Innovative Practice 2018 on Accessibility

Mainstreaming Children with Disability in Bangladesh

CSF Global (formerly the Child Sight Foundation) works to establish a rights-based inclusive society for children with disabilities in developing countries. In the Sirajganj District of Bangladesh it has set up a centre for early childhood services, specifically targeting children with cerebral palsy from rural areas. The centre offers therapeutic service to the children and provides training to the caregiver for home-based therapy and rehabilitation. Perkins International, a U.S. based international organization, the Australian Government, the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Australia, Wheelchairs for Kids, Australia and Sydney University are supporting this project.

“I am very happy that my daughter can say “Ma” (mother) after four months of therapeutic service from CSF Shishu Shorgo (“Children’s Heaven”). Now I am eagerly waiting to hear “Baba” (father)!”

Shuman SharkerFather of a five-year-old girl with cerebral palsy
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Mainstreaming Children with Disability in Bangladesh
Organisation:CSF Global
Country
of Implementation
Bangladesh

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Since 2013, 400 children have received therapeutic services for their early development as well as preparation for schooling and mainstreaming.

PROBLEMS TARGETED

CSF Global conducted national research on childhood disabilities in Bangladesh and identified thousands of children with cerebral palsy with no treatment facilities.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

Main purpose of this project is to inform children with disabilities and their families regarding basic health issues and available accessible health services and to increase the rate of children with disabilities to receive basic health services from health care centres.
Together with partners Perkins International and the Australian Government, CSF Global started the first development centre in rural Bangladesh for children with cerebral palsy. By using the Key Informant Method (KIM) – an approach to identify children with disabilities in the community through trained community volunteers – the organization detects children from rural communities and invites parents to come to the centre for their children’s early development.
A picture at a session with children with disabilities and their parents behind them.Initially, the children receive four hours of therapeutic treatment per day and a development session by trained physiotherapists for the first six months. At the same time, the organization prepares society to accommodate the children after the therapy has been concluded. This preparation includes a check for school readiness, teacher training, and the adaptation of infrastructure. Further, families receive some financial support from the local government.
After this six months period the children are admitted into a mainstream school, and CSF Global follows-up to ensure their further social inclusion. To date, CSF Global has identified 1,200 children, of whom 400 have received therapeutic and development services.

OUTLOOK, TRANSFERABILITY AND FUNDING

CSF Global started with one centre and after a year the organization opened two more centres due to high demand. The organization has developed a standard transition manual for starting a development centre and providing therapeutic and other services in any country. The manual, which is perceived as very hands-on and easy to use, can be downloaded at www.csf-global.org, and CSF Global is ready to offer further support as needed.
CSF Global does not provide any financial support to children but it does provide assistance in gaining admission to mainstream schools. Furthermore, the organization communicates with a variety of government agencies to get services and support.A picture of a smiling child with disabilities.Initially, this project started in collaboration with Perkins International, which has provided some funding and technical support. CSF Global provided further funding, and volunteers from the Australian Government helped during the implementation stage. CSF Global estimates that after an initial start-up period of three years, each early childhood service centre can be self-sustaining based on funds received from parents.
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