Some mothers of children with cerebral palsy at the With God Cerebral Palsy centre have undergone training in how to make Appropriate Paper Technology (APT) chairs.
Appropriate Paper-based Technology (APbT or APT) is a cost-effective way to produce personally designed furniture or other objects for use and creativity. Materials are recycled: waste paper, thin card and corrugated cardboard boxes.
The mothers were also taught to make other products at a two day workshop meant to empower these women to venture into micro enterprises.
The workshop organized by the With God Cerebral Palsy Ghana and supported by the Special Mothers Project, used the expertise of mothers who have been trained in APT to pass on their knowledge to other mothers.
Ms. Patience Puplampu, Coordinator of the Special Mothers Project and lead trainer for the workshop, said she was privileged to have been trained by the Presbyterian Health Service’s Inclusive Child Development Programme and was eager to pass on knowledge to other mums.
Ms. Puplampu, a Technical Drawing teacher by profession and a mother of a nine year old girl with cerebral palsy, was very detailed on accurate measurement of the children who will use the APT chairs for maximum benefit.
APT serves as assistive devices for children with cerebral palsy, including devices such as prone boards, walking frames, calipers, hand braces, special chairs/tables, canes, toys and other home gadgets made specifically for the children.
Ms. Puplampu urged the mothers to work in teams to ensure effectiveness.
Mrs. Hannah Awadzi, Initiator of the Special Mothers Project, advised the mothers to take the training serious and be committed to work with their children given the limited number of professionals supporting children with cerebral palsy in Ghana.
She also encouraged the mothers to be united and support each other whichever way possible, saying, “Ask yourself what can I do to help improve the life of my child with cerebral palsy and the lives of others around me.”
Mrs. Awadzi said: “Let us not always expect people to give us gifts, money and other items because of our children, let us also make up our mind on how to contribute meaningfully to the development of this country and our children by joining the campaign for inclusion.”
Mrs. Ellen Affam-Dadzie, Head of the With God Cerebral Palsy Ghana, an inclusive educational centre where mostly children with cerebral palsy are admitted and cared for, said the centre was working to provide mothers of children with cerebral palsy with alternative livelihood.
“Many of the mothers are forced out of job or are sacked at work because they are no longer able to be effective at work,” she said the centre is training mothers in handicrafts, soap making, tye and dye or batik and help set them up in small businesses to enable them earn an income.
Mrs. Affam-Dadzie called on corporate Ghana to support the centre in whatever way possible to help empower mothers of children with cerebral palsy and to enhance the quality of life of their children.