Ikeja Hotels celebrates Christmas with children living with disabilities

Ikeja Hotels Plc, owners of Sheraton hotel, Lagos and Federal Palace Hotels, led by its Managing Director, Theo Eniola Netufo, has paid a courtesy visit to children with disabilities at the Centre for Destitute Empowerment International, Akuwonjo. Speaking during the visit, which took place on Thursday, Netufo said celebrating the festive season would not be complete without reaching out to children in less privileged homes.

In the same vein, the centre’s Founder and Head Administrator, Pastor Okoliku Samson, who received the guests, thanked them for making time to visit their home. He explained that he and his wife have run the centre for 20 years.

Though the journey has been tough but they are grateful to God for how far they have come. He stated that he named the home, ‘Centre for Destitute Empowerment international’ because, first it was given to him by God and then later found out the real meaning of the word ‘Destitute’ which is ‘in lack of something or for something’.

He added that: “The main objective of the centre is to provide shelter, food and educate the children. They have gone as far as providing them with vocational skills training so they can establish businesses on their own.”

Okoliku, whose centre caters for children living with different forms of disabilities and special needs, have worked hard with the help of many well meaning Nigerians who donated to the home to educate the children.

Aside the teachers and nurses who come daily to attend to the children who cannot move on their own, 11 children who grew up in the centre are presently undergraduates in different universities. Two are already graduates, though one is yet to complete his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) because of the pandemic. Speaking also, Pastor Okoliku Samson, said the centre cannot take in more children because of lack of space.

He said: “I and my family live with all of the children at the center. Some of the children were abandoned by their family. Some, their mothers ran away from marriage because of the condition of their child. Some were dumped in dustbins.

“Many children who are abandoned because of a certain disability are brought here daily but we cannot take more. We need a bigger space and where we are presently occupying is on rent. We pay half a million every year and narrowly meet up with the payment. “We have heard stories of some of the parents of these physically challenged children killing them just because they cannot cope anymore with them.”

Responding to Okoliku’s comment, Netufo commended him and his family for choosing to save humanity over luxurious life. He said: “We as a team decided to pay a visit to a less privileged home that many are yet to hear about that is equally doing a great job for humanity and our hearts led us here. I appreciate you and your wife for the work you are doing. “Dedicating your lives to serve humanity is more than commendable.

We wish you well and success in everything you do. When you show support to less privilege, God is happy with it. What you do has approval from God. God will reward you for that. “You go the extra mile to teach vocational skills because their physical ability may not allow white collar job to be readily available for them. “All hope is not lost in Nigeria if there are still people like you. Thank you for all you do, May heavens bless your household forever,” he said.




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