CBR - Current trends and priorities
- © CBM
Some information about trends and priories in Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) from Latin America. Common threads that run through CBR programmes, as we can see below, are inclusiveness, sustainability, mainstreaming, human rights, holistic, meaningful, logical and useful.
A CBR team in rural Guatemala encountered Roldin. Right now and with special help, Roldin is recovering weight and hopefully in a few months time he can receive an operation.
One part of my job is trying to get help for children like Roldin, or children with other kinds of impairments. That is why I regularly visit families with children with a disability in Guatemala and why I train CBR teams in reaching inclusion of children with disability.
Apart from being involved in CBR Guatemala, I am CBR advisor for CBR Peru. The CBR projects in Peru exist already several years and are very strong on advocacy and lobbying. Recently they were crucial in getting a new disability law approved.
Working on different levels makes my work so interesting. On one hand I visit with CBR teams families and together we try to find out what we can do with their children with disability. On the other hand - and with our partners - we lobby in public and private sector from local to national level to get rights of persons with disability respected and disability mainstreamed in development projects.
Following CBM policy, we base our work on human rights and strive for inclusion. In the Latin America region, I am responsible for training our CBM partners in the components of Disability and Inclusive Development. I do this work together with a Peruvian woman (who happens to be blind). We are both very keen on training, advising CBM partners on how they empower children/persons with disability.
"CBR changed in our region from medical and service provision for only one or a few disability types to a human rights-based approach. We realised a regional training of trainers about the implementation of the CBR guidelines in Managua, Nicaragua, and assigned national CBR trainers in all countries of the Central American region.
“In combination with a national CBR training of trainers in Nicaragua, the guidelines have been launched and the government is available to multiply the training on a national level in alliance with other stakeholders (DPOs, NGOs).
We are planning national trainings and launches of the CBR guidelines also in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. The South American region is also very busy preparing launches; CBM has realised a first training about the guidelines in Peru.
Our model projects, especially in Nicaragua, are supporting the building or a national CBR strategy agreed by government institutions.
"An educational approach of holistic thinking about inclusive development is a very meaningful, logical and useful strategy. I think it is very important for our work in the field.
Inclusive education has been an important area to be developed, and now all governments in Central America have policies on inclusive education. Inclusive education has to be brought from paper to reality; in many schools conditions are not met, and further training is needed.
CBM is building a new Advisor Working Group on Inclusive Education on a global level, I will support this work with the coordination of the group and increase this strategy on the American continent.
"Alliance building is the central issue: Convincing agencies of community development (such as German cooperation in Nicaragua) to include disability as transversal subject to all their projects; government and NGO involvement on a local level to take part in CBR; prioritising early education in inclusive education; and promoting inclusive development and sustainability through government support."