WISE holds funfair for hearing-impaired children in Kaduna

The Women Initiative for Sustainable Environment (WISE), on Thursday, organised a funfair for students of Demonstration School for Deaf Children (DSDC) in Kaduna, to make them have a sense of belonging. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the children perform a dance choreography and a drama on the dangers of cutting down trees and its impact on climate change. The children were later taken outside to the school field where they played all kinds of games - table ludo, crossing the bridge, rowing the boat, table soccer, puzzle and skipping, including painting. The founder and Programme Director, WISE, Mrs Olanike Olugboji-Daramola, explained that the essence was to celebrate the 2024 Children's Day and 2024 World Play Day with the children. The goal, according to her, is to make the hearing-impaired children have a sense of belonging, particularly during commemoration of national and international days. She added that the funfair was also to foster a sense of inclusive and sustainable cities an d communities for the Nigerian child, through green skills engagement and play. 'Children are close to our heart, and we know they are the future. We have been talking about sustainable development, but there is no way we can leave out the children and the youths, because they are future. 'We have done a lot of injustice to the environment and to the climate. Man, over time, has abused the environment and has been living in disharmony with nature. 'That is why we are grooming children and mentoring our youths to begin to take care of the environment, because what we did to the environment today, is what it will give back to us tomorrow,' she said. She explained that the games children play could be harnessed to stair consciousness around sustainability in the minds of the children. She added that as active participants in driving climate solutions, children could be guided to begin to think about how they want the environment and their neighbourhood to look like. Olugboji-Daramola also said that childre n and young people could be inspired to design cities with the right facilities in the right places and build beautiful houses with landscapes. 'These are something they can do with toys, and we are here today to explore play in engaging the children. 'This is in line with the 2024 World Play Day theme, 'Toy Libraries grow sustainable cities and communities through play. 'We are encouraging the children to bring out their skills to artistically give us a picture of what they think the environment should look like or tell us a story through arts and through play, about how we can better protect our environment,' she explained. She said that WISE would consider long-term partnership with the DSDC and other primary and secondary schools in the state to mentor and build the capacity of school children in addressing climate change. One of the students, Usna Auwal, said: I feel excited; I am having fun. 'Some groups of people have visited us before and all they do is come and share things for us and go, but W ISE came, celebrated with us, stayed with us, and played games with us. 'So, we feel equal with the people around us,' she said. Auwal also said that she learned the importance of protecting the environment, keeping it green. 'I have particularly learned that when you cut a tree, then you have to plant more trees to replace it,' she added. Similarly, Hafiz Umar, a JSS III student, said his day was fun, having participated in paintings, skipping, and playing different games, saying, 'It is so wonderful having people in our school to celebrate with us. 'I want the government to help build our Senior Secondary Schools section because I am already worried that as soon as I finish, I will have to leave the school. 'We also government to help us, the less privileged, by providing learning materials for us.' Earlier, the Principal of the school, Mrs Victoria Adesina, said that the charity school, with a population of 108 students was established in 1987 by a Canadian daughter of a hearing-impaired mother. Ad esina explained that the school runs nursery, primary and junior secondary and was being funded with donations from individuals, and organisations. She added that the parents don't pay school fees but a voluntary token, stressing that the majority of the students were from low-income families where feeding was a huge problem. 'Our dream is to have a senior secondary school within the school environment to encourage transition and completion of their secondary education. 'Before, after graduation from Junior secondary school, the students go to the secondary school for the deaf in Jos, Ilorin or Abuja, but with the security challenges, that is no longer feasible. 'A few of them, however, proceed to Kaduna State Special Education School, with many eventually graduating for colleges of education and others obtaining university degrees,' she said. The principal also identified lack of sufficient funds to construct the senior secondary school section and for payment of the salaries for the 20 teaching and non -teaching staff in the school. Other challenges, according to her, are resources needed for the maintenance of the school facilities and payment of utility bills. (NAN) Source: News Agency of Nigeria