Disabled children’s school seeks help(photos)

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LUCY PHIRI writes

@SunZambian

BEAM of Hope, a Lusaka-based rehabilitation centre for children living cerebral palsy, stroke and club foot, has appealed for financial support from government and other well-wishers to expand the institution.

School teacher, Edward Mwananshiku, said the centre needed money to grow and be able to provide a conducive environment for the disabled children.

“We have a lot of challenges here and our biggest challenge is the instability of the building, the roof leaks and we are scared it might fall any time. There are cracks everywhere and this is dangerous for children,’’ said Mr Mwananshiku.

He explained that the institution did not have enough education materials, like books, pencils, toys and that some children lacked proper clothes.

“I am a teacher here and a role model to the disables children, I was born without hands but I am to draw even better than those with hands using my feet,” said the 27-year old.

“My prayer is to find people who can come on board to help this institution with some of its requirements, government can also assist us financially,” said Mr Mwananshiku.

“I was born in a family of seven boys, I only discovered I was disabled after my younger brother began walking but I could not. My parents then decided to take me to Dagama School of the Disabled where I learnt how to paint and draw legs,” he said.

Beam of Hope founder Aaron Zulu, said the institution lacked transport for the disabled pupils forcing their parents to walk long distances to bring them to school.

He explained that the Beam of Hope School also lacked desks and suitable toilets for the disabled children.

“We seek help from government and other well-wishers to improve the situation for the children,” Mr Zulu said.

“The number of children here keeps on changing because some of them come from very far places, but at the moment we have 22 disabled from one year to thirteen years old, and 50 orphans from five to thirteen years old,” he said.

Another teacher at the school, Christine Namwanda, 43, said she was happy with the ability of the disabled pupils to easily catch up with lessons.

“Am pleased with my pupils because they are a cheerful lot, and always participate in lessons,” she said.

The school was established in 2018, and Mr Zulu said, “I was motivated to set up this school after realizing the amount of hardships the mothers were going through to take their disabled children to appropriate school far away.”

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