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By Mphatso M’bang’ombe
Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre (MHRRC) organized a one day review meeting at Chikho Hotel in Dowa district. The review meeting targeted traditional leaders, Police Officers, APAM members, Social Welfare officers, Ministry of Gender, Christian Blind Mission (CBM) and Journalists. Participants during the gathering said that they were impressed with the implementation of the CEPPAM project which contributed to the promotion and protection of rights of persons with albinism in Malawi.
Speaking during the review meeting the Director for MHRRC Emma Kaliya expressed satisfaction with how the project has been managed in Dowa, Chiradzulu, Chikwawa , Ntcheu, Mangochi and Lilongwe. Kaliya commended CEPPAM project for promoting collaboration among key stakeholders in promoting rights of persons with Albinism in the above mentioned districts.
Kaliya said that the project made positive strides in the districts such as communities respecting rights of persons with albinism, advocated for the availability of sunscreen lotions in various health facilities, minimised stigma and reduced killings of persons with albinism. She also asked Government not to relax but to continue with interventions as the project is phasing out.
Taking his turn, Joshua Mkwehiwa Chief Disability Affairs Officer who is also responsible for National Action Plan in the ministry, thanked MHRRC for the CEPPAM project, saying project has made a lot of progress in terms of promoting rights of persons with albinism in the country.
In his speech, Mkwehiwa also called upon all CSOs to take part in the protection and promotion of rights of persons with Albinism in the country emphasizing on the need for a multi-sectoral approach.
Speaking on behalf of the Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM), Young Muhamba who is also APAM president applauded MHRRC for effectively implementing CEPPAM project. Mr Muhamba hailed the project for fostering good coordination amongst different key players and that the project has also helped persons with albinism and the general public to understand Albinism and how best they can promote and protect rights of persons with albinism. The APAM president committed to continue working with MHRRC beyond the lifespan of the CEPPAM project.
In a separate interview, Senior Chief Sultan Chowe of Mangochi district applauded MHRRC for the interventions that were implemented under the project which helped in respecting rights of persons with Albinism in the country.
He also asked CBM and EU to extend their support to CEPPAM project as it is transforming lives of persons with Albinism in the country.
CEPPAM project was implemented by MHRRC in six districts in the country with funding from European Union (EU) through Christian Blind Mission (CBM) Malawi.