Thursday, October 19, 2017

Mother of four special needs children rescued from suicide attempt.

Mrs Golda Nunoo, Mother of four children, all special needs has been rescued from a suicide attempt by members of a support group she belongs to.

Golda and her three children
Mrs Nunoo made a frantic call to one of the members of the Special Mothers Group, Madam Linda Clarke amidst tears that someone in her neighborhood has been constantly ruining insults on her, referring to her as “Mother of mad children”

She thus decided to end it all for herself and three of the children currently living with her. When Madam Linda Clarke and Mrs Ellen Affam-Dadzie both members of the Special Mothers group, got to her house in Ashiaman, a suburb of Tema, she had locked two of the children in a room and had left to a church with the two year old son to say her last prayers to God.

Linda Clarke told the media that according to Golda, she has been shunned completely by people in the area.

Golda, 36 years, said: “No one talks to me, even if I am holding money to buy things people refuse to accept the money, they call me the curse one, saying I have given birth to mad children, I feel very isolated and want to move away from this neighbourhood.”

Mrs Hannah Awadzi, Initiator of the Special Mothers Project, an advocacy and awareness creation programme on cerebral palsy, said the project was introduced to Golda about two years ago when she gave birth to her last son with severe club foot.

“We tried to no avail to get the children into schools, even with a letter from the Ghana Education Service Special Education Unit, the children were refused admission,” Mrs Awadzi said.

Two years ago Ghana launched the Inclusive Education Policy supposed to ensure that all children go to school regardless of their disabilities; however, many parents of children with special needs think that the policy is not inclusive enough.

Majority of children with special needs in Ghana are refused admission even in government schools

Golda in tears
Golda spends the whole of her life attending to her four children, three of them non-verbal and is unable to work, her husband even though very supportive earns only 200 cedis a month as a security man.

Her first child has been adopted by her brother to lessen the burden on her 

Mrs Awadzi called on the Department of Social Welfare, non-governmental organizations, philanthropists and corporate organizations to come to the aid of Golda

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

“The Unexpected” launched to coincide with world CP Day

A book that chronicles a mother’s inspiring journey with her four year old daughter with cerebral palsy was launched over the weekend to coincide with the celebration of World Cerebral Palsy day.

Adwoa Okorewaa reading a portion of her book
The book titled: “The Unexpected” authored by Mrs Hannah Awadzi, Initiator of the Special Mothers Project, with a pen name: Adwoa Okorewaa serves to empower especially parents of a child with cerebral palsy to engage in effective advocacy.

It is also expected to help people have a positive attitude towards life.

Adwoa Okorewaa, author of the book who read a portion of the book to a crowd, said she got inspired to write based on the fact that there was very little awareness on cerebral palsy and how it affected family life.

“Most of the time, parents struggle alone with their children who have cerebral palsy, some get frustrated to the point of killing their own children or wishing them dead,” she said

Okorewaa said she started the Special Mothers Project to serve as a platform that provided encouragement and hope to parents of children with cerebral palsy.

The Special Mothers project also serves to link especially mothers to the limited support services available in Ghana

Mrs Awadzi said she will soon come out with points of sale where the book could be purchased but in the meantime, those who wish to buy a copy of the book should contact her through her Facebook page “Special Mothers Project in Ghana “or look for Hannah Awadzi on Facebook in addition to reaching her via whatsapp only on 0244547980

She said she is also available to speak to groups, corporate organizations, churches and others
Some members of Special Mums Group in a pose with the Member of parliament for the area, Zanetor Rawlings
organizations about cerebral palsy and use it as an opportunity to sell autographed copies.

Rev. Emmanuel Adjetey- Quaye, Youth Coordinator of the Ga Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church who launched the book, said “The Unexpected” is a must-read not only for parents of special needs children but for everybody.

“I have read the book over and over again and each time I read I get inspired,” he said.

The Unexpected is a 33page book with eight chapters that will serve as an inspiration to every human being on this planet earth.

The first copy of the book was bought at 500 cedis by Mr. John Majiti, Member of Parliament for Krachi Nchumuru. Ms Zanetor Rawlings, Member of Parliament for Osu Klottey also bought a copy for 500 cedis. The retail price of the book is 20 cedis

Ghana joined the rest of the world to celebrate World Cerebral Palsy day on 6th October. The day was characterized with activities including the book launch, a forum, and series of media interviews.

For the first time in the history of Ghana various organizations including the Special Mothers Project, Presbyterian Inclusive Child Development Programme, SWEB Foundation, CP Awareness, Ghana, Sharecare,Ghana, Multikids Foundation and individuals with  a passion for disability issues came under one umbrella “Cerebral Palsy Network, Ghana” to celebrate the day.

World cerebral palsy day is celebrated on the 6th October, every year to celebrate the lives of persons living with cerebral palsy and their care givers.

This year’s celebration was on the theme:  “Inclusion Now – We Move together.”

Monday, October 2, 2017

Ghana celebrates World Cerebral Palsy Day on October 6

Ghana will join the rest of the world to celebrate World Cerebral Palsy day on the 6th of October this year.

This year’s celebration is being coordinated by a group of nongovernmental organizations who have come together to form the Cerebral Palsy network, a network that will champion cerebral palsy issues in Ghana.

The organizations involved are the Special Mothers Project, an advocacy and awareness creation programme on cerebral Palsy, SWEB Foundation, an NGO working with persons with disabilities, Sharecare Ghana, an association for people with autoimmune diseases, Multikids Foundation, an NGO championing inclusion, CP Awareness Ghana, The Presbyterian Health Services – Inclusive Child Development programme and some individuals committed to the cause of persons with disabilities in Ghana.

World Cerebral Palsy Day is a movement of people with cerebral palsy (CP) and their families, and the organisations that support them, in more than 60 countries.

Its vision is to ensure that children and adults with CP have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in our society.

Robyn Cummins World CP Day Manager explains: “Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood and is also one of the least understood. There are over 17 million people living with CP and 350 million family, friends and supporters who care about them.”

World Cerebral Palsy Day is celebrated on the 6th of October every year.

In Ghana the day will be commemorated with a public forum to talk about cerebral palsy and the need for policies that enhance the lives of persons living with cerebral palsy.

The celebration is on the theme: “We Move together: Inclusion Now”

Government officials, members of parliament, policy makers and other dignitaries will be present to have firsthand information and interaction with children and adults living with cerebral palsy.

An inspirational book titled “The Unexpected “that chronicles  a mother’s journey of a child with cerebral palsy and how she has risen above that to inspire others will also be launched.

Earlier in the day, flyers with information on cerebral palsy will be distributed to commuters using the main Okponglo road in Accra.

Ms. Jedidiah Abanga, Coordinator of the Inclusive Child Development Programme of the Presbyterian Health Services said the CP Network in Ghana has designated October as the Cerebral Palsy awareness month and urged members of the network to share related information on social media throughout the month

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Capture children with cerebral palsy in disability register - Project

Some mothers of children with cerebral palsy have been able to register their children in an on-going registration exercise for all persons with disability.

Mrs Ellen Affam-Dadzie, Head of the With God Cerebral Palsy Centre, an Inclusive education centre for children said for the first time she has been able to register the children at her centre with the LEKMA district assembly.

She therefore urged other mothers of children with cerebral palsy to liaise with the Social Welfare Officer at the various district to also put the names of their children with cerebral palsy in the register of persons with disability.

“Usually children with cerebral palsy are excluded even from the disability fraternity due to their peculiar challenges, they may not be speaking nor walking, so it is left with the parents to become their number one advocate,” she said.

The National Council for Persons with Disability is embarking on a registration exercise to capture the data of all persons with disability.

The exercise will also inform the disbursement of the three per cent District Assemblies Common fund for Persons with Disabilities in Ghana

Ms Esther Sackey, a mother of a child with cerebral palsy in an interview said she hopes her child with also be captured in the data collection and subsequently benefit from the fund, saying, usually, they do not capture children with cerebral palsy even though they also have disabilities and their condition comes with a huge financial burden on  family.

She called on the Social Welfare workers in the various district to help capture all children and adults with cerebral palsy who may be brought by their parents for the registration.

Mr. Kwamena Dadzie-Dennis, Ag. Executive Secretary of the National Council for persons with Disability, said children with cerebral palsy should not be left out in the exercise.

He urged the Social Welfare Officers at the Various Districts to be extra helpful  to parents of children with cerebral palsy, “help them to register their children,” he emphasized.

Mrs Hannah Awadzi, Initiator of the Special Mothers Project, an advocacy and awareness creation platform on cerebral palsy issues, said usually parents do not even have access to such important information.

“Only a negligible percentage of children with cerebral palsy benefit from the fund for persons with disabilities, yet parents make huge sacrifices to even keep the children alive”

“We have issues with the educational system so most of the children are not in school, the lack of support and services including care-giver services is also huge,” she added

Mrs Awadzi urged government to pay attention to children with cerebral palsy and help formulate policies that will help enhance the lives of the children

Monday, September 4, 2017

Mothers of Children with CP trained to make APT Chairs

Some Mothers of children with cerebral palsy at the With God Cerebral Palsy centre have undergone training in how to make Appropriate Paper Technology (APT) chairs.
 Appropriate Paper-based Technology (APbT or APT) is a cost-effective way to produce personally designed furniture or other objects for use and creativity. Materials are recycled: waste paper, thin card and corrugated cardboard boxes.

The Mothers were also learnt how to make parazone, at a two day workshop meant to empower the mothers to venture into micro enterprises

The workshop organized by the With God Cerebral Palsy Ghana with support from the Special Mothers Project used the expertise of mothers who have been trained in the APT to pass on knowledge to other mothers

Ms. Patience Puplampu, Coordinator of the Special Mothers Project and lead trainer for the workshop, said she has the privilege of being trained by the Presbyterian Health Service’s Inclusive Child Development Programme and she is eager to pass on knowledge to other mums.

Ms. Puplampu, a Technical Drawing teacher by profession and a mother of a Nine year old girl with cerebral palsy was particular about getting accurate measurement of the children who will use the APT chairs for maximum benefit.

The APT serves as assistive devices for children with cerebral palsy, devices such as prone boards, walking frames, calipers, hand braces, special chairs/tables, canes, toys and other home gadgets are made for the children.

Ms. Puplampu urged the mothers to work in teams to ensure effectiveness
Mrs. Hannah Awadzi, Initiator of the Special Mothers Project, advised the mothers to take the training serious and be committed to work with their children given the limited number of professionals that handles children with cerebral palsy in the country.

She also encouraged the mothers to be united and support each other whichever way possible, saying, “Ask yourself what can I do to help improve the life of my child with cerebral palsy and the lives of others around me.”

Mrs. Awadzi said “Let us not always expect people to give us gifts, money and other items because of our children, let us also make our mind to contribute meaningfully to the development of this country and our children by joining the campaign for inclusion.”
Mrs. Ellen Affam-Dadzie, Head of the With God Cerebral Palsy Ghana, an inclusive educational centre where mostly children with cerebral palsy are admitted and cared for, said the centre was working to provide mothers of children with cerebral palsy with alternative livelihood.

“Many of the mothers are forced out of job or are sacked at work because they are no longer able to be effective at work,” she said the centre is training mothers in handicrafts, soap making, tye and dye or batik and help set them up in small businesses to enable them earn an income.

Mrs. Affam-Dadzie called on corporate Ghana to support the centre in whatever way possible to help empower mothers of children with cerebral palsy and enhance the lives of children with cerebral palsy.