Promasidor Nigeria Limited in partnership with Children’s Development Centre has unveiled a low-interest microcredit scheme aimed at empowering parents of children living with developmental challenges.
The scheme, tagged: “We Too Can Grow,” takes off with a grant from Promasidor, manufacturers of Cowbell Milk, Top Tea, Onga seasoning and other quality food products.
Five groups in Lagos and Ogun States, where the programme is taking off, have already signed up for the facility being disbursed through cooperatives.
The Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Social Development, Joyce Onafowokan, said at the launch that the state government would partner CDC and Promasidor to deepen the programme’s penetration.
Onafowokan commended Promasidor for its support towards uplifting the living standard of the target group.
She said: “Most people don’t know the pains parents of those children go through. Some of the parents do not have academic degrees. So, they need to be empowered and trained in skills to help them take care of their children. Medications of some of the kids are costly. That is why they need additional incomes to support their families. This is the motive of ‘We Too Can Grow.’
“The programme will boost the self-esteem of the parents. When you have a child with a disability and somebody steps up to say, ‘I will support you,’ the journey is easier. I feel very excited that this is coming from a corporate entity.
“It takes a community to raise a child, and this includes individuals, corporate entities and the government. Through this initiative, Promasidor has demonstrated that it is sincerely concerned about the total development of the country.”
Head of Legal and Corporate Communications, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Andrew Enahoro, said the grant was motivated by the company’s desire to support the wholesome development of Nigeria and its special interest in the future of the youths.
Enahoro said: “At Promasidor, we believe that no segment of the society should be ignored in building a nation. ‘We Too Can Grow’ is a way of saying that we recognise that children with special needs are bona fide members of the society. They have the right to pursue their dreams like other members of the society do.”
CDC consultant and development expert, Delphine Misan-Arenyeka, said ‘We Too Can Grow’ encompassed microcredit, therapy for the children and skill acquisition.
Justifying the idea, Misan-Arenyeka said some guardians of children with special needs found it difficult to keep regular jobs.
She said: “The whole idea is to empower the under-privileged parents and guardians of such children. Some of them have sources of livelihood but they cannot expand because of the demand of caregiving. Some work for only two or three hours daily but spend the remaining time taking care of their children.
“Some of them are so poor that they cannot even feed their children much less giving the required medications. We hope this scheme will make a lot of difference in the lives of the affected individuals.”
“We Too Can Grow” is among several corporate social responsibility platforms through which Promasidor touches the lives of Nigerian youths.
Its other CSR projects that target youths include Promasidor Harness Your Dream, Cowbellpedia Mathematics TV Show, Cowbell Football Academy and Loya Swim Meet.