The Scottish Government has funded a three-year project which aims to strengthen the voice of disabled people in Malawi in a bid to reduce the high levels of poverty and improve the quality of life experienced by disabled people in the country.
Most people in Malawi who
have a disability do not have access to essential services. The project
will see three Scottish charities coming together to lend their
expertise and support to disabled peoples organisations in Malawi to
help them develop advocacy and effective campaigning to enable them to
speak with one voice to bring about positive change.
support of the Scottish Government, CBM Scotland, ENABLE Scotland and
the Mental Health Foundation Scotland aim to make huge improvement to
the lives of people who have a disability and their families in Malawi.
Disability in Malawi
The three Scottish charities will soon begin work with the Malawi
umbrella group FEDOMA (Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi)
to strengthen their ability to advocate for the rights of people who
have disabilities at local and national level, and to ensure equitable
access to health, education and livelihood services.
Karen Garrott, Country Manager for CBM in Scotland said: "I believe
that between our partners in Malawi and Scotland we have an opportunity
to ensure that the voice of people who have disabilities in Malawi is
The Scottish Government has awarded £317,000 over three years for
this specific project. Strong links already exist between Scotland and
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said:
"Scotland has a special relationship with Malawi. Scottish-based
organisations have been working for many years to improve the lives of
its people, who are among the poorest in the world. Through our
International Development Fund, the Scottish Government is proud to
support CBM, Enable Scotland and the Mental Health Foundation's
important work to strengthen the voice of disabled people in Malawi,
reduce the high level of poverty and make a real difference to their
"Scotland takes its responsibilities to the wider world
seriously. That is why I have protected Scottish Government spending on
international development, helping to make a real difference to some of
the world's poorest and most vulnerable people."
MUSSA CHIWAULA, Executive Director of FEDOMA (Federation of
Disability Organisations in Malawi, explains what the project will mean
to people in his country, saying:
"This project will greatly assist in building the capacity of
disabled people and their organisations so that their voices are heard
and their issues get truly embedded amongst community and local
government development activities. Malawi is one country that has a very
sound policy framework meant to promote disability mainstreaming in all
national development activities but the major challenge is that it
still needs to be translated into practice so that it brings meaningful
change to the lives of persons with disabilities in the country."
Peter Scott, CEO of ENABLE Scotland, explained ENABLE Scotland’s involvement in the project, saying:
"ENABLE Scotland has had strong links with Malawi in the past, and we
are therefore very pleased to be able to lend our support to disabled
people and their families in Malawi once again. With funding from the
Scottish Government, and in partnership with CBM Scotland and the Mental
Health Foundation Scotland, we hope to share our experience as a
membership and campaigning organisation with our partner organisations
in Malawi. By doing so, we aim to empower disabled people and their
families, and build their capacity to effect positive change. "
Speaking about the launch of the project Mike Davies OBE, Head of Programme Development, CBMUK said:
"Most people who have disabilities do not have access to essential
services in Malawi. This exciting initiative, generously funded by the
Scottish Government, is expected to have a long-term positive impact on
the quality of life of over 300,000 Malawians living with disability, by
strengthening their ability to speak with one voice, and bring about
positive change and inclusion."
Isabella Goldie, Head of Mental Health – Scotland said:
"The Mental Health Foundation are delighted to be working in
partnership with such a diverse range of partners as CBM, Enable
Scotland and FEDOMA on this exciting new project. Stigma and
discrimination limits the lives of people with mental health problems
across the world and often excludes them from full civic participation.
project will enable us to work with FEDOMA and other disability and
human rights organisations in Malawi to support people with mental
health problems to have an equal voice on the issues that affect their
lives. Working alongside wider disability organisations will also
provide a vital opportunity to improve the wellbeing of people who live
their lives with disabilities often in challenging circumstances by
supporting them to engage with local and national democratic processes
whilst also allowing us to learn from organisations and a country where
the democratic processes and cultural understanding of mental health and
wellbeing is very different.
"Scotland has a strong connection
with Malawi and we hope that this project will mutually benefit both
countries and help to create better, fairer lives for people with
Caption - Karen Garrott (4th from left) - CBM UK's Country Manager
for Scotland, with Bixon Phiri (5th from left) who has severely
neglected bilateral clubfoot. Copyright: CBM
Notes to Editors
CBM, the overseas disability charity, is an international disability
and development organisation committed to improving the quality of life
of people with disabilities and those at risk of disability. CBM is
working in over 80 of the poorest countries in the world, reaching more
than 36 million people in 2011.
* CBM supports health care for persons with disabilities, and prevention of conditions which can lead to disability.
CBM seeks to improve access to health care, education and
rehabilitation services for people with visual, hearing, physical,
intellectual or psychosocial impairments.
* CBM aims to
mainstream disability into all aspects of development and empower people
with disabilities to take an active role in their communities through
inclusion in development projects and involvement in community
* CBM is an official partner of the World Health
Organisation in a number of fields including prevention of blindness,
hearing impairment and mental health.
Posting organisation: Enable Scotland
Contact: Nikki Slowey
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