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The message is inclusion and we are not living anyone behind in the fight against COVID-19.
Friday 21st May, 2021 was a special day at Chilanga Primary School. Sport in Action and Consortium partners, under the Kickout Covid 19 Phase 2 project, donated some food items and COVID-19 prevention materials to children living with disabilities at Chilanga Primary School, Special Unit Department. Items such as Face masks, liquid hand soap, mealie-meal, beans, cooking oil and sugar were among the items donated to parents and caregivers of the children at the school.
The event was graced by Dr. Mwale – Provincial Health Director for Lusaka, who came under Ministry of Health on behalf of the Permanent Secretary. Other Special guests at the event included District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) representative, Mr Oscar Kayemba; Chilanga Primary School PTA Chairperson, Mr. Samson Mwale; PTA Vice Chairperson, Mrs. Threza Chabala and the host of the event, Chilanga Primary School Headmaster, Mr. Lungu. Activities such as Physiotherapy were conducted with the children by medical practitioners from Apex University and Fit5 trainings were done by Special Olympics Coach, Jason Miti.
Guest of Honor, Dr. Mwale stated that he was happy to be part of this multi-sectorial response which is aimed at kicking out covid-19 in Zambian communities. He stated that the multi sectorial response is strategic for the Ministry because it helps sensitize communities and create awareness of COVID-19 prevention measures. He stated that the emphasis of the Ministry of Health is to ensure that all communities are protected.
District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) Office representative, Mr Oscar Kayembe came on to explain that the government, through the Ministry of General Education, supports and appreciates organizations such as Sport in Action as they supplement the efforts of the Government through the 7 National Development Plan which advocates acceleration development efforts towards vision 2030 without living anyone behind. He explained that this also includes learners with disabilities. He emphasized the need to move together and thanked Sport in Action and Consortium partners for the Kickout COVID19 Initiative which is centered on vulnerable families in Zambian communities.
Chilanga Primary School Headmaster, Mr. Mwale expressed his gratitude to Sport In action and Consortium Partners for the generous donations and called upon other funders to come forward and help the children at the school with feeding programs which will be impactful in helping their caregivers allocate more time to finding ways to provide for their families, since they spend most of their time transporting children to and from school throughout the day. He also stressed the need for infrastructure development at the school stating that the Special Unit Department only has one classroom to accommodate for all pupils with disabilities.
‘’If given what is needed, with guidance and without discrimination or segregation, these children have immerse potential to contribute to society. They are part of us and we should live with them as persons with disabilities Act No. 6 of 2012 advocates that learners with special education needs have the capacity to develop full human potentials, sense of dignity and self-wealthy, develop fundamental and human freedoms. For all these, we are encouraging all parents and guardians to bring the children to school where we have well-trained teachers with a 2-tier curriculum categorized as academic and vocational. If a child cannot breakthrough academically, the child has a chance to learn and breakthrough in vocational pathways’’, Mr. Kayembe stated.
The Kickout COVID-19 initiative will continue to create awareness and support children and young people living with disabilities by ensuring that they are protected against the novel Corona virus.