Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko has commended the MTN Foundation, the Corporate Social Investment vehicle of MTN Nigeria, for making it possible for people with disabilities to lead fulfilling lives by providing them with mobility aids and appliances. The Governor spoke on the occasion of the presentation of mobility aids and appliances to disabled people drawn from the 18 local government areas of the State in Akure recently. The presentation of the facilities was implemented under the MTN Foundation Disability Support Project (DSP), aimed at supporting people living with disabilities by providing them with mobility aids and appliances to enhance their independence, improve accessibility and functionality, and generally enable them to be more productive.
The appliances distributed include wheelchairs, tricycles, collapsible walking sticks, guide canes that illuminate at night for the visually impaired, Braille machines, Braille wristwatches, hearing aids and crutches. Governor Mimiko said the job of making life more enjoyable and productive for the less privileged, especially people with disabilities, belongs to everyone. According to him, it is unrealistic to leave the task to the government alone.¿Ondo state government has a `caring heart policy¿ which seeks to collaborate with the private sector to make life meaningful for the people of Ondo state, especially the less privileged. While we commend MTN Foundation for partnering with the state, we urge other corporate bodies to emulate them and work with us to improve the economic wellbeing of persons living with disabilities in this state,¿ said Mimiko. Also speaking at the ceremony, Ondo State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Bukola Tenabe said: ¿We are indeed grateful to MTN Nigeria, which through the MTN Foundation, has given true meaning to the word `Corporate Social responsibility¿. Other private organisations should emulate MTN and give back meaningfully to the society.¿
Director, MTN Foundation, Akinwale Goodluck, represented by the Executive Secretary of the Foundation, Ms. Nonny Ugboma, said: ¿We recognise how difficult life can be for people living with disabilities in a society like ours. The essence of the MTNF DSP, is to ameliorate some of these difficulties through the provision of an array of aids and appliances.¿ Also speaking at the presentation ceremony, Mrs. Foluke Idowu, Founder, Independent Living for People with Disability (ILP), which is partnering with the Foundation on the project, commended MTNF for funding the entire project which she said would definitely give hope and succour to disabled people. For her, this gesture meets the major need of the physically challenged who would rather work than depend on other people for a living.
The MTNF Disability Support Project, which is in its second phase, will empower 5,000 beneficiaries in 12 states with mobility aids and appliances. Phase one of the project benefited 5,000 people in 11 states including the Federal Capital Territory. More are expected to benefit from the project in its subsequent phases.