The Beautiful Gate Story
Nigeria is one of the three countries in the world where polio is still crippling children. Though excellent progress has been made in preventing polio though routine immunization by the determined hard work and cooperation of various Nigerian government agencies and international NGOs, much less has been done to help rehabilitate those who have been affected by this horrible disease. Hence Nigeria currently has thousands of children and adults who cannot walk normally because of polio. In addition, Nigeria has its normal share of people who have become blind or deaf or received some other physical disability through disease or accidents or genetic factors.
One of the key agencies that has responded to the needs of the handicapped in Nigeria has been the Beautiful Gate Handicapped People Center. This is an inter-faith, non-profit humanitarian organization that assists handicapped children and adults to become independent, self-supporting and productive members of the society. The organization provides devices to assist with mobility, seeing and hearing. Beautiful Gate also does advocacy on behalf of the disabled with government and various social institutions.
The Beautiful Gate ministry began in 1999 when Mr. Ayuba Gufwan, himself crippled by polio, met a retired American pastor, Rev. Dr. Ron Rice in Jos at a workshop for religious educators. These men began helping a few handicapped individuals on a small scale basis. This informal personal response eventually led to the creation of the Beautiful Gate Handicapped People Center. The accomplishments of this organization have included:
- Built and distributed to polio survivors over 6000 tricycle-type wheelchairs in 23 different Nigerian states
- Distributed hundreds of crutches to the disabled
- Given at least 1000 folding white canes to the visually impaired
- Donated dozens of recording devices to the visually impaired
In 2011, Beautiful Gate developed a prosthetics shop and is now fitting, constructing and distributing artificial legs for amputees.
These wheelchairs and other devices have been provided at no cost to the recipients. They have been given to both Muslims and Christians, to adults and children; they have been donated at LGA secretariats, governor's offices, emir's palaces, churches, mosques, secondary and tertiary schools, personal homes, businesses and other venues.
The founder and director of Beautiful Gate is Mr. Ayuba Gufwan, who was crippled by polio when he was four years old. He has overcome many obstacles to become a NCE graduate of the College of Education, Akwanga and a recipient of the LLB degree from the Law Faculty of the University of Jos. Mr. Gufwan has become one of the leading advocates for the handicapped in Nigeria and represented polio survivors at the World Health Organization's International Conference on Polio in Geneva, Switzerland in 2010. Mr. Gufwan is married with three children.
Beautiful Gate has grown to become the largest supplier of mobility aids to polio survivors in Nigeria and may be the largest supplier of other aids for the handicapped. This response to the needs of the often forgotten handicapped has given thousands of handicapped children the mobility and capacity to attend school and have hope for a brighter more productive future.