PIP is a lifeline for disabled people and needs to be protected

Scope's Blog

We know that life costs more if you’re disabled. Personal Independence Payments (PIP) play a key role in helping disabled people to manage some of these extra costs.

Last week the Government announced plans to tighten up access to PIP. We are concerned that this reduction in financial support will make it harder for many disabled people to live independent and fulfilling lives.

The extra costs of disability

Scope research shows disabled people spend on average £550 a month on costs related to their impairment or condition. For one in 10, these costs amount to £1,000 a month.

The additional costs disabled people face broadly fall into three categories:

  • Expensive purchases of specialised equipment, such as wheelchairs or screen readers.
  • Greater use of non-specialised goods and services, such as energy or taxis and private hire vehicles.
  • Paying more for non-specialised goods and services, such as insurance or higher tariffs…

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The children hunted because of their skin:

Original post from Daily Mail

‘……...Malawi’s albino youths who are under protection from the police and army to stop hunters slaughtering them to use body parts in magic rituals

  •  Albino men and women continue to be hunted for their body parts in Africa
  • Malawi police have been ordered to shoot anyone caught attacking albinos
  • Tanzania PM previously urged citizens to kill those caught with body parts
  • In nearby Burundi, youngsters are being housed in special accommodation


These are the albino men and women put under police and army protection in a desperate bid to stop the cruel East African black market trade of their body parts.

Police across Malawi have been ordered to shoot anyone caught attacking albinos, while Tanzania’s prime minister has urged citizens to kill anyone found with albino body parts.

And in nearby Burundi, albino youngsters from across East Africa are being housed in special accommodation under army protection in a bid to deter attackers.

Dorothy Mausen, a 22-year-old Malawian albino woman, poses for a photo in the country's Machinga district

Malawian police have been ordered to crack down on those trading in albino body parts, with orders recently given to shoot anyone caught attacking them

The drastic developments come as the United Nations reports at least 15 people with albinism, mostly children, have been killed, wounded, abducted or kidnapped in East Africa in the past six months.

Body parts of those with albinism are prized in black magic and witchcraft, as it is believed spells based on their body parts will bring luck, love and wealth.

Nearby Burundi has also taken steps to safeguard albinos by accommodating them in housing under protection.

The latest order came from Malawi’s Inspector General of Police Lexen Kachama who instructed police to shoot any ‘dangerous criminals’ caught abducting albinos, according to local media reports.

‘Shoot every criminal who is violent when caught red-handed abducting people with albinism,’ said Kachama, adding that he was ordering police to use weapons in proportion to the crime.

‘We cannot just watch while our friends with albinism are being killed like animals every day.

‘We do realize that these people are ruthless, have no mercy and therefore they need to be treated just like that.’

His comments came just a month after a Malawian man was arrested for trying to strangle to death a 16-year-old albino boy.

Catherine Amidu, 12, sits in her home Malawian home, in a region where six albinos have been killed since December

Catherine Amidu, 12, sits in her home Malawian home, in a region where six albinos have been killed since December

Femia Tchulani, 42, lives in constant fear of attackers who target and kill albinos in order to sell their body parts on the black market

Village chief Mariam Witness stands in a graveyard where the grave of an albino person was recently desecrated. Body part traders are known to exhume graves in order to obtain body parts in the cruel trade

Village chief Mariam Witness stands in a graveyard where the grave of an albino person was recently desecrated. Body part traders are known to exhume graves in order to obtain body parts in the cruel trade

A similar remark was made by Tanzania’s Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda in 2009 when he urged citizens to kill anyone on the spot if they were found with the limbs or organs of albinos.

Albino rights group have called for greater protection of albinos but said killing suspects was not going to deter criminals offered large sums of money for securing body parts as they were likely to still take the risk for the promised reward.

Witchdoctors will pay as much as $75,000 for a full set of albino body parts, according to a Red Cross report.

Vicky Ntetema, executive director of Under The Same Sun, a Canadian non-profit organization defending albino rights, said campaigners wanted justice for those people kidnapped, mutilated and murdered.

‘But we have to remember that all those goons caught red-handed … are small fish – agents and executors of the big sharks out there,’ she said.

‘Killing them on the spot is not going to help us catch the inducers, those with money to hire these gangs who continue to terrorize innocent people with albinism and their families.’

An albino boy sits between his two parents at their home in Malawi

An albino boy sits between his two parents at their home in Malawi

Ntetema urged police in Tanzania, Malawi and Burundi to quiz suspects to get information about the witchdoctors who use albino body parts and their clients.

‘We all need to unite and find the culprits who are hiding behind the killers … Why would people kill albinos if they were not asked to get their organs by someone?’ she said.

The plight of people with albinism has worsened in East Africa in recent years, according to U.N. and police figures, with concerns that an election in Tanzania this year will prompt more attacks as politicians seek luck at the ballot box.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Said Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein last month urged African governments to combat impunity for crimes against people with albinism.

Albinism is a congenital disorder which affects about one in 20,000 people worldwide, according to medical authorities. It is more common in sub-Saharan Africa and affects about one Tanzanian in 1,400.

Mainasi Issa, 23, is one of a number of Malawian albino women under police protection in the impoverished African country

Mainasi Issa carries her two-year-old daughter along the path outside the hut in which she lives




Flu vaccination available for children & young people with learning disabilities in England

Flu vaccination available for children & young people with learning disabilities in England from  blog of Special Needs Jungle

An extract ‘As a registered carer, I recently qualified for a free flu jab at my GP surgery. This is really important for parent carers because even if you are struck down with flu, your disabled child still needs to be cared for just the same, as well as the regular things that are more difficult for everyone when they’re sick.  …………..’

I fully agree with this, I would recommend anyone who is eligible for the flu vaccination to take advantage of this opportunity.


Are They Better Than Me?

Are they Better Tan Me? from the blog of Attenti at Lupo

There have been over the years many instances of actions of abuse in the Catholic Church, which have, until recently, been kept secret, but lets hope this, from now on, will not be so.

There is the adage that ‘you look after your own’ and this is certainly true of the Catholic Church of the past, now lets hope that it is not of the current and certainly the future. Unfortunately this is not only true of the Catholic Church but of many other institutions, all need to be cleansed, but that will never be the end, for abuse will always be there, so it is the responsibility of all to be forever vigilant. Then when it does occur, the abusers needs to be dealt with and those at risk of harm be protected.

The answer to the ‘Title’ is no, they just believe they are.

Attenti al Lupo

Priest2(photo from Telegraph.co.uk)

This is Neil Gallanagh. The Church decided not to unfrock him even if abused boys.

Deaf boys.

Priest3(photo from The Guardian.Com)

Bernard Cardinal Law covered-up hundreds of sexual abuse of children by priests of the Archdiocese of Boston.

He’s still inside the Church.

John Paul II (yes, the so called Saint) in 2004 made him archpriest of St. Mary Major, one of the Eternal City’s four Patriarchal basilicas.

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Nigeria and ‘The Misconception of Boarding Schools’ Responsibility’

This is a post from the blog of ‘jujufilms’ which highlights instances of abuse of children in some boarding schools in Nigeria. But these instances of abuse are not just to Nigeria, but I believe worldwide, if they are not known about, then are they waiting to be unearthed.

In the UK we have had many instances of abuse against children which has been allowed to occur for more years than it should.  But why do the supposed responsible authorities allow the actions of harm to persons at risk of harm. In the UK we have legislation which is supposed to protect those that may be at harm, but if the responsible authorities ignore the legislation, then what else can be done?

One of our latest instances is the ‘Saville abuse scandal‘ where the police, the judiciary, BBC, prison authority, Health Authorities, children homes and may be others, have all, over a span of at least 50 years, allowed instances of harm to occur to persons at risk of harm. While some of the persons who committed these instances have now been brought before the UK courts and been sentenced, we are still waiting to hear why these acts and persons were allowed the time and opportunity. Why have the authorities and the supposed persons in authority also not be brought before the courts, is there still a conspiracy of silence?

This follows one of my previous posts ‘Abuse, what is and to whom‘.

Can anyone answer the question ‘Why is abuse allowed to continue?’

In some countries it may be down to culture, but it may also be due to lacking responsibility, afraid to make public, not noticing, not understanding abuse or other reasons. Then you have the fear of what may happen to you if you make your concerns known to others. But if people are not prepared to be responsible, then abuse and the abusers will go unchallenged and more persons will be subjected to acts of harm.

Juju Films

British colonialists introduced western style education and boarding schools to Nigeria same as Christianity. During the early period of colonialism there were only a handful of schools in the country, many students had to travel far from home to attend the best schools. Indigenes living in close proximity to these schools but could not afford to attend were subsidized.

Privileged Nigerians who themselves had previously studied in England and could afford the tuition and boarding sent their children overseas for school. In the last two decades the number of private boarding schools in the country has increased considerably, partly due to a failed public school system and an emerging middle class.

Two decades ago there where no boarding schools in my community but today we have two within two miles of my childhood home and the situation is the same for many towns and cities across the country.

I did…

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