Embracing inclusion in Malawi

Tuesday 1 February 2022

Community Based Care Centre Caregivers have been trained to embrace inclusion

When Peter was born in the town of Mzimba in northern Malawi eight years ago he was that precious little gem to his parents.

But life changed as the boy approached his third birthday when his body started acting strange. His neck could no longer hold on its own; so too his limbs. He could no longer sit without help. He experienced a nerve breakdown. The brain, to some extent, went into sudden shutdown.

In addition, he could not utter a single word, even at a time when all his age mates were later able to. He just grew numb and deaf as well.

His grandmother Fryness Mapiri said numerous hospital visitations proved futile.

“Otherwise, he was born energetic; a very jovial child just as you have found him to be,” said Mapiri.

But Peteris a fighter who does not know when to give up.

As we speak, Peteris attending a nearby Community-Based Care Centre where, through the support of the community, he is now able to respond to his environment.

Chances are that he may find himself enrolling for primary school education in a year’s time.

Peteris one life that has benefitted from the Inclusive Early Childhood and Care Development Project.

This is a Save the Children initiative that has partnered St John of God Hospitaller Services in its implementation precisely in Mzimba West.

Part of the project is aimed at enhancing inclusive early childhood education to all children in the impact area irrespective of their physical conditions or social status.

“For starters, ECD centres are there to help children learn how to learn at school. Therefore, we are largely providing technical and material support to help such children realize their dreams,” said Zindaba Lungu who is the project coordinator at Save the Children.