Thursday, March 1, 2018

‘My Child should die first’– Special Mum

The voice on the other side of the phone sounded frantic, she said “Madam I saw your website...I have a child with cerebral palsy so I am calling for help.”

I smiled to myself and went ahead to tell her what the Special Mothers Project does, so I explained that the project served as an information hub to parents of children with cerebral palsy especially mothers.

The project also links parents to the limited support services available in Ghana, while advocating more of such services and ultimately favourable policy for children with cerebral palsy and families raising such children.

Then she said please I was wondering if you could help me find a school for my boy, we have been home for all this while, I am getting frustrated and I need to put him in school.

So I quickly pointed out the centres that the Special Mothers Project is facilitating, With God Cerebral Palsy Centre, Impact Care and Rehab Foundation, Epi Centre and also mentioned Sharecare Day Care centre and Multkids Academy.

I told her depending on where she stays she could make her enquires and seek admission for her son.
She asked again, Are you sure, they will admit my son, he cannot do anything by himself, will they take him, I said to her that those centres admit children with cerebral palsy, she should give them a try and wished her good luck.

This is a daily routine for the Special Mothers Project, parents that call to see if they can get help for their children with cerebral palsy, students doing their research on care givers join our Whatsapp group to find information and parents calling to share their concerns.

One thing stand outs especially from parents-they need some kind of respite, they need their children to be part of society, they need inclusion, they need society to understand them, they need their children with cerebral palsy to be in school.

In Ghana, many professionals have for far too long focused on hospital based care and therapy, many parents wish for an alternative, many are tired of taking their children to the hospital once or twice a week and then that becomes their life cycle, hospital and home with nothing else to do but to beg for income

The Special Mothers Project is advocating an enhanced life for families raising children with cerebral palsy, a life where the mother also has a life, her own life to live.

Auntie Adwoa (not the real name) said at one of the parents support group meeting that when the mother is sane, the child with cerebral palsy will be well.

Usually many mothers are not emotionally balanced because of all the expectations that society wants from them, their child must be “perfect” to enable them belong so many mothers get exhausted just by going from place to place to seek help.

It is about time that we encouraged people to take up professions that serve the needs of such families, respite care professionals, Community based rehabilitation professionals that will seek to provide home based services to enhance the lives of families raising children with cerebral palsy

As a country, it is time we begin conversations around respite care, assisted living, interestingly I have heard many mothers says that “as for me I pray to God that if I should die, then my child should die first I do not know how my child will survive without me...”

Yes can you imagine? This is a mother’s prayer and it is prayer offered for a child out of love. Many are scared of the future for their children with disabilities; they ask the question what next? With a lot of anxiety

I think that as a country we need to begin to change the conversation around children with disabilities to what forms of support that families raising children with disabilities can get?

We are very quick to judge parents should they do the “Unthinkable” but even before that parents get to this level, they have tried many things to help their children.

The month of March is designated as Cerebral Palsy awareness month, let for also focus on those parenting these children; can we have parks, play centres, institutions accepting these children in their facilities?

I know a couple who cannot go to church together because they have a child with cerebral palsy, they are unable to take the child to church for fear of stigma so they rotate church attendance, if the man attends this Sunday, the woman stays home to take care of child then the following Sunday the woman goes while the man take care of child.

For others the presence of a child with cerebral palsy have resulted in permanent conflict in the home, there is no peace, couples simply cannot agree of how they can handle and manage the child, they child who is supposed to be a blessing turns to be a burden.

Can we begin thinking of the families’ wellbeing? If the family is unstable, definitely the child will not be safe.

The Special Mothers Project prioritises the total wellbeing of the family with special attention to the mother.

In the Month of March let’s pledge to change our attitude not just towards children with cerebral palsy but towards persons with disabilities.

Let’s all remember that these persons have one disability but 99 other abilities

Friday, February 9, 2018

Special Mothers Project supports five institutions with mobility equipment

The Special Mothers Project, an advocacy and awareness creation programme on cerebral palsy issues have supported five institution and some individuals with mobility equipment

The beneficiary institutions are: Impact Care and Rehabilitation Foundation (ICRF), Sharecare Ghana, With God Cerebral Palsy Ghana, Epi Centre and Multikids Academy

Mrs Hannah Awadzi, Executive Director of the Special Mothers Project said the equipment mainly standing frames, were given to the institutions to encourage them to continue accepting children with cerebral palsy in their facility

The equipment were donated with the support of Farm4life and PhysioNet, all UK based Charities

She said the Special Mothers project is working to enhance the lives of families raising children with cerebral palsy and serves as an information hub on cerebral palsy management to parents of children with cerebral palsy

Mrs Mildred Osei Asiamah, Head of Impact Care and Rehabilitation Foundation (ICRF), said her facility is open for admissions all year round and will soon start a respite programe where parents could drop off their children on Monday and pick them up on Friday

Ms Monica Kwakye Head of School Epi Centre said the centre has two campuses, Labone and Gbawe is also doing a respite programme for parents and urged especially mothers to take advantage of it.

Mr Kwamena Dadzie-Dennis, Ag. Executive Director of the National Council of Persons with Disabilities, commended the Special Mothers Project for the gesture, saying, “Government cannot do it alone, organizations like the Special Mothers Project are therefore very important in terms of supporting families raising children with cerebral palsy.”

He pledged his outfits support for children with cerebral palsy and their families.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Special Mothers Project’s Home Care Assistants Programme

The Special Mothers Project in the year 2018 is starting/piloting a programme called the Special Needs Home Care Assistants Programme.

Under this programme the project is recruiting to-be graduates, graduates pursuing a course in Community Based Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, Psychology or a study programme related to caring for Children with Special Needs. Our focus will however be on children with cerebral palsy

These recruits will be trained with the Getting to Know Cerebral  Palsy manual as well as other training materials to enable them work with families raising children with cerebral palsy.
The aim is to enhance the lives of families raising children with cerebral palsy.


Majority of children with cerebral palsy in Ghana are kept at home, most of the time mothers bare the brunt of taking care of these children. The search for a reliable, passionate and affable person to even take care of a child with cerebral palsy usually proves futile.

Most mothers tend to be frustrated and desperate due to the fact that they are unable to work. Usually the Mothers life tend to be tied around the child leaving mum stressed and frustrated.

We all know that no frustrated mother will produce a healthy and happy child.
Many have depended on the traditional “house help system” but it has failed them continuously with many having bitter experiences to share

The Special Mothers Project has thus decide to pilot a system where graduates are recruited with a specific terms of reference to work with families or with homes to ease the burden on especially the mother.


Under the programme the graduates will be trained with the Getting to know cerebral Palsy manuals as well other documents and also trained based on the experiences of parents to support families with child care and other activities as well as selected house chores that ultimately aims at helping the families to achieve inclusion.

This programme will also serve as a mini respite where the mother does not have to be doing the work all alone, knowing that sometimes having someone around alone is a great source of relief.

To ensure safety and security of families the Special Mothers Project will facilitate medical tests of the selected applicants as well as security checks.

We will do an initial assessment of the client home and agree on specific duties of the Care giver within the normal working hours.

Among the Terms of Reference for the people we engage are the following:

Family Values – When you go to a home ask about any family values and respect it.

You will assist the child with cerebral palsy in eating, help with toilet training and have basic physiotherapy with the child (With the guidance of the family since every child with cerebral palsy is unique)

You will help with other siblings if any with the aim of helping integrate the child with cerebral palsy not just with the family but with the society at large

You will help train the child in basics: learning letters and figures and possibly teach rhymes even if they are un-responsive

You will also engage the child and siblings (If any) in play therapy – children learn a lot through play

Please assist (If possible) with simple house chores like helping with the utensils, tidying home etc

You will work with the family for an eight hour working period, unless otherwise agreed between you and the family

The family will provide you with Lunch or an equivalent of 5 cedis

On days that you are not working with family you may be assigned other duties such as helping the Executive Director in an assigned advocacy work

You may be requested to join in meetings of the Special Mums and Dads group and help provide care giver services when needed

You will be giving periodic professional training to enhance your skills and services

Please note you will be given a minimum contract of six month and you will be required to give one month notice should you at any time wish to stop working with us or your Monthly allowance withheld

The Project will also register the persons engaged with Ghana’s Social Security system to enable us contribute to their social security.

The Services will not be free, clients requesting for such services will pay an affordable fee to facilitate the work and also ensure that the care givers are given a respectable allowance

The Special Mothers Project’s Home Care Assistants Programme will also serve as a mini respite for mothers who usually do not have any break at all in terms of taking care of their children with cerebral palsy.

Please support this programme by donating to
The Special Mothers Project Account
1011010126145301 ADB, Ring Road Central Branch
Swift Code: ADNTGHAC
OR  Contact us on Facebook Special Mothers Project in Ghana. 

Also visit our website

Sunday, January 14, 2018

We are only asking for Inclusion – Special Mothers Project

The Special Mothers Project, an advocacy and awareness creation programme on cerebral palsy is asking for policies that considers children with cerebral palsy and their families

Mrs Hannah Awadzi, Executive Director of the Project announced this on Saturday when members of the group joined a keep-fit club at Shop N Save Supermarket Adentan branch as part of their awareness creation programme.

Mrs Awadzi said: “We want corporate Ghana and individuals alike to think about children with cerebral palsy and their families when planning events or organizing programmes.”

We also want people to take up careers as professional care givers and do things that support families raising children with cerebral palsy.

The Shop N Save Supermarkets supports the project by creating platforms and avenues where the group could advocate about their activities.

Mrs Awadzi said the project as part of its fund raising efforts have placed boxes on the tills of all Shop N Save Supermarkets, urging people to look out for the boxes and donate to support the advocacy work.

One of the participants at the keep fit activity expressed concern about parents who uses their children with cerebral palsy as a means to exploit people and said that kind of behaviours put people off.

He commended the Special Mothers Project for taking a different approach and urged Ghanaians to support the worthy cause.