BY Paul Agbo
A LIFE IN BRIEF
Patience Diana Dangaru is a 29-year-old lady from Bajju tribe in Kaduna State. She did her nursery and primary school in St. Louis Nursery and Primary School, Zonkwa, and Girls College of the Beatitudes, Saminaka for her secondary. She is a graduate of special education from the University of Jos, Plateau State. Upon her graduation, she worked in few schools in Abuja before setting up her special needs centre and a consultancy: Indie Educational Consult Abuja and her newly opened Special Needs Centre in Wuse 2, Abuja
My name is Patience Diana Dangaru. I am from Kaduna State, Bajju by tribe. I was born on 7th February 1988. I am the third born of Mr. Joseph Dangaru and Mrs Agnes Dangaru. I graduated from St. Louis Nursery and Primary School, Zonkwa and proceeded to Girls College of the Beatitudes, Saminaka in Kaduna State. After my secondary education, I gained admission into University of Jos in 2007 to study special education, which was against my wish. I wanted to study medicine and surgery. Instead of changing my discipline, I decided to build my career in special education and I am glad I made that decision, as I feel the best way to change the world is through education. Upon my graduation, I worked in few schools in Abuja before setting my own special needs centre and a consultancy for teacher training. I am looking forward to training more teachers in Nigeria, most especially teachers in public schools.
As a certified educator of children both in conventional and mainstream school, I have been teaching and caring for children with special needs for about seven years now. I have also travelled out to about two countries for training and certification. Upon my return in 20I5, I opened a company; Indie Educational Consult Limited, strictly for teachers continued professional development. But most Nigerian teachers lack the drive to sponsor themselves to training; they always wait for school owners to send them for training which could be due to poor salary. Due to limited number of special needs centres in the country, I recently opened a special needs centre in April 2017 inside Alderwood International School, at Lobito Crescent in Wuse 2 Abuja. The centre will cater for children with special needs as well as train teachers, parents and caregivers of children with special needs. Other services provided by the centreinclude vocational skills training, speech and language therapy, makaton, sign language, assessment and evaluation.
Aside my passion for special needs, I also love charity. I am a member of African Women in Leadership Organization – an NGO aimed at youth/women empowerment, mentorship, entrepreneurship and grooming future leaders. We also have a project on ground “one mother, one child project,” where women in the organization adopt a child at the IDP camp in New Kuchingoro, by providing all the necessary items they need for proper education from school fees, textbooks, school uniform etc. I was recently appointed as the Abuja Youth Council coordinator of the organization. In my next project we will be working directly with youths in secondary schools, in the areas of career counseling, health talk and possibly scholarship to vulnerable children.
For the past two years, I have been conducting awareness campaign on different conditions of special needs and ways parents and teachers can take care of them via the radio on Nigeria info, CoolFM, HotFM, Abuja, Capital Sounds Kaduna, Radio 1 Lagos and People TV.
HOW DID IT START
I fell in love with the discipline during my 200 level practicum at the Jos University Model Special Education School, where I was exposed to different kinds of handicap children from mental retardation, down syndrome, deaf, blind, autism, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder ADHD and many others. I realized that indeed there is ability in every disability if we build more on their strengths order than their weakness.
I inspire myself because I know that I can succeed if only I push myself harder and I believe a strong woman may be stronger than anything on earth if she happens to have love in her heart. The love of special needs children gives me drive.
Personally, it is my drive that set me apart. Others may do what I am doing because of the money, but I became a specialist in this field because of the passion.
SECRET OF MY SUCCESS
I am always positive. I always think success not failure. I follow my true dreams and actualize my goals. I take action by going beyond my words; never stops learning. I am persistent, hardworking, focused, honest and dependable.
Reading, swimming, and travelling.
I have so many achievements; all to the glory of God. One of which is my company: Indie Educational Consult Abuja and the newly opened Special Needs Centre in Wuse 2, Abuja.
My mentors are Mr Moses Sotayo. He has impacted my life so much that I have this respect for him. Also another mentor is Mr. Roxate who has the love and passion to educate the youth for greater achievement.
Sometimes, I think of failure but I am ready to stand up whenever I fall.
I am always positive. I have no such word in my dictionary; I see my mistakes as a good learning points.
Nothing is impossible. There is no time that is too late to start. Follow your passion and actualise your dreams.
YOUR PROJECTION FOR THE FUTURE
My projection for the future is to become a professor which I am in the process, as well as provide free education and vocational skills for children with special needs in Nigeria.