Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Mary Navicha has urged parents and guardians of children with albinism in Machinga to send them to early childhood development (ECD) centres.
Speaking last week at Mwamadi Model ECD centre in Traditional Authority Nkula in Machinga, the minister observed that many children with albinism do not go to ECD centres.
“We want children with albinism to interact freely with others. In doing so, children will be growing with a positive attitude towards each other and in the end issues of attacks, abductions and killings will no longer be there,” said Navicha.
The minister commended Machinga District Council for promoting the development of ECD centres in the district.
“Let us lobby for the allocation of Constituency Development Fund towards the construction of ECD centres, especially in hard-to-reach areas,” she said.
Navicha said the ministry will be giving caregivers a monthly allowance.
“For the first time in the history of the ministry, we will now be giving something to caregivers who are currently volunteering to teach our children in ECD centres,” she said.
Navicha asked councils to motivate caregivers by, among others, ensuring that they also benefit from social protection programmes such as the social cash transfer, Malata and Cement subsidy and Farm Input Subsidy Programme.
Machinga district commissioner Bester Mandere said they conduct awareness campaigns to sentisise parents and guardians to the need to send their children with albinism to ECD centres. “Most households are female-headed such that it becomes difficult for them to send their children to school,” he said, adding that there are 523 community-based childcare centres in Machinga, with 39 870 children having access to ECD centres.