A 5 day workshop organized by the Empowerment Disability and Inclusive Development (EDID) Program of the CBC Health Services for its Partner Organizations of the English speaking regions has ended in Bafoussam West Region with the Regional Delegates of Social Affairs for the West and Northwest Regions congratulating the CBC Health Services for partnering with the government in improving on the lives of persons with disabilities in the two English regions and beyond.
The workshop which took place from February 6th to 10th 2017 came against the backdrop of a request from the partner organizations for their capacities to be strengthened in the New Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) approach of the Liliane Foundation so as to enable them effectively work with children with disabilities, their families and various stakeholders in the communities. Responding to the request, the funding partner of EDID the Liliane Foundation trained two trainers Maku Vivian and Pascal Ahidjo who were on hand to drill the participants on the CBR concepts.
At the start of the workshop, the bearer of the EDID Program Manager and Director of CBC Health Services’ speech Nkfusai Gideon appreciated the partner organizations for the hard-work and commitment demonstrated in 2016 given that majority of them were able to send reports and annual plans in time which led to inclusion of the plans and activities in the annual plan to the Liliane Foundation. The Director in his speech recommended result based reporting, addressing child abuse cases and results based reporting as some key aspects that are required from all the direct partners in 2017.
The trainers opened the workshop session with a game of life cycle intended to illustrate how persons with disabilities are vulnerable and how the field workers should use their skills to fight against marginalization. In the game, the trainers drilled participants on types of disabilities and situations in which persons with disability find themselves that make them vulnerable such as lack of access to information, inaccessible infrastructures, poverty amongst others. Participants were challenged to break these barriers by educating the public on the rights of persons with disabilities
Given that the field workers are supposed to work hand in cloves with stakeholders in the different communities where they work, they were also treated to a presentation on the CBR stakeholders which enabled them to mapped out the stakeholders like the religious, political, traditional leaders, Non-Governmental Organizations, persons with disabilities, ministries of Social Affairs, Education, Women Empowerment and the family amongst others. The facilitators stressed that CBR is multi sectorial because it involves all the stakeholders, reason why advocacy, lobby and sensitization must constitute their work, with persons with disability being at the center of advocacy.
Participants were also told that they need to do a holistic assessment on the needs of children with disabilities in their communities to better know their situations. The lesson was put in practice as the field workers conducted need assessment on 6 children with impairments and did a rehabilitation plan for them which was presented by the different groups with inputs from the trainers which further enhanced their understanding.
With the different models of disability being the medical, social, charity and economic, participants were called upon to practice the right base model of disability which brings on board all the actors given that they has been a shift from the charity model. .Amongst different presentations was that on networking which thrilled the participants as each of them had a role to play in the networking game. At the end of the game which captured the involvement of different stakeholders in the community in the lives of children with disabilities, the take home message was that the field workers must work in a team and the contribution of each team member is very vital to achieve success
The workshop was characterized by series of film shows which highlighted the roles of field workers as facilitators of the inclusion of children with disabilities in developmental actions, raising awareness on the rights of children with disabilities amongst others.
The 34 participants drawn from some CBC, Catholic, Presbyterian and Government institutions described the workshop as an eye opener and appreciated the organizer for building their capacities which will go a long way to improve on the lives of persons with disabilities .
The two Regional Delegates West and Northwest added their voices to that of the EDID Program Officer Mr Kamga Andre to challenge participants to make use of the knowledge acquired in their different communities with the Delegate of the NWR noting that he will share the lessons learnt from the workshop in the coordination meetings of his delegation.
Hopes are now high that with the training, the needs of more children with disabilities will be met by the partner organizations.
A similar training was conducted for the French Partners from the Centre, Littoral, West, North and South Regions. This took place in Yaounde from the 13th to 17th February 2017 in Yaounde.