The Malawi Council for the Handicapped (Macoha) plans to raise K60 million during this year’s Flag Week.
The Flag Week is commemorated every year to raise awareness on disability issues and raise funds for assisting persons with disabilities.
President Lazarus Chakwera launched the week at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe Thursday, when he donated K2 million towards the cause.
Chakwera has since appealed to individuals, the government and non-governmental organisations to donate generously towards the Flag Week.
He added that this year’s theme, ‘Vocational Skills Acquisition: Means for Improving the Livelihoods of Persons with Disabilities’, is in line with the Malawi 2063 vision.
“We cannot leave persons with disabilities behind. Aspects of our development as a nation, whether it be in the very idea of making our nation’s development and wealth [or otherwise], persons with disabilities should be given an integral role to play for us to be inclusive.
“The true spirit of our national vision demands that no one responds to their desire to contribute to Malawi’s development as an afterthought. No! Doing so would defeat the design, or delivery, of that development,” Chakwera said.
The Malawi leader observed that he does not want persons with disabilities to be treated as charity cases in the new Malawi.
According to Macoha, this year’s funds will be channelled towards causes aimed at building vocational skills of physically challenged people.
Macoha Board Chairperson Chiwoza Bandawe said vocational skills empower physically challenged people, putting them in a position to be independent.
“When they are empowered with vocational skills, they are able to work and have a sense of dignity,” Bandawe said.
He said a chunk of the K60 million would benefit people that Macoha trained.
The people will get starter kits in fields such as tailoring, carpentry and welding.
Macoha was established in 1971 and has been commemorating Flag Week for over 50 years now.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.