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New books highlight challenges of those with developmental disabilities

As part of activities commemorating its 20th anniversary, the Children’s Developmental Centre (CDC), a service-oriented, not-for-profit organisation, has launched a coffee table book that catalogues its history, achievements and future plans.

Titled, ‘Who Needs to be Normal’, the book painstakingly tracks the evolution of the centre  and its role in supporting the wellbeing of society, especially care support to children and young adults with developmental disabilities and their families.

At the launch, which took place at the Metropolitan Club, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, Chairman on the occasion, Chief Bisade Biobakun commended CDC for its pioneering role in caring for and assisting young Nigerians to realise their given potential.‘Who Needs to be Normal’, he stated, has created a corporate history book that tells the story of 20 years as a game changer.

Chief Biobakun applauded the management and staff of CDC for being part of a wonderful cause that should be emulated by other well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organisations. “I feel very proud to be a part of this great cause. Nothing elicits more joy than engaging in a venture that is borne out of passion and which impacts positively on human development,” he said.

Founder and Director of the Centre, Dr. Yinka Akindayomi, stated that the quest to support children and young adults with developmental disabilities and their families, has remained undiminished, 20 years down a spirited journey that commenced when services in Lagos State were poor and almost non-existent to support her son.

In the spirit of its core value – Care and Inclusion, the anniversary celebration, which commenced early in the year, has highlighted the theme: ‘compassion, connection: why our communities should care,’ underlining the realization that the inclusion of children and adults with any disabilities into the mainstream can only come through the compassion of the people and communities.

Akindayomi said the support and contributions of all stakeholders has been instrumental to nurturing the institution into a world class care Centrewhere one of the most important tenets is creating an environment that is accepting of differences.

“Without compassion there is no connection, without connection there is no You and I. In order for a community to grow, it must include everyone’s needs. This is why the value of compassion is even more relevant concerning issues of today,” she stated.

Over the course of two decades, she said CDC has pursued its mandate with single-minded determination, evolving into a major humanitarian leader for children’s wellbeing in Nigeria. During this period, the organization has impacted on the lives over 2000 children and young adults with development disabilities and their families in Nigeria. “Slowly,our impact is being felt through various projects dotted throughout Nigeria. Who would have thought we would be here today providing comprehensive services and programmes to a wide range offamilies?”

Reaching this important milestonerepresents a remarkable evidence of CDC’s relevanceand commitment to the socio-economic development of Nigeria, Akindayomisaid, adding that the servicelooks ahead to the next decade with renewed resolve and vigor to serve the community even more.“

Describing the organization’s creed as an unbreakable contract, Akindayomi added that the 20th anniversary milestone willremain a watershed in its journey because it has provided further motivation and a solid platform to continue to render valuable service to the society.“Twenty years is a major milestone for our institution. Today provides us a moment to reflect on our evolution as well as look ahead to the tasks that we must overcome,” she said.