Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted, Nigeria

Photo Hanging on the Wall in front of the Principal’s office at Pacelli School for the Blind & Partially Sighted.

Students appear in clean and neat purple uniform, black Cortina shoes, white socks with a blue line at the tip. It is the beginning of another school session; students laughed and chatted happily with their schoolmates whom they haven’t seen for almost two months because of the long holidays. Soon they filed up in a row of two on a pavement and faced the beautiful and neatly mowed lawn. A few students stepped forward carrying drums and sticks and begin to beat it as their fellow students raised a song of praise. Voices of these visually impaired and partially sighted children flowed towards new parents waiting with their sons and daughters to be checked in for the new school term.

I listened to their beautiful voices and somewhere deep within my heart I was glad that they have the opportunity to be educated, empowered and made ready for a life of independence at Pacelli School for the blind. It was an emotional experience for me as well, as I watched newly admitted students hold onto their parents unsure of what laid ahead for them in their new school. Some of these parents wrapped their hands around their chests with mixed emotions. In their eyes and facial expression, they are relieved that finally, their wards can now get a quality education in a place that will cater to their unique need. However, they worry about leaving their children in the care of the school administration and managers. Mostly I saw hope in spite of the uncertainty of what the future holds.

Pacelli School for the blind is owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos state and it’s been run by Sisters. The 56years old school which was established on the 16th of June 1962 provides elementary school education and 1year rehabilitation services for older visually impaired or partially sighted children in secondary school. This is to equip them with coping skills in school and life.

It is a non-discriminatory school which admits children from both Muslim and Christian homes. Pacelli school for the blind and partially sighted is also a Non-paying institution that offers free education, accommodation, feeding(3 times daily), free educational materials, and school uniforms. The school is sustained by donations in kind and cash from organizations, religious institutions, individuals and parents who go the extra mile by giving and also helping to raise funds from their friends and sphere of influence.

Support a visually impaired child today by donating whatever you can to Pacelli School for the blind and partially sighted.

My team and I at Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative are doing our part by facilitating and sponsoring the enrollment of a visually impaired boy in the school.

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As we expand our educational support program and raise more funds we hope to donate to enabling more visually impaired children to attend Pacelli School for the blind.

There is ability in disability with an enabling environment.

Join us in helping the work at Pacelli to go on for many more years to come. You can visit the school and donate in cash and kind. If you are far away or across the world, You can call 08145710797/ 07016008848 or send fund support to First Bank, Nigeria – 2004948780 

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Controller Programs (FRCN) Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

The Unique Role of Women in Youth Development/Nation Building

Sonya Carson was a single mum who stopped attending school at grade three before she could read and write. She struggled with depression and worked so hard to raise her two sons Benjamin and Curtis. Even though Sonya was an illiterate, she devised a plan to get her sons to pay attention to reading and studying hard. Sonya refused to be a victim of her circumstances and pushed her sons to succeed in life. By this singular act she gave the world the renowned pediatric neurosurgeon who successfully operated on and separated conjoined twins joined at the back of the head. Ben Carson is currently serving his country as the United states Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Mothers are life molders and nation builders.

The word, “busy” is synonymous to modern day life. Efforts to make ends meet and the rat race of achieving an acceptable social status standard has eroded family happy times and relationships. Modern technology although with its numerous benefits to human life and businesses comes with its own disadvantages and distractions. The younger generation is fascinated by the new technological gadgets and social media; many spend precious hours engaging in unprofitable conversations with no one to guide and mentor them appropriately. Fathers and mothers are busy trying to keep their families afloat in the midst of new economic challenges of the 21st century.

Gone are the days when our mothers were at home or worked at jobs that enabled them to be at home when children close from school. Mothers were able to monitor the activities of their children and guide or discipline as appropriate. No wonder then that many of us formed a close relationship with our moms; no wonder that so many poems and songs have been written to eulogize the many sacrifices of mothers as they played a vital role in molding children who become responsible adults to society. Times have changed and we, mothers are so busy that we can barely catch our breath in the numerous challenges that life throws at us. How do we even begin to turn the tide of things around?

A group of women decided to create time to come away from their busy schedule to learn, inspire and remind one another about what was most important– empowering each other and yet able to raise young people who become responsible and dependable adults to their families and society. The National Biennial Conference of Pastors wives a yearly gathering organized by Foursquare Gospel church in her 2018 edition brought together women from different works of life and circle in society. This year’s theme is tagged, “Women Of Wisdom”. In attendance were the wife of Ogun State governor represented by Mrs Omolola Osota and Mrs. Folakemi Edun; the State Director National Orientation Agency, Oyo Directorate, Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu; Wife of the General overseer, Foursquare gospel church, Rev. Mrs Olubisi Meduoye and other ministers and women. 

Representatives of wife of Ogun state governor – Mrs Folakemi Edun & Mrs Omolola Osita; State Director NOA – Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu

As the team who accompanied the keynote speaker, Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu, State Director, National Orientation Agency, Oyo Directorate drove through the camp ground of the Foursquare Gospel Church situated along Lagos-Ibadan express way, there was something serene about the environment.

Team of the Oyo State Director, NOA sets out for the Women of Wisdom Conference.

A cluster of housing units lined up the road blending with nature as trees and lush green grass surrounded the environment. It is the kind of place you would want to go to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city; somewhere to clear your head, rest and regain your energy to face life again. Indeed it was an air of excitement in the hall as women relaxed and were charged by various speakers.

Women at the conference

Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu in her presentation talked about the uniqueness of women’s role in Youth Development and nation building. Her introduction paints an apt picture of this:

“Women play significant roles in our society from birth till the end of their lives. The main responsibility of a woman is to preserve the human race. As a mother, her position is unique. She brings up the children with extreme care. The first school of a child is the lap of his/her mother. It is in recognition of the vital role of a mother in the upbringing of a child that Napoleon said, “Give me good mothers and I will give you a good nation”. Similarly, Brigham young said, “If you educate a man, you educate one person; if you educate a woman, you educate a nation”. No doubt, the progress of a nation depends largely upon the way mothers raise their children”.

Sharing from her experience working with youths, she talked about young people who couldn’t be bordered to show up to take up empowerment opportunities government offered to unemployed youths. Mrs Dosunmu and her team in efforts to enroll these young persons in the N-Power program, placed several calls to many young people who had been selected but refused to fulfill the requirement of concluding the registration with her agency. It seemed like we are grooming youths with “entitlement mentality” and give no serious thought and time to one of the rules of succeeding in life which is simply  to, “show up and be on time”! Mrs Dosunmu passionately appealed to women present at the meeting to monitor and pay attention to ensuring that their wards become young men and women who are willing to learn and take a chance with opportunities that life brings their way.

Rev. Mrs Olubisi Meduoye & ministers appreciates Guest speaker – Mrs Dosunmu after delivering her presentation.

Key Points to note from her address:

  • Build a mother-child friendly relationship with your child.
  • Be a role model – watch how you live and behave as children naturally pick up on their parent’s character traits and this eventually shapes their entire lifestyle.
  • Teach your kids to do the right thing regardless of what other people may be doing.
  • Do not indulge or pamper your children; discipline when necessary.
  • Find time for your children regardless of your tight schedule.
  • Do your best to provide basic needs of your children even if your husband is incapacitated, not economically viable or even a deviant who dodges his responsibilities. In due season you will reap the reward.
  • The youth face a myriad of challenges which can best be overcome when adults create time to exchange of opinions. Youths have a lot of issues they want to discuss with adults and when they get a listening ear, they open up and learn from the adult’s wealth of experience.

In spite of the challenge of the 21st century as mothers we must go back to creating time for our kids and raise them to become the kind of adults we can be proud of in future.

Remember that after acquiring all the money and fame, you eventually get the future you invested in or did not invest in. Build relationships and not just career successes.

Ben Carson had this to say about his mum, Sonya Carson when she passed away in 2017:

“She was one of God’s greatest blessings to me, and it was her foresight and discernment that pushed me to reach my dreams”.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com