Persons Living with Disabilities have been charged to imbibe the “I can do spirit” and shun self-pity, as they have unharnessed talents embedded in them.
Akwa Ibom state First Lady, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel gave the charge recently when she commissioned a refectory and a kitchen built by her pet project Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Programme (FEYReP) for the students of Special Education Centre, Mbiabong Etoi, Uyo.
She said as captured in the Dakkada creed, they could also rise to their faith of greatness irrespective of their impairment, urging them never to see themselves as being inferior, but rather look forward to the future with great hope. Mrs. Emanuel called on people of the state to desist from discriminating against Children and Persons living with disabilities, but should be encouraged to attain their full potentials.
While expressing her appreciation to the principal and staff of the institution for their commitment, passion and zeal to groom these special children, Mrs. Emmanuel promised to always keep in touch with the children as the hold a special place in her heart.
Earlier, while welcoming the governor’s wife to the center, the principal of the school, Pastor (Mrs.) Deborah Benjamin expressed gratitude to the governor’s wife for her magnanimity to the students whom she said are most time segregated by their loved ones, praying for God’s continuous blessings upon her.
She highlighted the categories of persons in the center to be the visually impaired, the physically challenged, the mentally challenged, the speech and hearing challenged, and those with Autism and the Cerebral palsy.
She also used the platform to intimate the Governor’s wife on the challenges facing the school to included ; lack of school bus, unavailability of an audiology laboratory, inadequate medical care, lack of assembly hall, insufficient classroom blocks, need for training and re-training of staff.
In their separate goodwill messages, the Commissioner for Education, Elder Aniekan Akpan and Commissioner for women Affairs, Dr. Glory Edet thanked the Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for providing funds to manage the center saying education remains the needed platform to help the students utilize their innate abilities. They also expressed their gratitude to the governor’s wife for not alienating the children and always being readily available to support them, adding that the students were excelling in their academics, sometimes even better than their counterparts in a normal school. They encouraged the students not to allow their impediment to deter them in aspiring to be great in life.