The Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MACOHA) has expressed sadness at the continued tendency of giving handouts to persons with disabilities saying it is crippling its rehabilitation programs.

MACOHA Executive Director Alick Chavuta said this in Limbe ahead of the organisations 2012 Flag Week.

According to the executive director, when people with disabilities have been given business equipment as a way of empowering them they end up selling the starter packs.

“Some of the persons with disabilities who are begging in towns and cities, we once empowered them through our rehabilitation programs, but they either mismanaged the capital or sold the tools they received as start pack,” said Mr Chavuta.

He, however, said the act of giving handouts to people with disabilities should not be tolerated saying it brings more harm than good.

This act, according, to him has created a dependency syndrome in most people with disabilities.

According to Mr. Chavuta, most persons with disabilities were once empowered in various areas such as tailoring, carpentry and joinery and tinsmith, but they abandon the trades to back begin.

Chavuta says it could have been easy to implement rehabilitation programs if city councils developed bylaws to bar people from giving arms to street beggars.

“We need by-laws to restrain people from giving handouts,” suggested Mr Chavuta.

The best way to help persons with disabilities, MACOHA says, is to give them things which can help them in generating income for themselves.

Although beneficiaries of MACOHA rehabilitation programs continue to misappropriate start-up kit, the council through its flag week this year plans to raise over K5 million meant to help in training 100 persons with disabilities through its community-based skills training program.

The funds will also be used to procure start-up kits for the resettlement of the trainees.

President of the Republic Mrs. Joyce Banda officially inaugurated this year’s MACOHA Flag Week on November 9 in Mangochi.

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