British Airways once again proved that it is committed to the care of its host community, Nigeria, when it joined forces with Nigeria-Britain Association (NBA) to put smiles on the faces of less privileged children, during this year’s Children’s Day party for polio-surviving children.
Adetutu Otuyalo, British Airways corporate sales manager for Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone, said that one of the core values of the airline is to always look for ways of impacting on the lives of the less privileged in the society.
British Airways, she said, takes its corporate social responsibility seriously, adding that the airline’s passion for children were not only limited to Nigeria, but globally as can be seen from its numerous initiatives.
One of these, she said, is the airline’s ‘Flying Start’ programme, its global charity partnership with Comic Relief UK launched in June 2010, and which aims to raise up to £8 million by 2013 for vulnerable and disadvantaged children and communities around the world.
“BA has a culture of random acts of kindness. This is our second year of partnering with Shuga Limb Foundation in setting aside a day for making polio-surviving and mentally-challenged children feel special. We believe in investing in our children and supporting them. Our vision is to make them feel special, increase their confidence and help them believe that they matter in the society,” Otuyalo said.
Akinloye Tomomo, president, Shuga Limb Foundation, commended BA for its consistent passion and partnership, adding that the airline has formed a strong relationship with the children since last year’s celebration.
“BA and the Nigeria-Britain Association have been very supportive and committed to setting aside this special day for very special people. Together, we want the children and those who are considered to be the rejects of the society to feel the impact of being loved by members of their community,” he said.
Akinloye said the one-day celebration was created because of the need to bring to the attention of the society, the effects and after-effects of polio and post-polio on the patients and their families. He spoke of plans to take the CSR initiative to a level where a centre would be provided to give polio-surviving people the capacity to reach out to patients and support those who could not afford the care.
The event was organised in collaboration with the Shuga Limb Foundation, took place at the Ikeja Saddle Club in Lagos. Part of the celebration for the children included train rides, face painting, bouncy castles and several other games. There were also music and quiz competitions, after which prizes were given to the top three homes and schools.
The Centre for Destitute Empowerment International picked the star prize which included a cash reward, a brand new wheelchair, and an opportunity to sing in a real music studio. Several other items including mosquito nets were presented by the airline to the National Orthopedic Special School, Modupe Cole Child Care and Treatment Home, Atunda Olu School for Mentally and Physically-Challenged Children, and LG Igando Inclusive Unit School, among others.