This is a special edition about Community Based Rehabilitation in the North West Region of Cameroon.
Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) is an approach to working with people with disabilities to improve quality of life, promote social inclusion, and reduce poverty, in the communities where people live. Many different people and organizations are part of CBR, including people with disabilities, their families, neighborhoods and communities, CBR workers, health and social services workers, and government and non-government organizations.
CBR is about health, education, vocational, and social services as well as human rights and empowerment. CBR was initiated by the World Health Organization following the Declaration of Alma-Ata in 1978, and is now used around the world.
There is a paradigm shift happening in many places – people are changing their perspectives, and moving from CBR to Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID). The CBR Group of the GRID Network is preparing a document about CBR and CBID to explain this shift in more detail.
In this issue of the notebook, we share two CBR/CBID stories. We hope you enjoy them! The GRID Network would love to hear your stories, questions, and comments about CBR and CBID in the North West Region. We know that there are many other success stories.
VOLUNTEERS ARE AN IMPORTANT PART of CBR PROGRAMS
The Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) services of the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS) organized the CBR Annual Training for 102 CBR volunteers from Monday February 20 to Friday 24, 2017 at the Saint Jerome Pastoral Center, Kumbo.
This year the annual workshop was aimed at strengthening the volunteers’ skills in identification and referral of person living with disabilities (PWDs), raising awareness in disability issues, and the follow up of PWDs referred to services to actually access the different outcomes.
The training brought together trainers from several departments of the CBCHS including Physiotherapy; Eye, Ear Nose and Throat; Mental Health; Palliative and Childhood Cancer departments. It provided them with a very comprehensive package on basic information helpful in the community. The volunteers’ role is to promote the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of disabilities in line with the Health Component of the World Health Organization’s CBR guidelines. (See below for a link to these guidelines.)
Resulting from the partnerships between the CBCHS Socio-Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) program and the North West Region Municipal Councils for the purpose of collaborating to promote inclusive development in the region, the Councils have now recruited 81 of these volunteers to work within their municipalities.
Mfon Kilian able to participate in Community life again
Mr. Mfon Kilian is a 34 year old man resident in Noni in Bui Division. He lost his sight as a result of an assault by thieves. He was a bike rider and on September 12, 2013 he was attacked when he was working and his bike was stolen. In order to steal the bike, the thieves used knives to painfully eviscerate his eyes. All medical attempts made in the hospital to rescue the situation failed; consequently Kilian was left completely blind.
Kilian was identified by a CBR staff member with difficulty because after the incident, he was always indoors. He did not want to come out because he was not aware of his environment and thought that he was not helpful to the society. Counseling was done with him, noting that he still had potential which could be helpful to him and the society. The CBR staff developed a training plan for Kilian on Orientation and Mobility skills with a focus on cane techniques, sighted guide techniques, and protective techniques.
Kilian was quick in the acquisition of the skills and as a motivation the CBR staff gave him a mobility cane which he expressed the need to have, but could not afford to buy on his own because of financial difficulties.
Kilian now is involved in community life, goes to church and the market, and visits friends and neighbors in his village with little to no difficulties.
The first time Killian went to the church on his own he was so excited and called the CBR staff on phone to explain where he was and that he was so proud of himself. He said when he came back home and told his family his adventure no one really believed he did all by himself.
He is a very happy man now and does bamboo work to earn a living. Stop by and greet him the next time you are visiting Noni.
Thank you very much for sharing your story, Kilian!
To download this document go to :
By these actions, we in the CBR programs are contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 1 Ending Poverty, SDG 3 Good Health and Well-Being, SDG 8 Decent Work, and SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities.
You can read more about CBR here http://www.cbm.org/Cameroon-253074.php and here http://www.who.int/disabilities/cbr/en/
You can read more about the Sustainable Development Goals here https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300
The GRID CBR group continues in the process of adapting the WHO Guidelines for the context of the North West Region of Cameroons.
This edition of the GRID Notebook was prepared by Kenchi Joseph and Lynn Cockburn. Thanks for reading! Please let us know if you enjoyed it – And do share it with others.