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HomeLocal NewsDISABLED CHILDREN FIND HELP IN SHANTY COMPOUND

DISABLED CHILDREN FIND HELP IN SHANTY COMPOUND


DESPITE her struggle to feed and provide shelter for about 85 vulnerable and disabled children, 46 year-old Bernadette Tembo has continued to exhibit great will and determination to go on with the charity work. Ms Tembo is still as determined to provide shelter, food and hapiness to children as when she began her project in 2015
Ms Tembo decided to open a place for disabled children, and called it “House of Happiness for Children with Disabilities” after it came to her attention that some children were being denied access to education and the freedom to socialize by being locked up in houses.
The “House of Happiness for Children with Disabilities” is situated in George Compound in Lusaka. The Sun reporter recently visited the facility and spoke to the Chairperson, Peter Mwansa. The following is our interview with him.

The Sun: Do you have children coming from outside Lusaka?
Mr. Mwansa: No, the children we have at the moment are all from within Lusaka. We have not yet invited those from outside Lusaka because of the accommodation challenge that we have at the moment.
At the moment, we only have 40 children in boarding while the other 45 are day scholars but we provide three meals for them every day.
The Sun: Are all the children here orphans?
Mr. Mwansa: Not all of them. The number of orphans is very small. Three quarters of the children are disabled and their parents or guardians cannot afford to support them fully due to financial constraints.


The Sun: What really motivated you to start this project?
Mr. Mwansa: As the saying goes, the one who has it is the one that feels it. When you look at me, my coordinator and my deputy coordinator, are disabled. We were touched by seeing what the children with disabilities were going through so we thought of assisting our fellow parents to take care of them. If our parents took care of us and made us reach this far, why can’t we do the same for others?


The Sun: What are some of the challenges are you faced with in taking care of these children?
Mr. Mwansa: Accommodation is a big challenge that we have. We are only renting four (4) rooms. Two (2) are used as dormitories for boys and girls while the other two (2) are used as classrooms. A lot of children want to be staying here with their friends but we cannot manage to accommodate everyone. At times, we completely run out of food stuffs but God always provides. Some well-wishers just come in and share their food with us. At times we find it difficult to pay rentals.


The Sun: Do you have people or organizations funding your project?
Mr. Mwansa: No. We are not funded by anyone. We only sit down and wait for well-wishers to drop us something. Sometimes, things get hard that we even fail to feed the children but by the grace of God, we manage at the end of the day.


The Sun: What are your future plans for the project?

Mr. Mwansa: We want to be self-reliant and enroll children even from faraway places. We want to find a bigger place and build a bigger house that will accommodate a lot of children. We want to help as many children as we can. So we are calling on well-wishers to assist us with anything. It can be food stuffs, clothing, beddings and or building materials. This work is not for one person but for everyone because these children we are taking care of today are the leaders of tomorrow.

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