An NGO, Real Act of Kindness (RAK) Foundation has called on employers of labour to create an environment that encourages people with disabilities to be productive.
Mr Mobolaji Ogunlende, the Pioneer, RAK Foundation, gave the advice during an event to mark the 2020 International Day of Persons with Disabilities organised by the foundation in Apa, Badagry. The programme was tagged “Building Back Better: Towards a Disability Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post-COVID-19 World”.
Ogunlende said that employers must take note that when establishing their businesses, they should also create conducive environment for people with disabilities. He also noted they should not allow them to be bullied by their able-bodied colleagues in the office.
“Companies abroad when marketing themselves boast about being all inclusive meaning they do not select based on skin color or disability but simply if you meet the requirements and qualifications.
“They call themselves, equal opportunity employers. We need those in these parts.
“We need people to be assessed purely on what they can do and not how their body parts are functioning,” he said.
The RAK pioneer echoed that “we need to educate those around us that bad stare or that looking down attitude they had on anyone who was disabled is damaging in many ways.”
“Let us change our mentality and treat everyone like we want to be treated.
“My foundation periodically reaches out to the disabled and this year we have decided to celebrate the international disabled day with them to recognise them.
“This is a personal fulfilment for me, however, we know we need to do more in terms of participating in infrastructural set ups that ensure they are fully taken care of.
“If we are able to get funding for this purpose our agenda will be to establish correct systems for them,” he said.
The General Manager, Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA), urged all physically challenged persons to register with their office for assistance.
Dairo, who was represented by Prince Rotimi Adeniyi, a staff of LASODA, commended RAK foundation for initiating the ceremony.
Mrs Sesi Ogungbe, the Supervisor for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) Badagry West LCDA representing the chairman of the council commended Ogunlende for his philantrophist gestures to people of Badagry and its environs.
Ogungbe assured the people living with disabilities that the administration of Gbenu would always assist them.
Also speaking, the Executive Director, Ability in Disability Economic Empowerment Initiative, Mrs Jumai Omotosho appealed to the Chairman, Badagry West LCDA to establish a school for physically challenge person in his council.
Omotosho said that such school would cushion the long distance and communication challenges the person with disabilities encountered while going to their school in Badagry.
She thanked RAK Foundation for his rare support, adding that this was just the beginning of the organisation’s relationship with RAK foundation.
“We want to have you as our backbone, you are our father and we believe with you on our side, we will make Badagry a better place for the physically challenge.
“There is ability in disability, when you get close to them and interact with them, you will agree with me,” she said.
The event also had RAK raffle draw where each winner went away with the sum ₦20,000 as cash support to their business and academics pursuit as the case might be.
Some of the dignitaries present include, HRM Oba Oyekan Adekanmi Ilufemiloye Ajose Posii III, the Alapa of APA Egun Awori Kingdom, Dr. Olabodunrin Oki – Guset Speaker, Iyaloja Of Owode – Alh. Okejale and other dignitaries