Wednesday, 1 May 2019

3rd Annual Autism Awareness & Special Needs Family Funfair by the Dewdrops Community Centre for Special Needs

In the month of April 2019, Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark the International Month for Autism Awareness. As an organization, the non-profit Dewdrops Community Centre for Special Needs Abuja in conjunction with the Comprehensive Autism and related Disabilities Education and Training (C.A.D.E.T.) Academy, partnered with the Alex and Grace Izinyon (AGI) Foundation to organize its 3rd Annual Autism Awareness and Special Needs Family Funfair, at the Bamanga Tukur African Garden in Wuse 2 Abuja, Nigeria on Saturday 27th of April 2019. The family funfair served as a platform for play and fun, "inclusive" interaction and discovery, to create awareness about autism, educate, inspire and encourage families, through various games and play items among families of children living with autism and various developmental disabilities as well as children and families of typical children from the general public.

This year’s event began with a Press Conference on the 2nd of April 2019 which was the World Autism Awareness Day. The actual event on the 28th of April was well attended by over 500 families of typical children as well as children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related disabilities, some regular school teachers, prominent school owners, caregivers and members of the press. There were also many foreigners and their families from various countries, members of the diplomatic community and some celebrities came to show their support for the cause, such as Noel Emp’raw (Musical Artiste), DJ Ernesty (Musical Artiste) and The Honourable House of Parapo Crew led by Bunmi Afolabi (Radio OAP). Other important guests who attended were Mrs Chinwe Ikaraoha (Assistant Director Special Duties at the FCT National Orientation Agency, representatives of the Minister of Women Affairs and Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Jake Epelle of The Albino Foundation and Mrs Ohi Esiri of Tippy Toes Kids Care Abuja, amongst others. Although the event was arranged strictly for children and their families to unwind, relax and have fun, it also gave me the opportunity, as the special education Program Director of the Dewdrops Community Centre, together with my team, to educate and enlighten the participants on some important facts about the challenges of autism and related disabilities among families. The refreshments served were specially prepared as "gluten free" and "casein free" snacks and  natural juices/beverages which nutritionists consider as healthier for consumption by children with autism.

The event culminated into an emotionally charged atmosphere of fun, lively games, cake cutting, presentation of gifts and awards, and group photo shoot sessions. If you missed this event, don't worry, more of our events and activities are scheduled for the months ahead. You may visit our Facebook page HERE:  to view the official photos. Or you may join our online Family Support Forum HERE to stay informed. We deeply appreciate the donations and support from all our partners, collaborators and friends. We are particularly grateful to:

Susan Iliyan (in charge of our community relations affairs)

Cheese Cakes and More

Chuckles N Cheese

Marussya Decors

Hearts Heartist

Honourable House of Parapo

Razorsharp Clothiers Ltd

Arise TV

African Independent Television (AIT)

Nigerian Television Authority (NTA)

And lots more…

Some photo highlights are below, after the cut.