Malawi Paralympic Committee (MPC) has successfully completed the pilot phase of the special sports awareness campaign for school children with physical disabilities dubbed ‘I am Possible’, which teaches the values of sports that should be participated and enjoyed by everyone regardless of their physical status.
The campaign’s pilot phase, done in collaboration with International Paralympic Committee, the Ministry of Education and Malawi National Council of Sports, was officially closed during a special function held at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on Monday where MPC president James Chiutsi announced that the second phase is in its third week for the Central Region.
The function was graced by Sports Council board’s sports development committee chairperson Elliot Mankhamba Phiri, representative from Ministry of Education’s special needs department Hastings Magombo and the Southern Region’s ‘I am Possible’ Maravi Zone’s leader Nelson Mkwaila.
Chiutsi took advantage of these officials to call for the integration of this programme into all national schools, saying the project is not just tailor made for special needs schools but for all children to appreciate the values of Olympic sports of Courage, Determination, Inspiration and Equality.
He said the pilot phase was done for special needs schools and some of them had able-bodied children who participated with eagerness as they were taught to regard and treat each other on equal terms.
“Our desire is that the government, which has already been part of the project right from the start through Sports Council and Ministry of Education, should make this as a subject for all national schools, at least once a week,” Chiutsi said.
“The ‘I am Possible’ is one of the several projects which were initiated by the International Paralympic Committee and asked its affiliates to choose one which met their expectations. MPC chose ‘I am Possible’ project because it first teaches the four values of Paralympics; Courage, Determination, Inspiration and Equality.
“And we discovered that we chose the right project because, since January when it was launched, it has been embraced with enthusiasm by all participants and that prompted them to organize special competitions in essay writing and drawing that should depict what they had learnt.
“I must say the response for the competitions was overwhelming and we had to form a special independent committee to analyse the entries and today we are going to reward the winners with gold, silver and bronze medals.
“This is an important programme and we urge the government, through Sports Council and the Ministry of Education to consider it for all national schools as part of the curriculum,” Chiutsi said.
In his remarks, Magombo said the suggestion by Chiutsi will be discussed at length at ministry level to see the best way this can be integrated.
Sports Council’s Mankhamba Phiri applauded MPC for choosing this project and pledged their continued support to make it as a national schools subject.
He also applauded the schools, through Maravi Zone, for positively embracing the project. He told the children that he was a proud man to preside over the completion of the pilot phase.
“Be proud of yourselves that you shall be the pioneers of this project should it become a national subject,” Mankhamba Phiri said. “I congratulate you all for a job well done through the essays and drawings you presented.
“There can only be a few winners to receive the medals but be assured that you are all winners just by your positive participation,” he said.