FirstBank employees lift partially sighted, Down Syndrome children

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IN the spirit of its Corporate Responsibility (CRS) and Sustainability Week themed: “Touching Lives; You First”, employees of FirstBank, Nigeria Limited, has shared moments with physically challenged children in Lagos and presented numerous gifts items to them.

They included foodstuffs and toiletries. The bank workers visited orphanages; homes for the physically challenged, and other institutions that require support across the country.

The event took place across the country and other Africa countries where FirstBank’s subsidiaries has offices. They include, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal.

Defying the torrential rain, the bank’s top-level management staff visited Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted Children, and the Down Syndrome Foundation of Nigeria in Surulere, Lagos, to interact with the pupils and presented food, health and sanitary items contributed by the staff of the bank to them.

Similarly, the bank presented foodstuff and other materials to orphanage babies home at Anua in Uyo and Generate of Handmaid of Holy Child of Jesus motherless home in Ifuho, Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, with a view to giving the children a sense of belonging.

In Abuja, it was the same story as Al Ansar Orphanage Home and Abuja School for the Handicap, both in the Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Teritory (FCT), Abuja, also received essential materials.

Expressing appreciation on behalf of the management and pupils of Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted Children, the Headmistress, Sister Jane Onyeneri, thanked FirstBank for the kind gesture and the gifts, which she described as timely.

Sister Onyeneri said the school, founded on June 16, 1962 and owned by the Catholic Arch-Diocese of Lagos, accommodates 140 pupils, adding that it is a non-denominational institution.

“The school offers the pupils free tuition, free feeding and free accommodation. So, we really appreciate FirstBank’s timely intervention and consider it an act of kindness that will go a long way in ensuring the school continues to do this,” Onyeneri stated.

Speaking for the FirstBank team, Group Executive, Retail Banking, Lagos and West, Mr. Tunde Owolabi, said: “FirstBank Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable Week is set aside to promote acts of random kindness and create opportunities for staff to give their time and resources to defined courses in line with the bank’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability strategic approach.”

He said the ‘Hope Rising’ initiative is one of the key programmes of the Bank designed to empower people living with disabilities.

“Its key objective is engendering inclusivity and diversity through training as well as inclusive events. The partnership with Pacelli School falls under the Hope Rising platform and this includes support in cash and kind,” Owolabi noted.

Touched by the show of appreciation in the emotion-laden sonorous songs rendered by the pupils, Owolabi donation to the school, while appealing to other well-meaning Nigerians to render assistance to the needy. The FirstBank team also promised to send representatives and more gifts at the school’s graduation.

The FirstBank team that visited Pacelli School for the Blind, included Head, Alternative Workforce, Yinka Folorunsho, and Head, Talent Management, Muyiwa Olulaja, among others.

Apart from visiting and donating to orphanages/less privileged homes and IDPs, the other four key initiatives of the FirstBank’s CRS are career counselling for secondary school students, commemoration of the UN International Widow’s Day in partnership with the International Women Society, and Staff Promoting Acts of Random Kindness (SPARK) initiative, designed to encourage people to be kind and uphold values.

First Bank of Nigeria is also in partnership with Vision Spring to empower people with impaired vision by providing eyeglasses and lens at very affordable rates.

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