Blueafric Media Launches Campaign to Stop Stigmatization of Children with Autism in Nigeria
Chinedum Onyinyechi Agwu
In recognition of the Autism Month in April and Children’s day in May, Blueafric Media has taken the lead in spearheading a community-wide awareness campaign on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The campaign themed: “Support Autistic Children,” is part of her 2023 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This campaign aims to create a more inclusive society for children and families living with autism in Nigeria.
“The campaign, which started in June and spanned into August, has turned into a 3 month marathon effort, garnering significant attention and support within the community. With the belief that awareness is a stepping stone towards inclusivity, Blueafric Media initiated a multifaceted approach to her autism campaign. The campaign focused on public sensitisation aimed at breaking down societal stereotypes surrounding autism, fostering empathy, providing resources, and urging stakeholders across different sectors ranging from the church to the ministry of health to implement policies that will make people with autism in Nigeria feel seen, heard, and included,” says, the Campaign Project Lead and Blueafric Media’s Head of Content, Chinedum Onyinyechi Agwu during an on air interview with Energy 105.5 FM.
Blueafric Media is leveraging the power of social media platforms to educate and stimulate catalytic conversations online around the de-stigmatisation of Autism. Through the dedicated hashtag campaign, #SupportAutisticChildren, personal stories, analytics, care insights, and resources related to autism are being distributed. One of the highlights of the campaign is the crowdfunding effort being put in place to support care centers taking adequate care of children with autism in Enugu state.
During an exclusive interview with Dr Njideka, a Consultant in Therapeutic Schools, she pointed out that “it is through awareness creation that society can start accepting children living with Autism in Nigeria.”
In addition, Blueafric Media joined forces with Centre For Memories – Ncheta Ndi Igbo to host a Twitter space conversation. The Twitter space, tagged “Leaning On Community Support To Change The Narrative About Autism: Contributions At Home, At Work and In Policymaking,” featuring experts in the field who have worked across Nigeria, the US, and Uk with children and families living with autism to ensure the success of this critical initiative. Some of the lead conversationalists include an International Behavioural Analyst, Toks Bakare, the Executive Director for Centre For Memories – Ncheta Ndi Igbo, Iheanyi Igboko; Blueafric Media’s Director of Experience, Odera Collins, and the Director of Jordan Learning Consult, Adelola Edema-George.
The core mission of the “Support Autistic Children” campaign is to dispel misconceptions about autism and promote a more empathetic and understanding environment for children with autism in Nigeria.
To drive the conversation offline and make it a staple at home, An in-person seminar will be taking place on Sunday, August 20, 2023. This event will feature a special report on the outcome of the “Seizure Disorders and Learning Disparity Project” in children living with autism and other developmental challenges and a panel session, among others. Attendance will include stakeholders with years of experience in caring, educating, and training parents and professional caregivers in Autism Spectrum Disorders and other Neurological Developmental Challenges. The lineup of Guest Speakers include an educator with a PhD in Special Education (Learning Disabilities) and a Consultant in Therapeutic Schools, Dr Njideka Ifeoma Okoroikpa; Speaker, Founder, and Executive Director of the Seizure Support Foundation, Dr. Chiagorom (Chiggy) Oghotuama, and an accomplished Special Education Interventionist who specializes in developmental psychology, Munachi Vivian Onyesoh Munachi.
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