Access To Learning And School (ATLAS) initiative and April Academy have partnered to celebrate the residents of Iyafin community in Badagry, Lagos, through the ‘Christmas with a Smile’ outreach programme.

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‘Christmas with a Smile’ successfully impacted over 700 beneficiaries directly by administering deworming medicine to children and adults, providing free HIV screening and counselling, donating first aid kits to the community, and gifting food items to the elderly.

Habeeb Balogun, executive director of ATLAS Initiative, said the initiative is aimed at inspiring people.

“The power of community proves that when people care and come together, change is more than possible. We hope this year’s outreach inspires others to share the love and give hope to others, one society at a time,” he said.

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“We plan on returning to the community school to donate what we have raised for them, and we are taking this opportunity to call for more support because, in truth, every day should feel like Christmas.”

In many parts of the country, especially in rural areas, girls and young women have little or no knowledge about reproductive tract infections caused due to poor personal hygiene during menstruation.

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This, coupled with the statistics highlighting that women in rural areas do not have access to sanitary products or cannot afford to buy them, caused the charities to partner with Diva Pads Nigeria to not only educate but also distribute sanitary pads to hundreds of teenage girls and young women in the community.

Modupe Asama, the convener, ‘Christmas with a Smile’ and Social Inclusion and Gender Lead at ATLAS initiative, said: “Putting smiles on the faces of people is something so dear to my heart and hosting ‘Christmas with a Smile’ annually presents a perfect opportunity to share joy, put smiles on the faces of people and give people a tangible reason to enjoy the season.”

Some notable patrons of the 2021 ‘Christmas with a Smile’ outreach are Abiboy Foundation, VR Autos, BudgIT, Diva Pads Nigeria, Bakersfield, Classic Haven Hats, Cord Surveys Limited, Fountrands, Mubo’s Cusine, amongst others.

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The ‘Christmas with a Smile’ initiative was launched in 2018 and has since helped several communities in Lagos.



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