Hi! I'm Rebekah and I am a World Young Leader in Dementia (WYLD )! WYLD was invited by Chief Kikelomo Laniyonu Edwards (pictured with me), a recently elected World Dementia Council Member to send a delegate to speak at Nigeria's first-ever conference on dementia.
I volunteered to go.
In Canada, we are fortunate to have the resources of the Alzheimer's Society and public healthcare. In Nigeria, diagnosis, awareness and care for dementia or Alzheimer's Disease is not as accessible. Many people do not know what it is or how a person they care about is impacted by the condition.
I volunteer with WYLD and from within the organization we do not have funding to send a delegate. Check out our April 2016 storify from Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) in Budapest, Hungary.
Expenses (CAD) related to this trip are vaccinations (701), entry visa with posting (320), flight (1923) and travel medical insurance (34). My Nigerian host is generously providing me with free registration and accommodation. This conference is not publicly funded by the Nigerian government.
I will be travelling to the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria from September 17-23, 2016.
My Grandpa lived with dementia for 10 years and my Grandma his primary caregiver. Without the resources, education and support from the Alzheimer's Society, my dear grandparents would have suffered much more. I am saddened that people living with dementia might be blamed and treatly poorly because of their condition.
Advocacy, awareness and most importantly, interpersonal support are crucial for advancing this work. I am grateful for all who encourage and motivate me; especially those living with dementia and their families. As Internet connection permits, I will be on Twitter (@rchurchyard_) during my trip and plan on writing about my experiences (I'm working on a website!).
I am endlessly thankful for the work we are able to do.
P.S. It's up to us.
The time to change the world is right now.