By Gabriel Olawale
Lady Atinuke Memorial Home, a non-profitable organization that caters for a number of orphans and physically as well as mentally challenged children in Lagos, has received a US$20,000 grant from the United Parcels Services, UPS, Foundation.
The donation which is part of the Foundation’s global corporate citizenship and philanthropic programmes, is geared towards helping to alleviate the plight of mentally challenged children at the Home.
Receiving the grant, President of the Home, Mrs. Elsie Akerele, said the money would be utilized to carry out a number of corrective surgeries of the children of the Home.
“Aside the fact that all the children in our Home are confronted with one health challenge or the other, with this US$20,000 grant from UPS, children with critical and emergency cases will undergo corrective surgery.
“It is a mixed bag. Some of the children are hole-in-the-heart patients; a few are partially sighted or hard of hearing. There are those with clubbed feet and other congenital abnormalities, some have difficulty standing up.”
Akerele said the rare gesture had brought light into hopelessness of the past.
“I am very happy with this grant and sincerely I feel fulfilled. It gives me courage to carry on with the task at hand because it had appeared quite hopeless in the past, but I am glad now that I am not alone in this journey. The children are also very happy and thankful.
“Our home was set up to bridge the gap between mentally challenged children and the general public. We sensitize the public not to throw away these children anymore because they are not useless and they can be re-integrated back into the society.
Presenting the cheque, President of The UPS Foundation, Eduardo Martinez, said the Foundation identifies specific areas where its backing clearly impacts social issues, and in support of this strategic approach, it had identified specific focal areas of giving including volunteerism, diversity, community safety and the environment.
In 2014, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than US$104.2 million in charitable giving around the world.