By Enock Balakasi
A Chikwawa based NGO Centre for Children’s Affairs Malawi has demonstrated its capabilities before the law makers who visited the project area in T/A Ngabu.
The Organisation started implementing a project called LEAVE NO CHILD BEHIND, IMPROVING ECD IN MALAWI in 2016 with focus on increasing access to children with disabilities in ECD services.
A visit by the parliamentary committees that included the parliamentary committee on Budget and Finance, Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Parliamentary committee on Social welfare and also the Chief Clerk of Parliament are impressed with the work so far.
The team visited one CBCC in Ngabu called Chimpambana CBCC that is one of the 10 centres implementing the inclusive project.
Speaking after interacting with communities at Champanana CBCC in T/A Ngabu, Chairperson of the committee Richard Chimwendo Banda said the committee was impressed with how NGO is implementing the programme on the ground.
Banda said he has not seen what is happening in Chikwawa before.
“I have visited different CBCCs in Malawi but im well impressed with what is happening in chikwawa. Malawi needs more children with disabilities in ECD and how parents and communities are doing the work here its so impressing and we need more of this in Malawi,” says Banda.
Echoing the statement by the committee chair, Country Director of Sight Savers Mr Bright Chiwawula whose organisation is working in partnership with Centre for Children’s Affairs, FEDOMA and Catholic Health commission on this project said his organisation is working hard to raise more resources to support more communities in chikwawa to make sure that children with disabilities continues to access ECD services like any other child.
He then asked the committee to lobby for increased funding towards inclusive education which has been neglected for so long.
The District Social welfare Officer for Chikwawa Rose Mahata did not hide to confirm to the law makers that Centre for Children’s Affairs and its partners are really doing a good work in chikwawa.
“we don’t have more partners in ECD and we are requesting these partners to scale up to other T/As in chikwawa, ” said Mahata.
Mahata noted that there is a lot of work to be done, but the challenge is limited resources.
“ECD centres need quality food and good infrastructure for children to learn in a conducive environment,” she said.
In his remarks, Executive Director of the Centre for Children’s Affairs Moses Busher who is also the Board Chair of Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) that is implementing the project in Chikwawa said he was excited to have such visits by the Parliamentary committees and this shows that his work is being recognised.
Centre for Children’s Affairs Malawi is implementing the project called “LEAVE NO CHILD BEHIND,IMPROVING ECD” in Malawi targeting Chikwawa District especially in T/A Ngabu where 10 CBCCs were targeted.
The project is implemented in the consortium of 4 organisations that includes Sight Savers, FEDOMA and Catholic Health Commission .
The same project is being implemented in Ntcheu by the Catholic Health Comission Dedza Diocese. All this work is being done with support from COMIC RELIEF.
In Malawi, over three million children benefit from Early Childhood Development (ECD) services which represents 45.36% in over 11,600 ECD centres across Malawi but only 5% of children with disabilities have access to ECD. ECD services are provided through Community Based Care Centres (CBCC) supported by UNICEF through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare throughout the country.