United States of America (USA) Ambassador Virginia Palmer on Monday awarded K59.5 million grants to nine organizations working with people with disabilities across Malawi through the Ambassador’s HIV and Aids Small Grants Fund.
Speaking to representatives from the organizations that received grants, Ambassador Palmer said the organisations are implementing programmes which help to promote access to health servicess.
She said the grants are given “directly to beneficiaries” in the communities.”
Ambassador Palmer said 350 organisations applied for the grants, 20 were shortlisted and nine received them.
“People with disabilities are equal citizens of Malawi and the world, who are entitled to the same rights and privileges as all people in terms of education, health, and economic opportunities.
“No one deserves to be stigmatized by their disability and HIV status. I believe the innovative initiatives you are starting with these grants will have significant impact in your communities, especially in regard to the empowerment of people with disabilities,” Palmer said.
For the past three years the U.S. Ambassador’s HIV/AIDS Small Grants Fund has targeted organizations benefiting people with disabilities with the aim of increasing their access to health services and economic empowerment to fully contribute to society and Malawi’s prosperity. This year’s grants to nine organizations will improve the lives of over 7,500 people with disabilities across Malawi.
The grantees are: the Community Health and Environmental Care Trust (CHECT) from Lilongwe, Communities in Development Activities (COIDA) and Embangweni Mission Hospital from Mzimba, Foundation for Civic Education and Social Empowerment from Balaka, Nayuchi AIDS Network Services in Machinga,Foundation for Community and Capacity Development in Nkhotakota, Ntchisi Evangelical Churches for Social Services, Partners in Health in Neno, and Sub T/A Mpunga Village Development Committee in Chiradzulu.
Deputy director of Nutrition, HIV and Aids in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Charles Mazinga, commended Palmer for the grants which he said would make a difference in the implementation of social protection programmes.