Mountain hiking for cerebral palsy children

Wumi Wumo Foundation, a charity offering rehabilitation and physiotherapy services to children with cerebral palsy, has organised a mountain hike to the highest peak on Mulanje Mountain, Sapitwa.

Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects the part of the brain that controls muscle movements, and the four-day mountain adventure is part of a move to raise awareness around the condition.

Some of the children and mothers in a therapy session

According to organisers of the event, funds raised will be used to buy land for the construction of a rehabilitation centre.

 Currently, Wumi Wumo Foundation conducts its rehabilitation sessions at Mpemba Health Centre in Blantyre every Saturday.

Inspired by her experience with the children with cerebral Pplsy and Down’s syndrome when she was young, Marriam Mwalwenje-Lally founded Wumi Wumo Foundation, offering physiotherapy and nutrition to children with such conditions around Mpemba.

One of the mothers of the children with cerebral palsy in the area, Naomi Shaba, attests to the fruits of Wumi Wumo. Her three-year-old son could not even turn over before, but now he can, thanks to the foundation’s rehabilitation services.

 “He could neither turn his neck nor turn over, but now he can. I cannot lay him on the couch anymore because he will fall. I am grateful to Wumi Wumo. We used to walk to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital once every month for this rehabilitation, but thanks to them, we now get the services close to our homes, and four times per month,” she says.

The Wumi Wumo founder says they have physiotherapy equipment but it cannot be brought into the country because they do not have their own place to plant it.

 “So with the funds that will be raised, we will buy land and build a permanent centre from where we can operate freely,” she says.

As part of the fundraiser, 15 hikers will pay K80 000 each, and for four days beginning on April 28 hike to the peak.

 “On April 28, we will hike to Chambe Hut, and then to Chisepo on April 29; we will proceed to Sapitwa and then back to Chisepo on the 30th, and we will descend the mountain on May 1. We will have a welcoming ceremony for the descenders and raise awareness for cerebral palsy after descending,” says Mwalwenje-Larry.

Apart from that, Wumi Wumo Foundation is also empowering women, especially mothers of the children with cerebral palsy. They have introduced a farming programme which will produce a revolving fund that will be loaned out to them for economic empowerment.

 “We have been training them in entrepreneurship and the women will start businesses after this harvest. They are currently in Village Savings and Loans (VSL) groups already, and they will share the savings early next month. With funds from the farming venture and the VSL, they will be able to boost the small scale businesses they have,” says Mwalwenje-Larry. 

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