About sixty families of children with disabilities are beneficiaries of the low-interest micro-credit support scheme of Promasidor Nigeria Limited christened We Too Can Grow.
According to the Project Director, Delphine Misan-Arenyeka, the Scheme which is in partnership with Children’s Developmental Centre (CDC), supports children and young adults with disabilities within families.
She noted that the scheme is also in advancement of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy which has so far benefited five) cooperative groups to which these families belong, with 3 (three) more to receive grants.
Promasidor, makers of Cowbell Milk, Loya Milk, Top Tea, Onga, Miksi among other dairy products, initiated the scheme to provide funds to the cooperative groups located in Lagos and Ogun States through CDC and is facilitated by Surbpolitan Microfinance Bank.
According to Misan-Arenyeka, a lot of progress has been made and plans are on to ensure more cooperators benefit from the funds after undergoing training with the Community Development Foundation (CDF), which is in charge of capacity building, in partnership with CDC.
She explained that the training are for proper organisational development, which involves conflict management, credit and financial management and entrepreneurship.
Misan-Arenyeka added that four of the five cooperatives that have benefited are located in Lagos, while one is in Abeokuta, Ogun State. They include Excellent Cooperative, Success Cooperative, Affectionate Cooperative, CDC/Parents and Atunda-Olu.
She appreciated Promasidor for the laudable scheme and for demonstrating that it cares for the less privileged, while urging other organisations to emulate the gesture.
“We Too Can Grow also includes provision of Promasidor’s products to CDC which are sold to support the children through funds disbursed to parents,” the Project Director added.
On her part, CDC Service Director, Dr. Olayinka Akindayomi advised the benefiting parents of children with disabilities to make judicious use of the funds provided to them to take adequate care of their children.
She assured of plans to extend the scheme to other cooperative groups for the well-being of children with special needs.
In his remarks, Coordinator Corporate Communications, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Isiaka Lawal said, “We Too Can Grow is a way of saying that we recognise that children with special needs are members of the society. They have the right to pursue their dreams like other members of the society do.”
Also speaking during the event, CDF Executive Director Akinyemi Akintola noted that apart from the two-day training, which was held in languages the groups understand, its organisation’s role is also to monitor and ensure that loans are used properly by the cooperatives and paid on time for others to benefit.
He explained that CDF is in partnership with CDC in order to bring to use its expertise for development in areas where the centre does not have and then continue from there.
“It started based on this programme and will continue from there,” Akintola stated.
On impact of the training and loans received, the Chairman, Affectionate Cooperative Group, Cornelius Akintola Kasunmu said the fund was well disbursed among the 22 members of the cooperative. He added that the training at CDF was quite useful as it has helped him to grow his business and also in attending to issues relating to his child’s well-being.
Another parent in the group, Ganiyat Falade explained that the training by CDF has broadened her knowledge on how to manage funds for investment purposes.“Now, l can adequately take records of sales and products l invest in. The training has been very useful,” she said.
Another member of Excellent Cooperative Group and a beneficiary, Femi Oladapo said the funds has enabled him cope with the health of his child as well as his business. “I thank God for this initiative,” he stated.
Ojo Olubukunola from Dayonmi Love Foundation, a cooperative group in Abeokuta, and Ishola Abiodun from CDC/Parents Cooperative Group in Lagos both commended Promasidor and CDC for the scheme.
Exuding joy, Abiodun said: “My child’s health has taken me to places but Promasidor and CDC has brought relief to me. I thank Promasidor for this scheme.”