Cerebral Palsy Africa in Malawi
Cerebral Palsy Africa's next project aims follow-up our 2010 course for special needs teachers by training 20 more teachers and running follow-up courses and training of trainers so that the teachers could in future train new recruits.
An application has been made to the Scottish Government Malawi Development Programme for funding to continue training Special Needs Teachers in Malawi. The results of this round of funding will be published at the end of March.
If you would like to support this important work, please visit the Donations page.
2010 Training for School Teachers
During 2010, we ran a combined cardboard equipment and therapy course for special needs teachers in training in Montfort College in Limbe. The College asked for the training because the Ministry of Education in Malawi is now accepting children with cerebral palsy into normal schools and the teachers need to know how to work with them.
An APT desktop to assist with writing.
The special needs teachers we trained will work in resource centres around the country where all teachers can come for advice and help for the children in their classrooms. They will be able to show how to help a child to sit at a desk on just a bench but with a cardboard seat that fixes on so that the child is safe and supported in a way that allows him or her to write.
APT items made during the teachers' course in Malawi
The trainers were deeply impressed with the special needs teachers commitment and dedication to draw out as much knowledge and skills as possible from the course. They worked tirelessly to complete a punishing programme and we have received letters from them since the course telling us how they have been making equipment for the children in their resource centres and how the children have been benefiting. Here are some of their comments at the end of the course: -
“We have enjoyed the sessions throughout and promise to work tirelessly in order to improve and include the learner with CP with active participation and learning”
“The mode of presentation was fantastic, as well as the hands on experience”
“I have enjoyed learning new things that before were making my job as a specialist very difficult”
“I am now big and fat with CP knowledge and how to re-address problems concerning CP”
“I will use this information in my daily work schedule and unpack the knowledge acquired to my fellow specialist teachers and parents”
Participants on the 2010 course for special needs teachers with some of the APT items made during the course.
September 2008 Follow-up Courses
Janet Ivin and John Carter ran an APT training course, with eight participants nominated by Malawi Against Physical Disabilities. During the two weeks of the course 30 items were made to give the trainees a good grounding in the techniques of manufacture.
The visit by Jean-Paul Van Weert and Renate Hallett was intended to follow-up the 21 physiotherapists who attended the February course. Unfortunately, local organisational problems meant that the planned courses in Balaka and Blantyre did not achieve their aims. The course in Lilongwe went well and, for now, it was decided to concentrate our efforts there.
Participants and volunteer trainers from the course in Lilongwe
In July 2008, Two Malawian Physiotherapists Attend 8-week Bobath/Neurodevelopmental Course
In July 2008 McFarry Chakufa and Isaac Chapweteka attended the 8-week Bobath/Neurodevelopmental Course in Lusaka, Zambia which was funded by CPA. Both received their certificates and we hope they will be able in future to become trainers themselves.
Elementary Course – February 2008
The course was held in the Kachere Rehabilitation Technicians School in Blantyre. There were 18 participants. Some were physiotherapists, some occupational therapists, some rehabilitation technicians and some rehabilitation assistants. Three of the physios and the two OTs were lecturers in the Rehabilitation Technicians’ School. The course was very ably organised by Ceadric Pahuwa, the Principal of the School.
One of the children who assisted the training course being shown a digital photo
The participants liked the interactive presentation style and also indicated that they benefited from information about levels of ability and setting functional goals.
“I liked everything in the course particularly the practical sessions. The cooperation from the mothers/caregivers was lovely”
“My approach, attitude towards the children and their guardians will change because I now know what stress they undergo in their lives”
The course participants
Training Programmes in Malawi
Jean Westmacott visited Malawi from 14th to 19th May 2007 on behalf of Cerebral Palsy Africa. Her mission was to find out as much as possible about what is being done in the country for children with cerebral palsy and what the needs for training are for those people who are working with the children.
She found a great deal being done in both Lilongwe and Blantyre though there are very few staff and a great number of children. What impressed her was the great interest that all those working in this most difficult area have in learning how they can do the job better.