Community Action for People with Disabilities in Africa Inc (CAPDA)

Intensive Therapy Participation – Moshi, Tanzania
CAPDA is a small organisation begun in 2010 which aims to bring about sustainable improvements in the lives of children and young people with disabilities (CWD), and by extension in the lives of their families and their caregivers.

They work in partnership with six local disability-care providers in and around the city of Moshi at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro but do not provide core funding. Rather CAPDA are committed to a value- adding model of development with an emphasis on the provision of basic equipment and increasingly on professional training for therapists who in turn train Community Rehabilitation Workers (CRWs) and remote health clinic workers.

Jan Baker, an Adelaide physiotherapist and CAPDA’s Director, visits Moshi biannually for visits of four weeks. This consistent presence, supported by a capable local representative, is crucial in identifying the needs of the disability sector, identifying capable local care providers, and building contacts and trust.

Most of the work is now about building capacity in partner organisations and the individuals who care for children with disabilities. A consistent presence also means that CAPDA are in a position to monitor the delivery of projects and be confident that they are acquitted appropriately.

Project Description: the project will fund the participation of 35 children with disabilities, each with a parent/caregiver, in a week-long, live-in intensive diagnostic and educational programme known as Weeks of Intensive Therapy.

The grant would cover all costs associated with accommodation, food, professional assessments, therapy, the fitting of children with disabilities for assistive devices as needed, and training for caregivers.

The project/grant has three objectives:

  1. early identification of developmental problems facing each child with a disability;
  2. development of a tailored home treatment programme; and
  3. education of the primary caregiver, usually the mother, in how to implement this programme in the home setting.

Disabilities include cerebral palsy, spina bifida and hydrocephalus (SBH), muscular dystrophy, clubfoot or limited mobility due to deformity or disabling conditions such as polio or rickets. Each year the primary partner in Moshi sees about 200 children with disabilities with SBH alone.

For 35 primary caregivers, these grant funds will help them understand the nature of their child’s disability and develop basic skills in managing it. Depending on the disability, it may also significantly reduce the physical burden on them. He or she may not need to be carried as often or as far and the carer may have more time to engage in work to contribute to the family economy and nutrition. Finally, the grant would facilitate CAPDA’s larger project vision of building the capacity of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, workshop technologists and administrators to support their client base.

The Directors of UCF felt it was important to help fund this training and improvement in the lives of the children and their carers, and awarded a grant of $2,000.

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