Ms Beth Torrey, the founder of Beth Torrey Home, is a citizen of the United States of America. She had two Masters Degrees in Education and Sociology from the Universities of Colombia and Yale in the United State of America respectively. She was a Psychiatric and Social worker who devoted the major part of her life to the care, rehabilitation and education of mentally challenged and disabled children first in Angola and later in Nigeria.
She came to Nigeria in 1961 and spent the last sixteen years of her life labouring to establish homes for mentally handicapped children.
The land marks of her work include the following;
In 1961, she helped the Women Voluntary Society to establish Child Treatment and Placement Home/School formally in Surulere but now in Akoka.
In 1965, she founded the Beth Torrey Home which was initially called Child Treatment and Placement Home/school at Babatunde street, Surulere, Lagos for mentally challenged children. The Home moved to Kirikiri road and presently, it is located at Imam College Road, Alakoso, Amuwo Odofin (opposite Imam College).
She founded the Gida Yara Home for retarded children in Kaduna in 1968. The home was first established in a temporary quarters and subsequently moved to a permanent site with the help of the Emir of Zaria and his Council, and the Kaduna state Ministry of education, charitable institutions and other donors.
In February 1976, she established the Kano home for handicapped children with the aid of the Kano state government and other donors.
In Enugu through her spirited efforts two hectares of land was donated by Anambra State government for the mentally challenged children. Albeit, the Home is yet to be built. On the 26th of November 1977, Miss Torrey died at the age of 74years after 16years of selfless service to the Community of the challenged in Nigeria.
Beth, by her demise, left a gigantic programme to be executed. Our tribute to Beth Torrey can only be lasting if we keep her legacy alive. This is the only tribute we can pay to Beth for her work in bringing succor to mentally challenged children.