EDU Summit is a program organised by the Helpmates Youth Foundation (THF) to create awareness about education as a tool for creating a sustainable economy. The Helpmates Youth Foundation is a non-governmental organisation borne out of the ever-increasing necessity to ensure that youths take charge of their future through organised symposia and mentoring programs. In addition, they help youths to develop the right orientation in engaging the society.
The theme for EDU summit 2022 is “Accessible Education For All'' and the program was held on Saturday, October 1st, 2022 at the Afe Babalola Hall, University of Lagos. The program started by 11:30am and was opened by Rasheedah Opere who was the host. First on the agenda was the introduction of the panelists and then the panel session commenced.
Members of the panel were Adeola George, Director Jordan Learning Consult, Islamiyyah Odewenu, a preschool educator and Mutiat Olagoke, CEO Egret Media Concept. The panel conversations covered a number of topics such as how to identify a special needs child, how teachers can help students with low self esteem through intentionality in teaching, how to navigate the stigma of parenting a special needs child and the importance of getting educated and informed regarding the child’s needs.
The panelists shared from their wealth of experience as educators and in one instance as a parent to a special needs child. The concluding point made by the panelists was the need for parents to firstly come to terms with the needs of the child and any improvements can be made from there.
After the panel session, the keynote speaker, Mr Sheriff Adekola, came up to speak on the need to partner with the government and also engage decision makers to create inclusive policies. He also spoke on the need for a centralized reorientation in our society to break down the barriers of stigmatization.
At this point, the host introduced the guest speakers: Aminat Ogunlade, a certified social needs therapist and Anifat Sadu, an author and a disability rights advocate. Before the guest speakers started their session, the first speaker, Aminat Ogunlade, had the guests do some exercises to get their minds back to the summit.
Mrs Aminat then went into the content of her speech which centered around coping strategies for parents with special needs kids. The strategies are given below:
The next speaker, Anifat Sadu, who is a cerebral palsy patient herself also came up to share her story. She shared the unflinching support she received from her parents who had a desire to see her succeed and today at the age of 20, she is a university graduate currently undergoing the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program. She spoke about the challenges she faced growing up and the role that representation played in encouraging her and making her believe that she was capable of anything. She rounded up by saying that the dreams of every child, no matter their circumstance, are valid and encouraged the audience to play their role in making their dreams come true.
The host, Rasheedah Opere concluded the program by appreciating the speakers for sharing their stories and insights with the audience. In addition, she encouraged everyone to apply what they had learned in their spheres of influence.
Click here to learn more about The Helpmates Youth Foundation.