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Kids mark Children’s Day with funfair, speak on Nigerian dreams

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Cross-section of pupils on match past during<br />Children’s Day celebration in Lagos… yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Children’s Day is a day recognised to celebrate children.

It is celebrated across the world though on various calendar dates in different countries.

In Nigeria, Children’s Day is celebrated on May 27. It was established as a holiday in 1964, and it is a public holiday for primary and secondary school pupils.

In commemorating this year’s day, president of the Special Persons Association of Nigeria (SPAN), Princewill David, has urged the public to shun segregation and disregard for children with disabilities.

He made this known at the 2018 annual national handicapped youth rally held at the weekend in Lagos.

David said disability is not a dead-end anymore because people with the condition are empowered on daily basis and have been exposed to services and tools to enable them function as normal individuals, adding that they only need more patience and care from loved ones.

The Special Persons Association of Nigeria (SPAN) also known as the Association for Handicapped Persons is a non-governmental organisation that have since 1992 created empowerment, welfare, workshops, rallies and media services to disabled persons in the country.

Also speaking, a multi-talented musical instrumentalist and third year visually impaired student of Bethesda Home for the Blind, Mustafa Yusuf, said he has been able to prove to the world that disability is not an excuse to relent on self development.

Yusuf, who is a saxophonist, drummer, singer, keyboardist and a music producer, said he is able to joggle all of those activities with school due to his dedication to learning and the support of his school, love ones and SPAN.

He, therefore, encouraged disabled individuals to embrace their functional sense organs and make the best out of them.

Some children who spoke to The Guardian are yet to come to terms with the present state of the country. They were, however, not deterred as they voiced their hopes for the future and the Nigeria of their dreams.

Chinoye Ndubuisi, an SS2 student of Rona Kings and Queens Schools, Lagos, expressed her dissatisfaction with the economic, political and educational system of governance in Nigeria.

Ndubuisi dreams of a Nigeria where the rule of law will prevail and everyone will be equal in the presence of the law, and where every child will pick a book first before food.

“A Nigeria of my dream is one where everyone will have access to clean water, constant electricity and good road as well as functional railways that connect all states.

A nation where government will be responsible for their words and actions also focusing on the primary aim of leadership, which is seeing for the progress of the country,” she said.

Another student, Oniyi Praise, who hopes to be a lawyer, said she looks forward to the time when the government would embrace the abundant natural and human resources in the country to create an enabling environment for citizens. “My hope for Nigerian is one where politicians won’t earn more than entrepreneurs,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Principal, FIEF Academy, Alhaja Mariam Mansur-Williams, yesterday, encouraged children to be serious with their studies, as it is the only assignment they have now. 

Speaking at the 2018 Children Day programme organised by FIEF Academy, she said they must know that without education they will not be able to do much in life and make necessary impact.
 
According to her, they must at all times be a pride to themselves, family, and the world, and know that it is when a child is good that parents and family members will be proud of them.

After giving talks on the need for good behaviour, the pupils and students of the school watched a documentary on Nigeria from precolonial era to date. 
 
As part of activities marking the day, two students were picked to act as the proprietor and principal of the school. They coordinated the activities of the school for the day, dressing and putting up the mannerism of the two personalities.

Also, children have been advised to expand their knowledge base academically and socially, whilst instilling the importance of innovation and dynamism, and the belief in their individual abilities and destiny.
 
They were further enjoined to learn beyond the classroom by integrating the information provided by teachers on what is going on in society, as learning does not occur in a vacuum, as they must relate school studies to daily living.
 
Founder/Executive Director, Live Abundantly Empowerment Initiative, Dr. Ama Onyerinma, said this during a Special Children’s Day event, organised by the organisation at Ijebu-Ife, Ogun State.
 
In her speech titled: ‘The Stew of Life’, Onyerinma figuratively used tomatoes as education, pepper as family, friends and community, oil as synergy between all, and cautioned that moments of challenges can alter the course of their life for better or worse based on the decisions they make. 
 
“Look at challenges as a learning experience and know they add flavour to life.

The oil serves as the base, which makes it possible for the synergy of the learning experience, support of your family, friends and community, along with your well-being and life challenges you experience.

Your viability is based on your education and social consciousness as such you must remember to balance all ingredients. 
 
“The meat, chicken and/or fish in a pot of stew is the result of the ability to provide for yourself financially.

Dream of a future of abundance, seize all opportunities presented to learn and experience life, aspire for greatness then you can enjoy the benefits of your hard work in the ‘Stew of life’.

Remember to be a valued and respected members of society who shall support others in becoming better citizens,” she said. 


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