Ecobank donates K15m worth of startup kits to MACOHA

Ecobank Malawi Limited – a leading Pan African bank with its presence in 38 African countries – has donated K15 million worth of startup kits to the Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MACOHA).

The donation is in response to an appeal from MACOHA to individuals, organizations and the corporate world to help it raise K23 million, which will be channeled towards completion of vocational skills training and procurement of business startup tools for 60 persons with disabilities in Karonga district.

Kachimanga–We need more donations to reach our target

MACOHA public relations officer Harriet Kachimanga told Nyasa Times on Tuesday afternoon that the council started the training programme last year, but did not meet the fundraising target of K40 million to complete and purchase startup packages.

Kachimanga said it is for the reason that the 2022 Flag Week proceeds will benefit the same Karonga beneficiaries.

“The Flag Week for this year will be inaugurated on Thursday, 17th November at Kamuzu Palace by State President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera. Of course, we have started on a positive note having received the startup kits from Ecobank Malawi Limited. But we are appealing for more donations,” she said.

Kachimanga further disclosed that the council is planning to organize a fundraising dinner and dance although “very few individuals and organisations have responded”.

“As noted, last year, we did not meet the target. We hope that the general public will donate generously this time around,” she said.

Among others, the council plans to hold the 2022 Flag Week between 18th November and 25th November under the theme Vocational Skills Acquisition: Means for Improving the Livelihoods of Persons with Disabilities.

MACOHA is a government agency that was established by an Act of Parliament to provide rehabilitation services to person with disabilities in the areas of health, education, livelihood, social inclusion and empowerment.

Its goal is to facilitate the empowerment of persons with disabilities to enable them to actively participate and integrate in social economic development activities of their communities and the country. MACOHA works in collaboration with other service providers to ensure that persons with disabilities are included in the society since disability is a cross cutting issue.

Annually, MACOHA observes a flag week during which it engages in various activities in order to create awareness on the activities of MACOHA as well as to raise funds to invest in rehabilitation programs and services. The 2021 Flag Week also marked 50 years since MACOHA was established.

And for this reason, the Flag Week was commemorated under the theme: “50 Years of Empowering Persons with Disabilities”.

The council says over the past 50 years, it has made strides in health, education, social inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities.

It adds that throughout the years, thousands of persons with disabilities have accessed assistive devices.

“Persons with albinism have been provided with sun screen lotion, patients with epilepsy have been provided with epileptic drugs. The Council has also been providing physiotherapy services to persons with physical disabilities and children with cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus.

“All these interventions are accomplished with funding from our partners and in are tandem with international legal instruments such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi,” read part of the press release in 2021.

As per the tradition, President Chakwera is expected to inaugurate this year’s Flag Week by buying a flag.

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