Crystal Chigbu is the Executive Director of Irede Foundation, an organisation she co-founded with her husband to give hope to child amputees. She is married to Zubby Chigbu and they are blessed with 2 kids-Beulah and Eden. Crystal Chigbu says. We are on a mission to help child amputees, to help them and their families live a life of fulfillment to rise to the challenge with an attitude and behaviour that says, “I Can’t” is not an option, but that with unwavering hope and faith we can and we will rise to the occasion that is life and give full expression to our potentials”.
So, do you have a child amputee between 0-18 years? Help them live life to the fullest by referring them to The Irede Foundation, which is focused on lending a hand and bringing hope to all children living with limb loss. Below is a chat with Crystal Chigbu.
What year was the foundation established?
The foundation was established 2012.
What motivated you to start this foundation?
I had my child in 2009 with a disability called Tibial Hemimelia and she had to be amputated and got artificial limbs to be changed every 6 months as the child grows. We realized it was very expensive, so you can imagine if it was tough for me how would it be for other people that couldn’t afford it then I decided to create a foundation in other to help other children who are amputated.
How do you maintain your foundation financially?
We have people that pay on a monthly basis or even by project so they put together this donation to fund the limbs, 80% of the funds goes to the limbs. Every year we organise awareness of the limbs to be able to get funds for the children that need the limbs and particularly this year 2018 they just turned six, so we have a project called ‘Power Of Six’ which is meant to use to get six people to contribute N600 each for a 6 month period which sums up to 3,600 if 30,000 people do this it will be able to get enough money to get the number of limbs needed and will be able to do a lot more.
Is the foundation for any disabled child?
We work mainly with children that have been amputated, and the children are taken from whatever age till they are 18-during this period, we provide these children with limbs and are responsible for the rate of change for their limbs.
Why does the foundation stop provision when they are 18?
We believe that when they turn 18 they would have stayed with the foundation through a very long period of their lives and they would have learnt processes that will help them to be able to now provide limbs for themselves what happens before 18 is that the rate of growth would have stopped so the limb given to them at that period will be able to last for a long period of time during the range of 6-7 years.
By 18 they would have been adults and would have known how to watch their weight and maintain so that their limb is not due for change frequently.
What is your goal and where do you see this foundation in 5 years?
Our vision is to raise child amputees to make them champions irrespective of what they had to go through and over the next five years “we believe that we will continue to give limb but more importantly we will be doing a lot of research work to see how we can reduce the causes of amputation and also want to do a lot of educational awareness to enlighten the society.