Our projects Projects Malawi Empowering parents and carers and including disabled children in society The challenge 91% disabled people in Malawi live in rural communities 13% of babies are born before they reach full term Less than 10% of disabled children in Africa go to school Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world with many children living below the poverty line. Poor maternal health means that babies are often born prematurely or following birth complications. Rates of childhood disability are high. Wheelchairs aren’t often available in Malawi. This means disabled children and adults are often left isolated and vulnerable to life threatening conditions like pressure ulcers and urinary infections. There is a huge amount of stigma around disability, too. Many parents face pressure to abandon their disabled children due to a sense of burden and shame. In adulthood, disabled people unable to access formal employment and are pulled into a cycle of poverty. Motivation in Malawi Motivation has worked with local partners in Malawi for nearly two decades. During this time we’ve trained healthcare and community workers on in spinal cord injury management, we've supplied wheelchairs and supported many disabled people to gain the skills they need to stay healthy and mobile. In recent years, we have turned our attention to the challenges faced by disabled children and their families. We’re focused on reducing families’ poverty, supporting parents and carers, improving the health of children with mobility needs, and helping them to join in with play and school. We also continue helping wheelchair services to improve with training, mentoring, workshops and service assessments. We strengthen outreach and rehabilitation systems to ensure wheelchairs reach anybody who needs them. Our priorities We're currently running a programme funded by Comic Relief called Survive and Thrive. Our aim is to provide training and support networks to parents and caregivers of disabled children so they have the confidence and knowledge to support their child's early development. We are increasing access to healthcare services for disabled children by building identification and referral schemes with local communities. We are also developing knowledge of disability amongst healthcare professionals in order to improve rehabilitation. We will provide wheelchairs and supportive seating to children with cerebral palsy as well, making it easier for them to breathe, eat, play and learn. Supporting parents to support children In rural villages across Malawi, parents are often unable to access healthcare information or resources for their disabled child. That means they don't understand their needs or know how to care them. Children can be left alone at home, lying on the floor and becoming increasingly vulnerable to life-threatening conditions By setting up local Parent Support Groups that enable families to receive training on vital healthcare. Training helps parents learn how to feed, play and communicate with their child as well as how to improve their postural, health and nutrition. These groups also provide a vital network of supportive friends for parents who may otherwise feel alone and isolated. Wheelchair services We are supporting and mentoring staff in four wheelchair service centres, which we established through previous projects. Across these services, hundreds of disabled children and adults will be assessed and prescribed with a wheelchair to suit their specific needs as they grow. Empowering wheelchair users Alongside our work with children, we are continuing to provide wheelchairs to disabled adults. Many also need additional support to feel confident and independent, which is why we are also providing training in everyday life skills, such as bladder and bowel management, wheelchair handling and disability rights. Find out more If you have further questions about our work in Malawi or would like to receive extra information, please get in touch on 0117 966 0398 or [email protected] Support Motivation You could fund vital Parent Carer Training in Malawi and throughout our programme countries by making a donation today.