By PEACE UZOMAH
Everyday children attending the Congenital Deformity Babies Foundation School will have to trek over two kilometers on a dusty, ungraded, untared road, plagued with deep erosion on both sides of the Juji Road before getting to the bus stop.
Some of the pupils are deaf and dumb and at the same time physically deformed.
Avoiding been hit by a vehicles,motorcycles or tricycles is nothing but a miracle. Walking with a normal child on the road is enough to make a parent run crazy not to talk more of kids with deformities, deaf and dumb at the same time.
One of the caregivers at the foundation who gave her name simply as Miss Ifeoma narrated a scenario “One day while I was accompanying these kids to the bus-stop, suddenly it began to rain; so I directed the kids to a nearby shade because some were less than five years old and it was raining heavily.
“The owner of the shade bluntly insulted the children and chased us from the front of his shop describing the children as too irritating for his liking.
“He chased us into the rain. The children were drenched in rain as I watched helplessly.”
She expressed a wish that a good Samaritan will donate a bus or even a Keke to the foundation, stressing that it will go a long way at reducing the plight of the children.
She added that sometimes the parents of the kids do not even bother to take them home so she has to take them home after teaching them at school.
AUTHENTIC News Daily gathered that insufficient staff is another challenge confronting the NGO as teachers had to leave due to shortage of skills in dealing with children with special needs and limited resources to pay salaries.
Speaking with the founder of Congenital Deformity Babies Foundation, Mr. Innocent Uchechukwujindu, he said that in spite of daunting challenges, services rendered in the school remain free.
“I know of a school that charges as high as 350,000 Naira for congenital deformed children for boarders and 150,000 for day students. In this foundation, day and boarding is totally free. Parents are not indebted to pay a dime as school fees or hidden charges.
“Taking care of these children is nothing but a divine calling from God. Congenitally deformed children suffer the most cruel form of discrimination and abuse. In some families they are locked up in rooms. Some even burn them up with tyres describing them as Ogbanje,” he explained.
Mr Innocent who is also a father to one later died, said these type of children are deformed genetically and their is no myth attached to them instead they are a source of strange blessings.
He however, urged parents to bring their children to the school instead of exposing them to different forms of abuse on the streets.
The founder called on well meaning Nigerians to donate generously to this course as there is a reward attached to being a blessing to this type of special children.
“The Foundation is still in need of a bus, sick bay, finance for running of the school. No donation is too small. To be part of support to this ministry kindly send your donations to Congenital Deformity Babies Foundation, Union bank account number 0020303454 or reach Mr Innocent Uchechikwujindu on 08069298272,” he appealed.