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SICDE, MACOHA collaborate to train caregivers, teachers in assistive device creation for children with spinal disabilities
SICDE and MACOHA trained Karonga district participants to create sitting assistive devices from local materials for spinal disability support, writes Wezzie Mwangonde.
Malawi-The Support for and Integration of Children with Disabilities in Education (SICDE) project, in collaboration with the Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MACOHA), has trained parents, caregivers, and teachers in Karonga district on how to make sitting assistive devices for children with spinal disabilities using locally found materials, writes Wezzie Mwangonde.
The project is implemented in six MACOHA branches in the district with the aim of reducing the challenges faced by children with spinal disabilities.
According to project lead Robert Mhango, the training equipped participants in the Mwabi branch with skills on how to make assistive devices using cartons, newspapers, and cassava flour. "The training involved cutting of cartons to required sizes, production of adhesives from Cassava flour, making boards from binding and hardening Cartons and newspapers and joining of the boards to make a final product," explained Mhango.
SICDE project officer Lughano Danfore Bwinga encouraged participants to put their newly acquired skills into practice, particularly at community-based child care centres (CBCCs) and primary schools.
Bwinga disclosed that three caregivers, four teachers, and four parents under Mwawi branch had been trained, and plans are in place to train other participants in other branches.
One of the parents, Tupokiwe Mkumbwa, expressed gratitude for the training, saying that it had given them the necessary skills to make locally sourced devices for their children with spinal disabilities.
"These assistive devices will help them eat on their own while guardians will be doing other chores," said Mkumbwa, noting that the devices had reduced their over-reliance on expensive wheelchairs.
The SICDE project is funded by the US Embassy and seeks to support and integrate children with disabilities into the education system.