Government has signed a K2.5 million Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to facilitate the provision of wheelchairs and assistive devices for persons with disabilities.
Ministry of Community Development and Social Services signed on behalf of the government on Friday.
The MoU is for an initial one year, subject to renewal and would commit to support government through the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD), with 450 varied assistive devices.
The Church would also provide technical support and training of occupational therapists to ensure that support towards persons with disabilities was tailored to their individual needs in order to minimize the impacts of multiple barriers they face on a daily basis.
Community Development and Social Services Permanent Secretary, Angela Kawandami, said that government recognised the plight of persons with disabilities and their constitutional rights to effectively participate in all areas of life.
“I urge other organizations to come on board to compliment government’s efforts in assisting citizens with disabilities, because it is only by working together that we can help them realize their full potential,” Kawandami said.
Jesus Christ Church of the Latter-Day Saints, Humanitarian Manager, Given Masetle, explained that the project would provide approximately 300 wheelchairs.
Masetle said the project would also provide 146 walking aids, and would include training in the World Health Organisation protocol for wheelchair provision for 12 clinicians and 12 technicians from the Ministry.
He said the church was alive to the unprecedented challenges and needs of persons with disabilities in communities, whose answer lie in the power of social partnerships such as this.
“We are grateful for the small part we are playing in helping our brothers and sisters, increase their mobility, leading to greater happiness and self- reliance”, he said.
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