability in disability, pointing out that perception was what mattered.

“If you believe that you have disabilities that will not allow you to achieve something, it remains like that.

“This is not about persons with a disability, but even with abled persons. Once you believe that you cannot do anything, it remains so.”

Miss Zeichigu Henshi, one of the disabled women from Kwali Area Council, commended the foundation for celebrating the valentine with them.

She said that the foundation had put smiles on their faces in respective of their status.

“A lot has been happening to PLWDs positively through this NGO. We pray to God to bless the founder.”

She listed some of the challenges facing PLWDs to include neglect in terms of employment and scholarship for education.

“Many rich men organise scholarship but sideline us because we don’t have anybody to speak for us.

“Some of us have also acquired some skills but we don’t have the needed equipment.

“If the government can help us to acquire some of those things, it will go along way to assist us and our families.” (NAN)

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