My 35% Burn Scars Were From A House Fire Accident – Dr. Deji Yusuf
Naija Online TV Blog Chief Editor, Dare Gbadebo, spoke with Scars2starsinitiative Coordinator, Dr. Deji Yusuf, below is an excerpt of the interview.
“Scars2starsinitiative, is a non-for profit organisation, that is set out to empower those living with both physical and emotional scars. We empower those living with scars, through our advocacy service, counselling service, coaching service and befriending service. We also present people living with scars with a star award for achieving their dreams despite the challenges they may have faced.
As a 35% burns survivor, I was involved in a house fire accident, when I was 14 years, in which I had to jump out from the 3rd floor of a building to save my life. Consequently, this left me with scars on my body.
Well, I have had to overcome lots of challenges in my life, such as bullying, relationship issues, stigma and discrimination, low self esteem and employment problems, related to bullying and discrimination.
Having scars on one’s body makes one more vulnerable, to prejudice and discrimination.
Well, I see the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, as a way of working on my ideas, and meeting with survivors online. So it is a great opportunity, for me to thrive, despite the global pandemic.
From my own personal experience, I live with scars and I know the struggle, that people are likely to face, because of their scars.
Well, the main challenge due to the global pandemic, has been that we can not presently meet up with people face to face. And unfortunately, some survivors across the globe are not used to virtual meetings.
My recommendations for a better way to handle the crisis are;
1)- Better preparation leads to better Management.
2)- The government must support the people financially.
3) To raise awareness of COVID-19 amongst the uneducated, to reduce the spread of the virus.
4) The current crisis, and the subsequent isolation would affect people’s mental health. People to do home exercises to promote positive mental health.
5) Keep to the social distancing rule to reduce the spread.
6) Stay Home unless it is necessary to go out.
7) Develop your mind whilst at home, take online courses, or read books you are yet to read.
8) To ease the stay at home restrictions gradually.
Going forward, we are creating programmes that our clients could take online, and services can be provided online too.
And of note, we have been able to build the confidence of many people living with scars through our support group, creation of blogs and magazine”.
On his recent honourary doctorate degree Dr. Deji Yusuf has this to say.
“I applied to Los Angelos institute in which I informed them about our organisation, i also informed them that I have Masters in Social work and that I am a social worker. They believe I have been a great advocate for people living with scars, and in the community at large, and they decided to honor me with a doctorate degree, in Advocacy. I am grateful”.
However, the Scars2starsinitiative Coordinator revealed on his organisation’s plans for the next five years, he said;
To have our offices in different parts of Nigeria and in the UK. To have made a massive difference in the lives of those living with scars across the globe. And to have gained recognition as an ambassador of change in the UK and the world at large. To have created online courses for survivors and professionals in which they could take at the comfort of their home.
Dr. Deji Yusuf in conclusion, revealed that the global coronavirus pandemic has made him more grateful, as he now realises the importance of human touch and connection.
By Dare Gbadebo Editor-in-chief
Naija Online TV Blog