Pastor Ololade Adamolekun is a social worker; she is the founder of Jesus kids Home for the Disabled as well as JKs Autism Centre which is located in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
- What prompted you to start a home for children with special needs?
Starting a home for children with special needs wasn’t planned but I would say that it was a call from God. It all started in May 2010; I used to feed children with disabilities, play with them, pray for them and take them to the University College Hospital Ibadan for treatments when necessary. It was then I discovered they needed series of therapies and medical treatment.
- You once told me that the school you started for children with special needs was not properly funded because parents did not want to spend money on their disabled children and in contrast the orphanage you started was filled up to capacity with children with disabilities. Can you please expatiate on this?
I started with an orphanage and parents would come and thereafter, abandon their children at our facility. It got to a point I reported this at the Child Protection Network. I was advised to start a day-care centre where parents will have to pay for the therapies needed. That was why I started JKS Autism Centre. It was established to give the required therapies to these children.
- What do you think is the main reason mothers abandon their disabled children?
Mothers abandon their disabled kids because of several reasons. Many people consider these children to be evil spirits. Others believe they symbolize bad luck or their medical condition may be contagious.
When couples do not understand how to manage this situation properly, it usually results to problems in the home.
Some parents consider seeking medical intervention a waste of time. Some that start out seeking help usually expect an overnight recovery and when this doesn’t happen they give up hope and leave.
- What has been your challenge so far in running Jesus Kids?
The major challenge we face is our raising funds to run the orphanage. The children’s therapies, surgeries and mobility aids cost a lot of money. We also need money for feeding, clothing and toiletries.
Our second major challenge is getting able and dedicated staff to take care of the children. Taking care of children with disabilities is not an easy one; they need constant monitor and care as majority of them are totally dependent on their caregivers.
With all your challenges what motivates you every day?
- My motivation comes from the children. Every day when I look at them, I see a lot of changes in their lives. I see hope in their eyes. Many of them have come to know the Lord personally. They have also discovered their inherent talents and potentials. In Jesus kids, we try to bring abilities out of their disabilities.
- What advise do you have for parents of special needs children
The first thing I would say is that parents should see this as a ministry. Secondly, they should get the right information about their child’s medical condition. Information can be gotten from medical doctors, reading books, through the internet and also by attending seminars where the issues are being discussed. Thirdly, parents should also see these children as gifts from God; they should love and care for them and not neglect them.