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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Stakeholders Brainstorm At L’oreal Central West Africa Disability Initiative

 L’Oreal Central West Africa - a leading beauty brand, held an interactive forum for people with disability (PwD) and corporate organizations to promote inclusion of people with disability in the workplace. This is part of the cardinal tripod and business policy for the company which was unveiled at a forum in Lagos.

The forum witnessed presentation of different papers and thoughts on the rights of people with disability. The papers were presented by different professionals that have been in the fore front of promoting and protecting the interest of people with disability in Nigeria, they include Dr. Adeola Majiyagbe of Total Health Trust who spoke on disability from the medical angle, types of disability, both visible and invisible disability.

Founder of Advocacy for Women with Disability Initiative, Mrs. Patience Ogolo-Dickson, who gave her account on the inclusion of PwDs in the workplace and the stigma/challenges faced by people with disability urging government and corporate entities to create enabling environment for PwDsin order to showcase their talent and allow them contribute meaningfully to development of the economy.

Chief Executive officer, Theseabilities Limited, Mr.Adeboye Abioye, spoke on the business case for inclusion of the PwDs, x-rayed the different models of engaging the PwDs, which included Employment, Social and CSR models. He revealed that there is a lot the business environment can benefit from PwDs because study had shown that they are more committed to details.

Toyin Adesola, CEO of Sickle Cell Advocacy and Management Initiative shared her heart touching story and encouraged the society at large to accept the PwDs without any form of stigmatization. The Public Relation Officer for the Lagos StateOffice of disability Affairs, Mr.AdebowaleAdemiluyiwho represented the General Manager, Dr. Awelenje, applauded L’Oreal’s initiative and challenged the Federal Government to do more in promoting the interest of the PwDs in the society.

L`Oreal, the parent company of L`Oreal Central West Africa embarked on the journey on Disability since 1993, promoting such programs in several markets in which it operates. In 2008, it took its commitment further by investing in infrastructure, retention of employment, recruitment, outsourcing and partnerships across the world that support “People with disability”.

In 2010, L’Oreal’s ‘Disability Initiative Trophies’ (DIT) was birthed; this initiative encourages all L’Oreal’s subsidiaries to contribute to the determination of promoting disability in the workplace. L’Oreal DIT is a program whereby all countries are charged to creatively come up with programs to support the cause of ‘Inclusion of People living with Disability in the work place”. Many countries over the years came up with new ideas many of which are implemented and have won international awards for the company.

LCWA understands that Disability is part of the human condition. Almost everyone will be temporarily or permanently impaired at some point in their lives. Most extended families have a disabled member, and many non-disabled people take responsibility for supporting and caring for their relatives and friends with disabilities. Therefore, as a society, the government, private and public establishments need to plan and provide necessary tools and infrastructure to aid the education, employment and retention, mobility/transportation and health of all people living with disability.

Currently, eight Nigerian hairdressers with disability are receiving trainings in hairdressing and Small Scale Business management focusing on retailing as well as free medical health cover. The hairdressers were identified through three national hairdressers’ associations in Lagos.

This is how the journey began on L’Oreal’s Central West Africa’s Disability Initiative and we encourage other multinationals to join in this noble cause.

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