The theme for 2023 World Bicycle Day was “Riding together for a Sustainable Future,” and to mark the Day, ACF in partnership with the Benola Cerebral Palsy Initiative, invited as many as 10 families to an outdoor ride, who have children living with Cerebral Palsy (C.P.) and are usually neglected or marginalized due to their condition.
The main goal was to take these children outdoors where they would have fun, feel safe, and enjoy the freedom and joy of riding in a Trishaw. Thereby boosting their physical, social and psychological wellbeing, while promoting safety and inclusive mobility on our roads and public spaces. It was also an opportunity to create awareness and enlighten people about CP.
The Trishaw was the perfect vehicle that enabled us to achieve our goal. You could see the smiles and excitement on the faces of these children as they enjoyed their ride. To the delight of onlookers and shoppers, each parent and their child was given a fun ride in the Trishaw inside the Ikeja City Mall.
This was one of the best activities in 2023 for ACF, as it was humanitarian in nature and promoted clean, safe, and inclusive mobility.
The affected children were between the ages of 7 and 15 years old, according to their parents. Each parent introduced their child and gave brief remarks about their condition. Some could walk while some could not walk and talk properly. We even had a case of one child who could neither sit, eat, talk, or walk; yet each of them had the opportunity to ride.
The impact was almost instant for the children as they were thrilled by the trishaw ride and had moments of uncontrollable expression of joy and happiness. One of the parents said that she had never been to ICM before but thanks to her son and the organizers of the program who made it possible for her on this day. Another parent called on ACF and partners to provide them with a trishaw which would be used for taking their children to school and back. But with only one trishaw there is only so much we can do at the moment.
In conclusion, there was zero accident or casualties. All participants (including staff from partner organizations, parents and caregivers) totalling 25 received food packs, drinks which were bought from the mall and a token to support their transportation costs.
Founder of the Benola Cerebral Palsy Initiative, Air Vice Marshal Femi Gbadebo thanked the organizers for finding Benola interesting to be a partner on the program and thanked Broll/ICM for providing such an exclusive venue for the program. Representative of ICM, Marketing Consultant, Mr. Eniola Ositelu, expressed delight for supporting this humanitarian initiative.