Valentine’s Day: Visually Impaired Nigerians Celebrate FCMB’s Inclusiveness

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This year, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) celebrated Valentine’s Day with a unique expression of love, reaching out to hundreds of visually impaired students and adults at two schools and two centres in Lagos, Nigeria.

Titled “A Different Kind of Love,” the initiative reflects FCMB’s dedication to inclusivity and empowerment. The bank donated N5 million, white canes, essential food items, and household materials to the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind Vocational Training Centre in Oshodi. Similar donations of white canes, food items, and household materials were made to the Bethesda Home for the Blind in Mushin, Pacelli School for the Blind in Surulere, and Nigeria Farmcraft Centre for the Blind in Isheri-Olofin.

Students and teachers expressed their heartfelt appreciation to FCMB for the thoughtful and inclusive celebrations.

Akinjide Akinpelu, a visually impaired teacher at the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind Vocational Training Centre, expressed his gratitude for FCMB’s consistent support for the centre and its kindness towards the visually impaired community.

Badru Asif, a student at the Pacelli School for the Blind, expressed his deep appreciation to FCMB for organizing the Valentine’s Day program. He acknowledged and appreciated the bank’s efforts, offering prayers for its continued success.

Emeka Okeke, a student at the Bethesda School for the Blind, shared his inspiring story of overcoming blindness to pursue higher education. The graduate of the University of Lagos expressed his gratitude on behalf of his peers for the gifts and the unique Valentine’s Day celebration.

Similar sentiments of appreciation were echoed by Ahmed Ishola Kareem of Bethesda Home for the Blind and Omoniyi Sule of the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind Vocational Training Centre in Oshodi.

During an outreach program held between February 6 and 14, 2024, the Group Head of Corporate Affairs of FCMB, Mr. Diran Olojo, reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to supporting a broad spectrum of communities and stakeholders. He emphasized FCMB’s aim to create a sustainable and progressive society with equal opportunities for all.

” A Different Kind of Love is not just a Valentine’s Day gesture,” said Mr. Olojo. “It is a commitment to inclusivity and empowerment. We believe in creating a world where everyone can reach their full potential regardless of ability. We are actively promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. We urge students not to see physical challenges as impediments to achieving their ambitions.”

The Executive Secretary of the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind Vocational Training Centre, Mr Oluwamayowa Oke, expressed his gratitude for FCMB’s continuous support. He highlighted the challenges of blindness in Nigeria and the centre’s role in empowering visually impaired individuals.

“We are grateful to FCMB for being a strong pillar of support,” Mr. Oke said. “The donations will ensure the welfare of our students and support teaching and learning.”

The Principal of the Nigeria Farmcraft Centre for the Blind, Mr. Mohammed Afegbua, described the FCMB gesture as a timely Valentine’s Day gift. He commended the students’ positive response to their academic routine and thanked FCMB for spreading love.

With over 4 million Nigerians reported to be blind or visually impaired, FCMB remains committed to addressing this challenge. In 2009, the bank partnered with the Tulsi Chanrai Foundation (TCF) to initiate the Priceless Gift of Sight program. Since its inception, the program has reached over 400,000 individuals across communities nationwide, providing free testing, optical services, surgeries, eyeglasses, and eye disease management.

First City Monument Bank is a member of the FCMB Group Plc. FCMB is committed to fostering inclusive and sustainable growth within its communities by building a supportive ecosystem rooted in Africa and connecting people, capital, and markets.