NGOs take intervention to Badagry community

The Access To Learning And School (ATLAS) Initiative and April Academy has partnered to impact the residents of Iyafin Community, Badagry, through the ‘Christmas with a Smile’ outreach programme.

The intervention saw the charities impact over 2000 beneficiaries across the community that is populated with about 5000 residents.

Christmas with a Smile’ successfully impacted over 700 beneficiaries directly by administering deworming medicine to children and adults, providing free HIV screening and counseling, donation of first aid kits to the community, and gifting food items to the elderly.

The Executive Director of ATLAS Initiative, Balogun Habeeb, said the power of community proves that “when people care and come together, change is more than possible.”

According to him, they are optimistic that the outreach would inspire others to share the love and give hope to others.

He reiterated the importance of bringing together people who care about a cause to make a difference.

In his words “We plan on returning to the community school to donate what we have raised for them, and we are taking this opportunity to call for more support because, in truth, every day should feel like Christmas.

“In many parts of the country, especially in rural areas, girls and young women have little or no knowledge about reproductive tract infections caused due to poor personal hygiene during menstruation.

“This, coupled with the statistics highlighting that women in rural areas do not have access to sanitary products or cannot afford to buy them, caused the charities to partner with Diva Pads Nigeria to not only educate but also distribute sanitary pads to hundreds of teenage girls and young women in the aforementioned community,”he said.

Also, the Convener, ‘Christmas with a Smile’ and Social Inclusion and Gender Lead at ATLAS Initiative, Modupe Asama, affirmed that, “Putting smiles

on the faces of people is something so dear to my heart and hosting ‘Christmas with a Smile’ annually presents a perfect opportunity to share joy, put smiles on the faces of people and give people a tangible reason to enjoy the season.

She said they were grateful for the support as “this reality was possible with the support of our patrons.”

Since its inception in 2018, Christmas with a Smile has impacted over 10,000 beneficiaries across four different marginalised communities in Lagos State, including Monkey Village in Ikeja, Ilaje Community in Bariga, Agala Community Takwabay, and Iyafin Community in Badagry.

The project mobilises the support of social actors, companies, philanthropic individuals and volunteers to address social challenges such as period poverty, food poverty, and child poverty and health disparities.

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