Madame Mary Chilima, the wife of the Vice President of Malawi Saulos Chilima, has pleaded with Malawians to start supporting children with brain injury to ensure that they have good quality of life and have an opportunity to have a good education.
Madame Chilima made the remarks on Sunday 4th, October 2020, at fundraising ladies tea in area 12 Lilongwe.
The fundraising was organized by Full Armour Children’s Centre with the aim of raising funds to help mothers of children with brain injury.
Madame Chilima said she is touched with state of affairs of children with brain injury and it is high time the country started helping such children and their mothers because they are facing a lot of problems.
“It is true that not many of these children are accorded on equal opportunity as the other children in Malawi, as alluded myths on condition of brain injury are very rife. In many cases where communities have a child with brain injury the child is kept under lock and key and people only get to know of the child catastrophe occurs in household. So as a country we need to come together and take responsibility of these children with brain injury by helping them with the resources they lack on daily basis,” said Chilima.
Chilima commended the work of Full Armour Children’s Centre for taking a step to come up with programs that will support children with brain injuries.
“I would like to commend Full Armour Children’s Centre for initiating a program that will empower mothers and free them from staying away from their homes for a long time, will they fetch their needs. I would like to encourage other groups and Organizations to follow the same route in supporting vulnerable communities. I therefore plead with other stakeholders International or local, NGO’s, the private sector, Civil Society Organizations and other people of goodwill to come forward and support the good cause,” said Chilima.
Madame Chilima also asked the management of Full Armour Children’s Centre to be very transparent and accountable on any resources that come their way because doing that will give confidence to people who may help to do more.
In her remarks, the board Chair of Full Armour Children’s Centre Ms Mara Kumbweza Banda said the vision of Full Armour Children’s Centre is to ensure that all children with brain injury have the opportunity to live the best life possible and relieve the pressure on the parents and guardians caring for these children.
“Our vision is to help mothers of brain injury children in different ways so that they can live best life possible and this vision is what led us to organize today’s event which is aimed at raising funds to appreciate the mothers who are taking care of brain injury children in line with adage we have at Full Armor provided training in Bakery business so the funds we will raise today will go towards giving a start-up capital to the women who will run a bakery business of their own to support the brain injury child in their household as well as their families.
“In the long run we intend to train the mothers in other areas of interest such as tailoring, this will help the mothers to concentrate on supporting the children as they tend to lose a lot of time in looking for food, this is also the reason why most of these children stay locked up in their homes,” said Banda.
She asked Chilima and Honourable Minister of Gender to initiate research on the situation of children with brain injury in Malawi so that the research may generate evidence that will influence policy direction on the same.
Banda also noted that since the inception of Full Armour Children’s Centre, they have discovered that there is a large number of women who suffer silently due to having a member of the family who has a brain injury.
In her remarks, the Principal Secretary to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Roselyn Makhumula who represented the Minister Hon. Patricia Kaliati at the event, said the Ministry through the leadership of Dr Lazarus Chakwera wants to publicize issues of brain injury so that the society at large is aware of the condition and of the need to provide treatment, a better quality of life and ensure that there are educational opportunities so that these children should grow up into responsible citizens.
At the event, Chilima donated MK500,000.00 and bought the materials made by Full Armour women at the price of MK100,000.00.
Cerebral Palsy or brain injury is a condition that affects people in different way such as weakness in one or both hands, epilepsy, intellectual, disability and a total inability to central movement such as walking. In Africa Cerebral Palsy is mostly associated with Children who are prone to this condition by exposure to illness such as Malaria.