The International Day of Persons with Disability (IDPWD) is recognised globally on December 3, to celebrate people living with disabilities. This year, with the IDPWD theme, ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible,’ MTN Nigeria partnered with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development of Nigeria to commemorate the day at an event in Abuja, Nigeria.
This year’s theme places emphasis on spreading awareness, and understanding disabilities that are not immediately apparent. These include mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions, among others.
Speaking at the event, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, said, “In recent years, disability issues have taken top spots as evident in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)s. In committing to the realization off the 2020 agenda for sustainable development, the Federal Government of Nigeria remains committed to including and protecting persons with disabilities to guarantee that no one is left behind.” The Minister also thanked MTN for supporting this year’s event.
Also commenting, the Chairman, MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, OFR, mni, reiterated MTN’s commitment to ensuring that these incredible set of people live full lives despite their disabilities. He said, “People living with disabilities are a part of our society – an important part, and we must all commit to recognising and caring for them. I am both honoured and humbled to say that the MTN Foundation continues to work hard to ensure that persons living with disabilities are empowered through our corporate social investment initiatives. We believe that a consistent and concerted approach makes all the difference.”
At the event, the MTN Foundation also donated relief and mobility items, including guide canes, crutches and elbow pads to persons with disabilities through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
Since its inception, the MTN Foundation has directly affected the lives of over 20,000 persons living with disabilities through the MTN Disability Support Project. Also, over 1,080 under-graduate scholarships have been awarded to students in public tertiary institutions under the MTNF Scholarship Scheme for Blind Students.