Lilongwe — Mobile Operator Airtel Malawi has moved in to ease mobility challenges for people living with disabilities in the country by donating assistive devices they have made through the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare.
The devices include wheelchairs, tricycles, wooden and metal clutches which are valued at K2 million.
The devices were officially received by Minister of Gender Dr Jean Kalilani at a ceremony held at MACOHA's Lilongwe Training Centre on Wednesday afternoon.
Managing Director for Airtel Malawi, Charles Kamoto, said as a brand, they champion inclusivity and the donation was testament for their commitment to support the welfare of people living with physical challenges.
"On our pillar of inclusivity, we look at how everyone in the society is living, that is why when we saw the glaring need to help our brothers and sisters who are living with disabilities we thought we could come in to address this need," said Kamoto.
He said the donation would also help the ministry to meet its objectives to enable and empower the physically challenged to become independent and productive citizens, especially the youth.
"We recognize the fact that the physically challenged individuals continue to face numerous challenges due to inadequate support in rehabilitation, resources, treatment and indeed education.
"It is our hope that this donation will facilitate their access to various social services and their participation in development activities," he said.
Speaking after receiving the donation, Dr Kalilani said the donation demonstrated good working relationship existing between government and the private sector in improving the welfare of Malawians including those living with physical challenges.
"We have many people who are living with different disabilities in the country and their needs are varied too. Government on its own cannot manage to take care of all these needs at a go. We look up to partners like these to help ease the burden on our shoulders," said Dr Kalilani.
The minister said she was glad Airtel Malawi had lived up on its word they made in 2015 when they helped them again. They have shown they have the welfare of Malawians at heart.
In June last year (2016), Airtel procured 100 wheelchairs and tricycles to Malawi Against Physical Disabilities in Blantyre and in 2015 they also donated assistive devices to the ministry.