Why the CBR Approach?

Institutionalised rehabilitation account for 10 - 15% of rehabilitation needs of people with disabilities while 85 - 90% needs can be achieved through the community.

Number of professionals in this field was limited whereas a rehabilitation team can provide the different components of rehabilitation.

Expensive equipment and aids had to be handled and maintained by competent staff whereas the community could in addition develop low cost equipment to suit their needs.

Systems for medical, special and vocational rehabilitation were centred on medical model - a model not always appropriate for developing countries.

Perception that disabled people were difficult to treat, train and educate, with the lack of humane approach had to be overcome with families and caregiver bridging his need at community level.

Furthermore, governments can rarely be accounted on to finance the total cost of service delivery in all their communities - the basic services must be built on resources that are available locally within the community. [Einar Helander, Prejudice and Dignity - An Introduction to Community Based Rehabilitation, ISBN'92]

Advantages of Community Based Rehabilitation

Such a Community based approach has several advantages. The most difficult barriers faced by most disabled people are the negative attitudes held by others in the community. When rehabilitation services are provided in the person's home community, these attitudes and stereotypes are chipped away on a daily basis; in the case of young children, they are never allowed to develop. The extended family forms the basic fabric of society in most developing countries. Community based training uses the extended family as the cornerstone for the rehabilitation process. It also assures that the training provided will be appropriate. The final issue is cost effectiveness. [Lawrence F Campbell in J Kirk Horton's 1990 'A Training Guide for Field Workers']

The CBR approach also sees the establishment of Voluntary Workers. These volunteers frequently assist the foundation and there are many ways, which they are able to help:

Working alongside one particular client at home.
Being a committee member for one of our regional centers.
Fund raising and financial support .
Assisting in special events, displays and projects.
Teaching a child with disability to read and write.
Being involved with people with disabilities in social activities.
Offering special skills: doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers.
Designing and making special equipment.
Sewing, typing and computer skills training.
Providing transport for people and children with disabilities