Mofolusho Liasu is the founder of Super Parents Foundation, which gives assistive aid to the disabled. She is a lawyer, advocate, a business woman and a mother.
Her foundation, inspires, educates, advocates and raise awareness about disability myths and truths. Skills acquisition programs are organized to help indigents become more self-reliant as well give grants to help them set up their startup. Also frequent soft skills training are also set up to help them develop better coping skills. Assistive aids like wheelchairs, walker, etc and scholarships are given to some children with disabilities.
People’s homes, schools, and communities are usually visited. They also educate individuals on the need of showing empathy and compassion to people with disabilities. Foluwasho’s foundation fights for children with disabilities to be included in mainstream schools and to have access to other social benefits.
Super Parents foundation hosts over 500 children annually to mark the annual Children’s Day to promote social inclusion, bringing together children with disabilities and those without.
On this interview with Women of Rubies, she takes on a her journey.
Did your childhood prepare you in anyway for what you do now, tell us more about your growing up?
Hmm, I won’t say a No, though I never considered it until I was reminded. My best friend in secondary school was a girl with polio. I became close to her because I discovered she was enjoying the pitiful attention. I believe she was more than that and so I discouraged her from getting carried away by the pity from others. I insisted we must do things ourselves without the help of others. We would fetch water together, wash clothes etc. without anyone’s help. She became bold and always showcased her abilities whenever it was necessary. She became the social prefect and received many awards. We came across each other recently through our Alumni platform and she told me God used her to prepare me for this. Lol, it didn’t occur to me till she mentioned it.
While growing up, I hated children being bullied or discriminated based on status or for whatever reasons so I can say that could be a factor. I have never discriminated between a child with disability and one without, everyone was same to me.
I also remembered I was 10years thereabouts when my dad took me for his friend’s birthday party and I noticed the other son was kind of bullied by his father, it was obvious the boy was different but I couldn’t —- much disability then, if I would access him now, its probably mild autism with speech impediment. I saw how the mum was showing her displeasure on how he is been treated by his dad. I remember I was very upset with his dad and sad for the boy. That scene stuck to my head for years but I never thought of it making me an advocate I am today but I guess subconsciously it did.
What inspired you to start the Super Parents Foundation?
Like I said earlier, I am someone who is passionate and also aspire to change wrong social narratives to positives, advocating for care and support for vulnerable persons and protection for victims or abused. I came across a story on a group, a mother, her deaf child who needed hearing aid which costs 1million. I never knew assistive gadgets like that was so expensive. It led me to inbox her and we became very close, I got to find out the sufferings and discriminations she had to go through from her family, in-laws and society. That led me to advocating for these vulnerable parents, from there I formed a support group on Facebook called Super Parents for parents to speak their mind and share their experience, to get comfort and support from others experienced parents and supporters.
The group grew and became very alive and it was registered as NGO two years ago and it been working strong since then. Empowering members who needsupport.
Tell us about this great foundation, it’s impact in the society, and testimonials since inception
The foundation has become a strong platform for everyone, it’s an inclusive foundation which supports vulnerable persons especially persons and children with disabilities, widows are also supported too.
The foundation has a Facebook platform where people are free to speak their mind without fear of discrimination. People learn and unlearn about many issues e.g, disabilities, pregnancy, marriage and different issues affecting everyone.
Inclusive events like children’s party are organized, the children have fun and empathy is the order of the day. Our slogan ‘Let Love Lead’ is also a leading factor for us, this directs us to respect everyone equally.
We have so many testimonies from our members and even persons in the society. Parents of children with special needs no longer hide their children or the facts that they have children with special needs, the boldly advocate for other children with special needs against discrimination, also canvassing support for them. Since the advent of Super Parents Foundation, parents boldly celebrate their children with disabilities online, in their birthdays and other occasions, also to inspire others. This was a vary uncommon practice before now.
You have organized and sponsored several advocacy and empowerment programs, how do you manage it all and what drives you?
My drive is my desire to change my narratives and my — to do what I right. Above all, God called me to do this and I must fulfil my mission no matter what it takes.
From your experience, and as one with deep passion for disabled children what would greatly improve their plight in the country, and what are the things that have not been rightly applied.
Honestly, there has been great development when it comes to the support for persons and children with special needs in this country especially in Lagos State but we are still far from near perfect.
They need support in everyday, from education, to medical, to accessibility, infrastructure, etc. Once the country moves to — development, everything including the disability community will be affected positively. A lot is not applied rightly, from infrastructure or buildings that is not accessible for wheel chairs, lack of origin language interpreters in public places, roads which are bad for wheel chairs to public special and inclusive schools that are not up to standard, to poor medical facility for their, so much more. Like I said earlier, we have a long way to go.
What are some of the challenges you face?
We face lots of challenges.
The Inability of the parents and the society to accept their children with disabilities. These children are subjected to cruel treatment by relatives, native doctors and religious homes.
Funds – The work is cumbersome and we have low support compared to the task to be tackled.
Poverty – Most of these vulnerable persons and children cannot afford the basic and managing disability in Nigeria is expensive so they suffer so much from hunger to lack of adequate medical care.
Tell us about your other projects and activities?
We have lots of projects and activities. One of the biggest events is Inclusive Children’s Party. The children have fun not minding their condition, assistive gadgets are given out etc.
Empowerment – We empower members with skill acquisition training and a also provide tools or provide them with minimal capital funds to help them start their business.
We also engage in online projects to stimulate the parents to be able to help their children without much fund or assistance needed.
Mention 3 women who inspire you and why
To be honest, it won’t be fair to mention any names, from my mother, to my friends, to supporters, to mothers with special needs, widows, to the woman on the street or the one I watch on TV or online, they all inspire me. 99%of my supporters, donors, volunteers are ALL WOMEN, they all inspire me to keep pushing.
Could you share some of your favourite nuggets about life with us?
“You cannot give what you don’t have” – I cannot give love if I don’t have it, I cannot give strength to the vulnerable if I don’t have it too.
So sometimes, I sit down to reflect, then refill myself spiritually, physically and financially so as to give my best to those I serve.
“What you appreciate cannot depreciate” – I loves appreciating people, also value my supporters and lovers. I believe I increase my values and theirs when I appreciate the love and kindness they show me.
What makes you a woman of rubies?
Because I choose to see myself not just as an ordinary woman but a woman with vision and goals with God’s given ability to execute them, to impact myself and the world at large. To God be the glory.