The Heineken Africa Foundation (HAF), Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB Plc) and The Learning Place Centre (TLPCentre) have collaborated to upscale the autism project in Nigeria. The partnership, funded by the Heineken Africa Foundation and executed by HEINEKEN operating company in Nigeria, NB Plc, in collaboration with The Learning Place Centre covers the training of medical professionals in the US on diagnosing autism, renovation and kitting of the classrooms as well as the upgrade of the Occupational therapy centres in Lekki and Maryland.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Maryland Centre located at the Maryland Primary School, on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, the Corporate Affairs Adviser, NB Plc, Mr. Kufre Ekanem said the commissioning is another demonstration of the commitment of the Heineken Africa Foundation and Nigerian Breweries Plc to the wellbeing of the people in the communities where they operate. “Although statistics show that there is an increase in the awareness of autism among the well-educated and privileged members of society, the greater population is still very unaware of the condition. Also, medical information and intervention are greatly lacking on a national scale. We hope that this project would help to address the challenges that autism presents to our society today”.
Earlier, the Director, Child Guidance, School Counseling and Special Education, Mrs Oluwatoyin Olayinka, who represented the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, said the centre will open a new world for children with cognitive and physical impairment by improving their education. “In view of the immense benefits the children and indeed society would benefit from this project, we want to say thank you to the donors for the great support this project represents to the Lagos State agenda of inclusive education”.
Speaking also, the Director of The Learning Place Centre, Mrs Bolanle Adewole, emphasized that the facilities at the centre would help the children with special needs develop their fine and gross motor skills. She thanked Heineken Africa Foundation and Nigerian Breweries for the donation and called on well-meaning individuals and organisations to emulate the kind gesture by extending support to the centre.
The Heineken Africa Foundation was established in 2007 to support the improvement of health for people living in Sub-Sharan Africa communities. The foundation provides support to relevant health projects as well as health-related education projects in countries where HEINEKEN is operating. Over the years, the partnership between the foundation and Nigerian Breweries Plc has impacted positively on numerous health projects and communities across Nigeria.