By Mphatso Nkuonera
Lilongwe, April 20, Mana: First Lady, Madame Monica Chakwera on Tuesday, donated 121 cartons of rice and soy blend at Chilanga School for the blind in Kasungu.
Communications Officer in the office of the First lady, Priscilla Chimphinda, said it is Madame Chakwera’s wish to see the visually impaired and other vulnerable groups being assisted to cushion their challenges.
“We donated these 121 cartons of food, from the first lady with help from Feed the Hungry,” she said.
The school was established in 1954, under Nkhoma Synod of the CCAP and has a total population of 115 pupils, where 72 are virtually impaired with 43 boys and 29 girls, and the rest have various types of impairments.
The school’s head teacher, Chikondano Kamphandira, told Malawi News Agency (MANA) that currently the school has only four classroom blocks and five specialist teachers which is an under provision and requested for an immediate bail out.
“In every four months, we receive, K1.3million which is K325, 000, from government through the office of Director of Education Youth and Sports (DEYS). Without this support the school should closed by now.
“Wheel chairs and walking sticks for those who are challenged, besides teaching and learning materials,” Kamphinda said.
The school’s Management Committee, Mother group and Parents Teachers Association (PTA) leadership were quick to spell out food and beddings as some of the key materials lacking and causing serious worry.
“Food shortage and blankets must be registered immediately as our great hiccups, as we all appreciate that lessons cannot be smooth on an empty stomach. The weather is getting chilly and we wanted them sleep well covered,” said PTA’s Chairperson.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Chairperson of Friends of the Visual Impaired, Nipher Chuka, hailed the First lady for reaching out to the school.
“Words are failing to express our gratitude for this kindness from the first lady. We are very sure that this donation will go a long way in the servicing the pupils,” she said, appealing for others to emulate the first lady’s path of kindheartedness.
Prefects, Yona Ezekiel 19 and Margret Robert 16 both in standard 8, said Madame Chakwera has been the first from state house mothers to donate to them and echoed on the lack of sports items that could be used for their entertainment.
“We have stable teams, both football and netball. We also have a well-established team for pool, but we lack sports attire for our motivation,” said Robert. Ezekiel added that, “We are looking forward to an opportunity when we can play with others teams outside Kasungu, to prove someone that disability is not inability.”