By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Management of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) has taken stock of how far they have gone in their mission to build a more inclusive and supportive society for people living with Autism.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the bank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, the awareness campaign of his organisation is significantly growing public consciousness on Autism.
“Nearly 4,000 children have now benefitted from our free one-on-one consultation services, more than 12,000 people have participated in our annual autism conferences and we have trained almost 15,000 people on how to manage autism,” Agbaje elaborated.
He pointed out that there are still more challenges to be tackled. For example, children and adults living with autism still often lack the support and vocational training that they need to develop critical skills for an independent and productive life.
“Today”, the GTBank chief declared, “most children with autism are not getting the education they need. Less than 20 per cent of adults with autism are employed, and many people with autism remain largely dependent on their relatives for all of their lives.
“Surely, we have to do something about this, and the focus of this year’s conference is a critical step in that direction.”
Agbaje said this while presenting his welcome address at the 9th edition of GTBank’s Annual Autism Conference on the theme, “Autism: Transition, Vocational Skills And The Role Of Technology.”
He emphasized the importance of empowering people living with autism to enable them achieve a purposeful life.
Agbaje expressed his philosophy by saying: “Individually, it is the sense of purpose that drives us to pursue our dreams, and together, it is what inspires us to constantly seek more ways to enrich lives and uplift our society.”
He said that people living with autism also have their own dreams, ambitions and credible potential to achieve great things.
“It falls to us – as parents, relatives, friends, caregivers, medical experts, organizations, and concerned members of the public – to help them live a life of purpose.
“Rest assured, as an organization that is passionate about uplifting the most vulnerable in our society, we will continue to empower people living with autism with all the support and resources that they need to reach their full potential,” Agbaje added.