Accra, Oct. 08, GNA – Pumpkins Foundation, a child focused organisation dedicated to the promotion of the general wellbeing of all children, especially the poor and needy, has marked World Cerebral Palsy Day with a call on stakeholders to remain committed to the welfare of vulnerable children amid COVID-19.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a lifelong condition that is caused by non-progressive damage to the infant brain, impacting the developmental trajectory of children, as well as their families.
World CP Day, October 6, is an opportunity for the whole world to come together to recognise and celebrate the 17 million people around the world living with CP.
Pumkins Foundation helps children to reach their full potential, empowering them to be agents of change to help their own.
Since its establishment in 2011, the Foundation has been implementing strategies and creating opportunities to address the health, education and basic needs of children through community-driven initiatives.
The World PC Day celebration was on the theme: Go ahead, “Make Your Mark”, Change your Mind Set about Children living with the condition and give them the opportunity to learn how to identify and fully exploit their unique individual talents.
As part of the celebration, some eminent personalities gave goodwill messages to commemorate the Day.
Madam Cecilia Morrison, Minister of Social Protection, Gender and Children Affairs, used the opportunity to thank parents who had children with CP, for taking time to nurture and to bring them up.
“As we celebrate this day, we want our children to show their talent and skills, in the midst of coronavirus we know that they cannot go out but wherever they are, we pray that we make them happy, and we make them joyous. Let them know that they are special beings created by God and that their thumb prints are different from any other child, they are unique in their own way.”
Madam Gifty Twum-Ampofo, a Deputy Minister of Education in-charge of Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET), said: “As we celebrate how far we have come on the journey with CP awareness, I wish to congratulate all families living with individuals with CP, especially mothers who sacrifice so much for these individuals.”
“Congratulations to all families, organisation and individuals who support families and individuals with cerebral palsy. And to individuals living with cerebral palsy, do not be intimidated by anyone, believe in yourself and work towards everything you want to achieve. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Commissioner of Police (COP) Dr George Akuffo Dampare, Chairman of Board of Trustees, Pumpkins Foundation, said discrimination was still widespread among persons living with cerebral palsy; adding that their condition was further worsened with society that lacked the requisite care systems to manage and adequately cater for persons living with CP.
“Social inclusiveness remains just an idle prose in speeches and documents around the world. If life can be a struggle for persons living without any form of disability, just imagine the pain and mental torture people living with CP endure,” he said.
He noted that the spread of the coronavirus and its attendant social restrictions was biting harder on people with CP.
“Be nice, be kind, be gentle, be that thoughtful person who puts a smile on the face of a person living with CP.”
Mr James Gawu, Executive Director, Health Support Foundation, said there was more that society, family members and individuals could do for parents and children that were living with CP.
“We need to do more, we need to step-up, we need to assist and also there must be targeted and intentional governmental effort to curb the stress and burden of parents that are managing children living with CP,” he said.
“For all parents managing children with CP, you are the heroes of our times; we hail you.”
Madam Beverly Afaglo, an Actress, said CP was not a disease but just a condition that people were born with, and urged all to love and support children with CP.