Hope Builders for the Physically Challenged Foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO), recently commemorated the 2023 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Day for People With Disabilities (PWDs) in Lagos.

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The event, themed “Building a Strong Future Together,” brought together entrepreneurs from PWD clusters in the Lagos area. The highlight of the occasion was an exhibition that showcased handcrafted products and other items created by PWDs.
In her welcome address, Mrs. Christiana Kehinde Akinrinmade, the founder of the organization, expressed her gratitude to the participants and producers of the exhibited products. She emphasized the celebration of the indomitable spirit of individuals with disabilities and their significant contributions to entrepreneurship. She shared her personal journey of facing visual impairment in 2010 after a successful banking career spanning over 18 years. Her experience led her to establish the Hope Builders for the Physically Challenged Foundation in 2015, driven by a belief in the potential of people with disabilities.Disabilities
Akinrinmade highlighted the organization’s vision and mission, stating that it aims to create a world where individuals with disabilities have equal opportunities to unlock their full potential, actively participate in society, and make meaningful contributions to their communities. She discussed the Divine Chris Ken Creativity initiative, established in 2016, which leverages craftwork to produce exceptional products like footwear, bags, belts, and innovative center tables made from recycled waste motor tires. Through this initiative, the foundation imparts valuable craft skills to disadvantaged individuals, including people with disabilities, empowering them to become self-reliant and fostering their inclusion in society.

The impact of the organization’s programs has reached over 1,000 individuals through craftwork and hand skills training. The foundation’s dedication to excellence and commitment to empowering individuals with disabilities have earned them recognition and numerous awards, including the prestigious Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship Development from the Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment.

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Mrs Christiana Kehinde Akinrinmade
Looking ahead, Akinrinmade reaffirmed the foundation’s commitment to providing education, vocational training, and empowerment programs that promote inclusiveness, independence, and economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities. She expressed profound gratitude to the organization’s partners, collaborators, and sponsors, whose unwavering support has been instrumental in their journey.
The event also featured Uche Nwuka, Deputy General Manager of the Bank of Industry (BOI), who provided information on how the BOI can assist people with disabilities in their businesses. Nwuka emphasized that the BOI views PWDs as unique customers and is dedicated to listening to their needs, offering advice, and providing the necessary support to ensure the success and sustainability of their businesses. She encouraged attendees to access the BOI’s services, mentioning the availability of multiple offices in Lagos for easy access.Disabilities
Representatives from the National Productivity Centre, Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs (LASODA), and other dignitaries were also present at the event, showing their support for the empowerment of PWDs in entrepreneurship.
As the event concluded, it left a profound message of celebrating the abilities, potentials, and success stories of entrepreneurs with disabilities. The Hope Builders for The Physically Challenged Foundation remains dedicated to creating awareness and fostering inclusion in education, training, employment, and self-development for people living with disabilities.
Akinrinmade expressed optimism about the organization’s future and her upcoming participation in an award ceremony in the United States, emphasizing the importance of imparting skills to more individuals with disabilities and the less privileged, enabling them to become self-reliant and confident entrepreneurs.

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