WORLD’S AUTISM DAY; THE BLUE BAKE SALE’S REPORT

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder in children. It is usually lifelong. Children living with this disorder are mostly stigmatized and not given much attention and cared for like other kids. Although, autism is not a learning disability, it often affects how children living with it learn. Sometimes, they do not learn like other typically developing children.

In commemoration of the 2022 World Autism Day themed “Inclusive Quality Education For All" on April 2nd 2022, the Asido Campus Network University of Ibadan had a fundraiser tagged “The Blue Bake Sale” to celebrate the World’s Autism Day, raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and raise funds for donations in Ibadan, Oyo state. This was held at the Alexander Brown Hall,University College Hospital, Ibadan.

The aim and objective of the bake sale therefore was to raise awareness about the need for quality education for these children and also raise funds through sales and donations to contribute towards providing an enabling learning environment and an inclusive education. In a chat with the director of the Directorate of Programmes, Oluwatimileyin Ogunfolaji, about the idea behind the blue bake sale, the reason why the network celebrated the world’s Autism day with a fundraiser and how the proceeds would be used. She spoke about the goals of the network which is mental health advocacy, reduction of stigma, education and enlightenment, increased and unashamed conversations about mental health topics, and the bake sale being one of the ways the campus network is achieving its mission.

The bake sale started at 10am at the ABH car park. A decorated stand was made at the car park where different flavours of cakes, corn dogs, chicken pockets, zobo were displayed. There was also a donation box for people who had wanted to donate towards the cause. Sales began early and it went well. Brownites and Uites in attendance came around the stall to buy cakes and other items that were on display. People who came to the stall were given a blue ribbon (which was tagged to their shirts), also there were placards that were used to take pictures to create more autism awareness.

The founder of the Asido Foundation, the mother body of the Asido Campus Network, Dr. Jibril Abdulmalik, a psychiatrist at the University College Hospital, Ibadan was in attendance to also help raise awareness about autism. According to him, raising awareness to stop stigmatisation and unhealthy behaviours shown towards developmental and mental disorders is a collective responsibility. It would help people learn how to show care, empathy and stop stigmatisation against children living with autism amongst other. Talking about the bake sale and the why, “Autism is a developmental disorder in children and it’s a life-long disorder. However,this is not a death sentence and autistic children should be given a chance at life as other children because some of the austic have exceptional abilities and they can do amazing things when equipped with quality education and adequate support ”, he said.

There was a massive turnout, support from all attendees and at exactly 12:40pm, the bake sale was sold out and the event came to an end.

THE DONATION

On Thursday, the 12th of May, in the ACN UI’s quest to continue the support for mental health awareness and in achieving the objective of the blue bake sale, a team of volunteers visited the Centre for Early Development, Learning and Care (CEDLAC), Bashorun, Ibadan to make donations to the autistic children.

Children living with autism are usually visual learners. Using proceeds from the Blue Bake Sale, ACN UI acquired various materials – books, toys, colouring materials, etc. – which would help stimulate the children and encourage learning.

CEDLAC is a special needs centre that takes care of children living with mental disabilities. The centre which has been in operation for over 6 years is run by Professor Fatai Adeniyi and his supportive wife, Dr Yetunde Adeniyi who is a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist. Dr Adeniyi explained that the centre was established to meet a need that is prevalent in society – proper care for children living with mental disabilities.
CEDLAC has recorded several success stories over the years, helping children learn to live better lives and equipping parents to take better care of their children.

The ASIDO Campus Network UI would like to appreciate everyone who participated in the bake sale, bought pastries and helped us raise funds for a worthy cause. We are gradually moving towards a world with improved mental health care in a bid to fulfil Asido Foundation’s mission of “…making the world a better place, one person at a time.”

#asidovision

#unashamed

#asidocares

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