In a bid to uplift the livelihoods of children with disabilities, Parents of Disabled Children Association of Malawi (Podcam) intends to build a K25 million resource centre in Blantyre.
The facility, which has been earmarked to compliment government efforts to curb problems faced by children with disabilities, will provide services such as vocational skills, physiotherapy and other recreational processes.
The plan was unveiled during the launch of a fundraising programme at Podcam headquarters at Chitawira in Blantyre.
During the launch, parents, who are raising children with disabilities, came to witness the genesis of a project that will help give a meaning to the lives of their offspring.
Podcam Executive Director, Mirriam Namanja, said parents taking care of physically and mentally challenged children have the zeal to put together resources and facilities that will enable such children to live a normal life like any other child.
She, however, said poverty levels and inadequate intervention from organisations and other stakeholders are frustrating their efforts.
Namanja also said to show their commitment as a grouping that cares for the advancement of the welfare of challenged children, they are dedicated to have the structure which will be built from funds collected through different activities such as dinner dances and sporting activities, among others.
“We will be seeking funds from different organisations and other well-wishers to help us accomplish this goal for we cannot carry out this huge project on our own. Even after finishing the structure, we will still need facilities like wheelchairs, learning materials such as brail and of course equipment for physical therapy so you can see that we have a long way to go,” she said.
One of the parents raising children with disabilities, George Matipwiri, said physically and mentally challenged children are struggling to access proper facilities and services like physiotherapy and speech therapy although government is doing its best to ensure that children with disabilities are fully enjoying their rights.
“We appreciate the help government is providing to our children but we feel it is not enough, there is need for concerted efforts from other stakeholders as well if we are to eradicate the spirit of asking for alms by people with disability in the country. We first ought to nurture their lives as they are young hence once the facility is put in place, future of our children will be bright,” he said.
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