PROGRESS REPORTS ON IYDEA AS AT MAY 31, 2013

Empowerment of youths on Entrepreneurship is everyone business. IYDEA Nigeria and many well-meaning individuals share the vision of every youth with disability in Nigeria- to live a life free of discrimination, become employable or employed and to be sincerely appreciated in their community and also internationally. Beginning on the 29th of April 2013, the ball was set rolling to achieve these dreams. Follow along as we take you through the process of this transformational project which began with the establishment of a Vocational, Arts, Skills and Entrepreneurship Club (VASE Club) in Special Education Secondary School, Calabar in Cross River State, Nigeria;

Distribution of letters to Parents of Beneficiaries

On April 29, 2013 letters were distributed to parents of the participants informing them of IYDEA’s activities and VASE (Vocational, Arts, skills and Entrepreneurship) club and its activities for 2013. The letter also informed parents on the upcoming Art and Skills exhibition (VASE Club Exhibition) and how their ward can acquire a VASE club membership. To know more about VASE Club, click here.

Commencement of VASE Club’s Hands-on Training

On May 6, 2013 VASE Club commenced with allocation of students to three classes of skills, registration of students and distribution of name tags. A little seminar was organized where the students were enlightened on the activities, membership, benefits of VASE Club and what is expected of them during the trainings. There were three classes of two skills each and the students had the opportunity to choose to belong to a class of their choice. Class A: Bead-making and Knitting (Facilitator: Juliet Ufot), Class B: Shoe-making and Hat-making (Facilitator: Kolosi Eniekedou), Class C: ICT (Computer) and Visual Arts (Facilitator: Akor Jackson). Class A consists of nine (9) members, Class B has about seven (7) members and Class C has the highest number of members- well over twenty (20) students. This training will continue every Tuesdays and Thursdays till July 22, 2013. There will be an exhibition on August 10, 2013 where the students will display the skills acquired during the VASE Club’s Hands-on Training. More information on the upcoming exhibition will be communicated in future posts.

IYDEA-ENACTUS Collaboration

On May 27, 2013 ENACTUS formerly known as SIFE (University of Calabar team)and IYDEA agreed to collaborate together for the successful implementation of the 2013 project. This collaboration is mutual as both parties share the same passion for empowering persons with disabilities. We believe that this partnership will result in more positive impact on the lives of these special youths.

Be a part of this positive change! Support this venture!!! Youths With Disabilities’ Empowerment is Everyone’s Business…

For More Inquiries, Visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/Iydeanigeria or send an email to julietufot@gmail.com

hand-made towels produced by two beneficiaries Wprking with a kid with special need Art work produced by one of VASE club members Head Scarf production Training sessions Foot-wear production training session ICT  training session Cooperation and love among VASE club members

VASE CLUB IS HERE TO STAY

VASE (Vocational, Arts and Skills Entrepreneurship) Club is an initiative created by the IYDEA team aimed at training them on various arts, crafts, vocational and entrepreneurial skills. VASE club provides a forum for interaction between special youths, their parents, the school and the society. Training workshops and seminars characterize the VASE club activities. 

Activities of VASE Club for Year 2013

Hands-on Training

The participants will be taught by experienced/professional facilitator some of who has a degree in Special Education. Skills to be taught will include baking, sewing, decorations, art works, crafts, music, ICT etc.

Entrepreneurship Development

During the periods of 1/5/2013 to 22/7/2013, the participants will be trained on entrepreneurship skills. They will be taught financial literacy skills, simple market strategies and business ethics. They will also be taught how to work as a team and come up with innovative ideas and problem solving techniques. During the holiday period, members will be engaged in entrepreneurial projects and on 10/8/2013 the special youths will engage in a VASE competition where they will showcase their skills to the public and seed funding is given to the best three participants. The aim of this competition is to build and boost confidence in their skills.

Certificates and Award

On completion of the training by graduating students of Special Education Secondary School, certificates will be issued to the graduating students. They will also be provided with information on scholarships, job and links to further studies/ employment for youths with disabilities. Also, successful participants will be attached to organizations as interns to further hone their skills. After-school assistance, project evaluations and peer-mentoring opportunities will be provided as well.

Membership

Admission into the VASE club will be strictly based on individual passion of the special youths (and the consent of their parents if under 18 years). Members are required to be committed to the club and its activities. VASE club also seek the assistance of the parents in motivating and encouraging full participation of their ward.

Iydea…together we do it even better!!!

For more information on VASE Club please contact;

Akor Jackson (Project Manager)

Phone: +2347030615650

 Email: akor.jackson@gmail.com

WHEN YOUR CHILD IS DISABLED

When Your Child Is Disabled

Can you recall the day that your child was born? You were no doubt eager to hold the baby. For some parents, however, joy becomes mingled with anxiety when they are told that their child is sick or disabled.

Do you have a disabled child? Then you may wonder if you can cope. If so, do not despair. Parents like you have successfully dealt with similar problems. Consider three common challenges you might face and how the wisdom found in the Bible can help you.

CHALLENGE 1: YOU FIND IT DIFFICULT TO ACCEPT THE DIAGNOSIS.

Many parents feel crushed when they learn that their child is ill. “When the doctors told me that our son, Santiago, had cerebral palsy, I couldn’t believe it,” says Juliana, a mother in Mexico. “I felt that the world was falling in on me.” Others may feel as did an Italian mother named Villana. “I chose to have a baby even though there are risks for women my age,” she says. “Now, when my son faces problems related to his Down syndrome, I feel guilty.”

If you struggle with feelings of despair or guilt, realize that your reaction is normal. Sickness was not part of God’s original purpose. (Genesis 1:27, 28) He did not create parents with the ability to accept easily what is unnatural. In a sense, you may need to “grieve” for what was lost—the health of your child. It will take time to sort out your emotions and adapt to your new situation.

What if you feel responsible for your child’s disability? Remember that no one understands fully how heredity, environment, and other factors affect a child’s health. On the other hand, you may feel inclined to blame your spouse. Resist that urge. You will do better if you cooperate with your mate and concentrate on caring for your child.

SUGGESTION: Learn about your child’s condition. “It takes wisdom to have a good family,” the Bible says, “and it takes understanding to make it strong.”—Proverbs 24:3, New Century Version.

You can learn much from medical professionals and reliable publications. You might compare the process of learning about your child’s condition to mastering a new language. At first, it will be difficult, but you can learn it.

A couple whose child was diagnosed with Down syndrome sought information from their doctor and an organization that specializes in their son’s condition. “This has helped us to understand not only the problems that we could expect but also the ‘positive’ aspects of Down syndrome,” they say. “We saw that our son could lead a life that in many respects would be normal. This comforted us a lot.”

TRY THIS: Focus on what your child can do. Plan to engage in activities as a family. When your child achieves even a small “victory,” be quick to offer commendation and share in his or her joy.

CHALLENGE 2: YOU FEEL EXHAUSTED AND EMOTIONALLY ISOLATED.

You may feel that caring for your sick child consumes all your energy. Jenney, a mother in New Zealand, says, “For a few years after my son was diagnosed with spina bifida, I would be exhausted and weepy if I tried to do anything extra around the home.”

Another challenge may be that you feel isolated. Ben has a son who suffers from muscular dystrophy and Asperger’s syndrome. Ben says, “Most people will never really understand what our life is like.” You may long to talk with someone. Yet, most of your friends have healthy children. So you feel reluctant to confide in them.

SUGGESTION: Ask for help. And accept it when it is offered. Juliana, quoted earlier, admits, “Sometimes my husband and I are embarrassed to ask for help.” However, she adds, “We have learned that we are not self-sufficient. When others help us, we don’t feel so alone.” If a close friend or family member offers to sit with your child at a social event or a Christian meeting, accept gratefully. “A true companion is loving all the time,” says a Bible proverb, “and is a brother that is born for when there is distress.”—Proverbs 17:17.

Take care of your own health. Just as an ambulance must refuel regularly if it is to continue taking patients to the hospital, you must restore your energy with proper nutrition, exercise, and rest so that you can continue giving your child the care he or she deserves. Javier, who has a crippled son, puts it this way: “My son cannot walk, so I feel that I should try to eat well. After all, I am the one who moves him around. My feet are his feet!”

How can you find time to look after your health? Some parents take turns caring for their child. One parent is thus able to rest or care for other personal needs. You will need to buy out time from nonessential activities, and it can be a challenge to maintain a balance. But as Mayuri, a mother in India, says, “Eventually you get into a routine.”

Talk to a trustworthy friend. Even friends who do not have sick children can be empathetic  listeners. You can also pray to Jehovah God. Will prayer really help? Yazmin has two children with cystic fibrosis, and she admits, “There have been moments of such intense pressure that I have felt like I was choking to death.” Yet, she adds: “I pray to Jehovah for relief and strength. Then I feel that I can carry on.”—Psalm 145:18.

TRY THIS: Review what you eat, when you exercise, and how much sleep you are getting. Identify how you could buy out time from less-important tasks so that you can care for your health. Keep adjusting your schedule as needed.

CHALLENGE 3: YOU GIVE YOUR SICK CHILD MORE ATTENTION THAN YOU GIVE THE REST OF THE FAMILY.

A child’s illness may affect what the family eats, where the family goes, and how much time parents spend with each child. As a result, the other children may feel neglected. Furthermore, parents can become so busy caring for their sick child that their marriage suffers. “Sometimes my wife says that she is shouldering most of the burden and that I couldn’t care less about our son,” says Lionel, a father in Liberia. “I feel belittled, and sometimes I respond unkindly.”

SUGGESTION: To reassure all your children that you are interested in them, plan activities that they enjoy. “At times, we do something special for our eldest son,” says Jenney, quoted earlier, “even if we just have lunch at his favorite restaurant.”

Show interest in all your children

To protect your marriage, talk to and pray with your mate. Aseem, a father in India whose son suffers from seizures, says: “Though my wife and I sometimes feel strained and frustrated, we make it a point to sit down, talk, and pray together. Each morning, before our children wake up, we spend time together discussing a verse from the Bible.” Other couples talk privately before going to sleep. Your intimate conversations and sincere prayers will strengthen your marriage during periods of intense stress. (Proverbs 15:22) As one couple put it, “some of the sweetest moments of our life together have been during the most difficult days.”

TRY THIS: Commend your other children for any support that they give to your ill child. Regularly express your love and appreciation for them and for your mate.

REMAIN OPTIMISTIC

The Bible promises that soon God will remove every disease and disability that plagues both young and old. (Revelation 21:3, 4) In that day, “no resident will say: ‘I am sick.’” *Isaiah 33:24.

In the meantime, you can succeed as the parent of a disabled child. “Don’t be discouraged when it seems that everything is going wrong,” say Carlo and Mia. “Concentrate on the wonderful things about your child, because there are many of them.”

(curled from: http://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/wp20130201/disabled-child/)

THEY ARE PEOPLE.

It is a fact that people with disabilities are as valuable as any other individual. They are moms, dads, sons, daughters, employers, employees, scientists, friends, neighbors, movie stars, leaders and followers, students and teachers. They are people. The community of persons with disabilities is the largest minority group in our country. It includes people of both genders and from all religions, ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic levels. About the only things people with disabilities have in common with one another are 1) having a body function that operates differently and 2) often encountering prejudice and discrimination.

Without doubt, the problems facing people with disabilities in this country are enormous and these are militating against their productivity and performance. These problems call for the campaign to sensitize government and enlighten the populace to create conducive atmosphere for social and economic integration of persons with disabilities. Some of these problems as mentioned by COSMAS I. B. OKOLI in an article: THE PLIGHT OF DISABLED NIGERIANS AND THE NEED FOR MASS ENLIGHTENMENT (http://www.maardec.net) are carefully highlighted below;

  • Job Opportunities: People with disabilities in Nigeria are denied job opportunities even when they are most qualified. This is serious discrimination against them in the employment market. Some people ignorantly believe that PWDs need not work because of the trouble they will go through. These people forget that working is an essential life activity even for people with disabilities; this is a misdirected consideration for them. There have been reported cases where candidates with disabilities sat for written interviews, had the highest score but denied employment because the management ‘’humanely’’ think they will not be able to cope.

There are so many graduates of high qualifications roaming the streets because they have been denied the opportunity of competition. Some of them have been out rightly told to forget about some jobs when they reported. All these crimes are committed not because people are wicked, but because of their ignorance of the yearnings and aspirations of  persons with disabilities. Therefore, the general public needs to know what they can do for their special brothers and sisters without jeopardizing their right to life. More so, special people working in some organizations today have been found to be very efficient and perform maximally in their duties.
Thus, if relevant areas are made accessible to people with disabilities, they can learn vocation and set up their own business.

  • Social interaction: Many negative attitudes of the general public towards persons with disabilities are borne out of ignorance. In fact, efforts of many people at alleviating the suffering of these people are usually misdirected. If people feel and argue that they should not work, but be confined to institutions to be fed, clothed and catered for, notwithstanding the good intention, it is still discrimination. Why? Because people with disabilities want to live in the society and contribute their own quota to the overall development of the country.

Let’s give them a chance! Let’s believe in them!! Together, we all can do it even better!!!

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IYDEA is  an acronym for Initiative for Youths with Disabilities Empowerment and Advancement. It is a youth-led initiative with a passion for enhancing the quality of life  of youths with disabilities in Nigeria. Read More