By Lizzy Okoji
TLMN gave the funds to the 17 partners on Thursday, in Abuja for the purpose of supporting 2,212 youngsters with disabilities as well as 940 parents and caregivers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that TLMN is implementing the programme as a Strategic Partner Organization (SPO) of the Liliane Foundation under a five-year strategic plan.
The National Director, TLMN, Dr Sunday Udo, said that the Mission was implementing the programme to ensure the inclusion and livelihood support of children with disabilities in society.
“We were appointed by the Lilian Foundation to anchor their project in Nigeria as the key partner.
“We just issued out N152 million roughly for this programme to 17 organisations working in 15 states to meet and provide services to those children talked about.
“Every year we issue a call and that call is centered around a framework which we designed for five years to look at children and youngsters, 0-25 who have disabilities in Nigeria.
“We issue out the call and then we want prospective grantees to apply on the basis of the criteria we have set, and to meet up with the things we require.
“We go through a process of admin and general checks to identify and come down to this number which we have today.
“When we made that call we had over 300 applications but today we are giving grant to 17, and we are hoping that this grant will span 15 states.
“For this year will cover first, inclusive education, we are covering livelihood support for parents of those who have disabilities, we are doing inclusive labor, sexual rights and reproductive health as well,” Udo said.
Udo, however, urged the partner organisations to execute the funds judiciously at the target population for the expected impact.
“And, hopefully as they go out to implement we want to make sure they come out with results, we want results.
“We have already planned out, in between now and the end of the year specific time to go and visit them and see how far they are going.
“To ensure that the money is actually getting value for what it is meant for,” Udo said.
Mrs Nkechi Onwukwe, Director Special Needs, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development appreciated the Liliane Foundation for making available funding and TLMN for implementing the programme in Nigeria.
“We thank the Liliane Foundation for the funds and The Leprosy Mission Nigeria for being a worthy partner, who is taking a chunk to see that the lives of persons with disabilities are better.
“Especially, the future generation, being children with disabilities. The ministry has been partnering with the leprosy Mission and we count so much on what they are doing.
“Those in the position to assess know that they do not make noise but they are doing a great deal to ensure that they do what they are supposed to do to support and include persons with disabilities.
“The Ministry is doing a great deal, especially by providing the guidelines, making sure there is a good policy direction.
‘To ensure that all the work every partner, stakeholder does in Nigeria will follow the established policies by the Ministry.
“To the awardees, it is not a play time but for you to add your milestone to the work on disabilities because once this grant is given, I know you are experts.
“So, no minute should be wasted in ensuring that you implement the programmes you are supposed to and let them be result oriented,” Onwukwe said.
Mr Afolabi Fajemilo, Executive Director, Festus Fejemilo Foundation (FFF) one of the grantees also thanked the Liliane Foundation for funding the project through TLMN.
Fajemilo said its foundation like other grantees would ensure the funds were used for the purpose it was designed for to make an impact.
“Today we have just been presented a cheque for programmes for beneficiaries in the year 2022 and we are very happy to be among the successful grantees.
“For us, this grant will be supporting directly 40 children and young persons with disabilities and we will also be engaging with some other programmes.
“That targets more children with disabilities including those that are not registered under our organization.
“We will also be reaching out beyond Lagos state and we will be using this grant to promote, advocate for the domestication of the National Disabilities Act in Osun State,” Fajemilo said. (NAN)