Commissioner of Police (COP) Dr George Akuffo Dampare, Chairman of Board of Trustees of the Pumpkins Foundation says discrimination is still widespread among persons living with cerebral palsy; adding that their condition was further worsened with society that lacks the requisite care systems to manage and adequately cater for persons living with the condition.
“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.
Dr George Akuffi Dampare disclosed this in a goodwill message on October 6, 2020 as friends and partners of the Pumpkins Foundation joined the child focused organization to commemorate World Cerebral Palsy Day.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees 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 child and all persons living with CP.”
In other goodwill messages to commemorate the Day, Madam Cynthia Mamle Morrison, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, 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.
The Minister admonished CP parents and guardians to let their children know that they are special beings created by God and that their thumb prints are different from any other child, describing them as unique in their own ways.”
A long time friend and ally of the Pumpkins Foundation, Madam Gifty Twum-Ampofo, a Deputy Minister for 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.”
She noted that government policies were on the way to support these families unearth the potential of individuals living with CP.
“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.”
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 that managing children with CP, you are the heroes of our times; we hail you.”
On her part, Actress Beverly Afaglo who shared her first experience with children living with Cerebral Palsy at the 2017 World CP Day celebration of the Pumpkins Foundation said CP was not a disease but just a condition that people were born with, she therefore urged all and sundry to love and support CP children and their families. The renowned actress encouraged the citizenry to read about the condition inorder to make a mark.
Pumpkins Foundation is an international child focused organization dedicated to the promotion of the general wellbeing of all children, especially the underpriviledged ones.
Under its Cerebral Palsy project the Foundation has worked closely with children living with the condition and their families to access improved interventions and better outcomes in an effort to help these children with special needs reach their full potential as well as help reduce the burden and frustrations on their families.
Since its establishment in 2011, the Pumpkins Foundation has been implementing strategies and creating opportunities to address the health, education and basic needs of children through community-driven initiatives with support from statutory duty bearers aimed at improving the quality of life of all children.
“As we go green for World Cerebral Palsy Day 2020 amid the globally-hit COVID-19 pandemic, let us learn about the uniqueness and the capability of children living with the condition and what helps for their independence and success. CP Families continue to fight stigmas and limitations but we can beat all of that by having a heart for it together with strong faith and confidence”, charged Madam Edith Pinamang, Executive Director, Pumpkins Foundation.
Adding on, Executive Director Pumpkins Foundation-USA, Madam Sandra Abanquah Twumasi called for a change of mind set about Children living with Cerebral Palsy and give them the opportunity to learn how to identify and fully exploit their unique individual talents.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a lifelong condition that is caused by non-progressive damage to the infant brain, impacting the developmental trajectory of children and their families
World CP Day, October 6, every year is an opportunity for the whole world to come together to recognize and celebrate the over 17 million people living with Cerebral Palsy globally.
This year’s globall celebration was on the theme: “Make Your Mark”.
By: Melvin Tarlue