Government Paints Picture On Disability Fund
Government through the Ministry of Gender, Social Welfare and Community Development has explained how the disability trust fund will work.
Principal Disability Officer in the Ministry, Grace Massa said the fund is not an individual loan as most people think.
Massa was speaking in Lilongwe at the end of a 5-day disability training workshop organized by the Spinal Cord Injury Association of Malawi (Siam).
“People with disabilities may access the fund if they are in a group and want to do something beneficial to themselves,” Massa said.
She, however, asked organizations to safeguard the fund when it rolls out so that many people should benefit from it.
On the training, Massa said she was delighted with the training sessions that people had and he was optimistic that the training played a paramount role.
“We have seen a number of topics that the team has been trained on ranging from health, human rights and law. It’s my hope that these trainings will be organized frequently so that our friends should be equipped with information,” she said.
She also applauded Siam leadership for coming together and forming the organization saying this will help government particularly the Ministry of Gender, Social Welfare and Community Development to easily identify the type of disability for planning purposes.
Speaking on the same, chairperson for Spinal Cord Injury Association of Malawi, Bylon Kondowe said he was delighted to learn a lot from the Ministry.
He said the training was to build the capacity of the participants in human rights self advocacy according to UNCRPD, Disability Act, SDGs and the Constitution of Malawi.
“Apart from capacity building, we also wanted to give peer support training on how to manage secondary health related complications, enhance their wheelchair mobility skills like transfers from their wheelchairs to bed, to avoid further injuries,” Kondowe said.
He, however, asked the trainees to be exemplary models and also train their friends in various areas as to increase the capacity and knowledge to fellow friends with spinal code injuries.
“Let’s help our friends in our areas so that they may also be assisted accordingly. We would have loved to call all people with such injury to be trained but we will be doing that whenever we have funding,” said Kondowe.
Kondowe also thanked the Disability Relief Fund for providing the funds for the training while asking them for more
funding saying many people with spinal code injuries need to be trained.
One of the participants, Bertha Majakata, was happy to have participated in the training and vowed to train others using the skills and information she has acquired during the training.
She said before the training, she was blank on the rights concerning people with disability especially due to spinal
“I did not have any knowledge on the rights and the law, but now I know my rights and duties and responsibilities. I am also capable of training others and I will make sure those who did not have the privilege to come here have the knowledge through me.
One of the trainers, Benadator Vaz said the training was meant to equip the trainees with information of all the needs that they require.
Director of Joy abilities Empowerment, Vaz said some people have difficulties to move with the wheelchair and also
transferring from the wheelchair to the bed.
“Among other things, psychological cancelling and human rights were included in the training. With funding from the Disability Relief Fund, Spinal Cord Injury Association of Malawi trained eight people with spinal cord injury disabilities.