Feb 18, 2020

Coming and Going

Bridget: back 2nd from R, Courtney: front center
Bridget: back 2nd from R, Courtney: front center

Thank you so much for your support of the ABLE Project. Here is what has been happening lately.

Goodbyes

Since our last report we have had to say goodbye to two valuable teammates. Courtney, an occupational therapist from the U.S. who has helped to support us over the last three years, has returned to the States, and Bridget, who has spent a good part of the last year with us humbly sharing her wisdom in the field of educational psychology, has returned to New Zealand. We're so thankful to have had the benefit of their expertise informing the way we care for and empower children with disabilities and their families in the ABLE Project. 

Skill Building

While Bridget and Courtney were with us they also helped to share their expertise with partner organizations. The ABLE Project was able to arrange a learning exchange with OIC, an organization dedicated to developing the speech therapy profession here in Cambodia. In exchange for training that Bridget provided to their staff on behavior strategies and working with Autism, our staff received training last month on helping children develop communication skills. The training was provided by one of their licensed expat speech therapists and a Cambodian assistant and offered a good framework for our staff in understanding the components of language, how to know where a child is having trouble, and how to help. Also in January, our Project Manager, Srey Ny, provided training to eight families in Kandal, one of our provincial locations, about protecting the rights of children with disabilities.

Welcome Vanda

While we miss having Courtney and Bridget with us, we are delighted to have welcomed aboard a new staff member. Vanda, our newest Community Rehabilitation Team member, just joined our team this month. So, over the last few weeks, our Project Manager, staff Physiotherapist, and Physical Therapy Technical Adviser have all been spending significant time training her and having her accompany them on client visits. The role of the Community Rehabilitation Team member is really important as it allows children and families to receive much more frequent and consistent support. There are very few university trained physiotherapists relative to the population of Cambodia. The ABLE Project is currently serving 66 children in five provinces in addition to Phnom Penh, which requires our two Cambodian physiotherapists to do a lot of traveling. The amount of time available for them to visit cases directly would not be adequate if our Community Rehabilitation Team members were not available in the local communities to provide follow up in between visits from the physiotherapists. In the places where many of the children in the ABLE Project live there are few or no other rehabilitation services available. Having our physiotherapists travel to the local communities and having support staff living and working in these communities provides access to services that many children would not have otherwise. Vanda will be the only ABLE staff member living in Kampong Chhnang (Children In Families does have two social work staff members there) so it is essential for her to be well grounded and confident. So far, she has proved to be a quick learner and able to develop good rapport with the children and their families, both of which are essential.

So, thank you again for your support of the work of the ABLE Project. Your giving helps give children the opportunity to experience and achieve their potential within their communities. 

Vanda
Vanda

Links:

Jan 28, 2020

Our First Report for 2020

Cambodia's provinces.
Cambodia's provinces.

Hi, and a slightly belated Happy New Year to you from the CIF Team!

Our sincere thanks to you once more for your support of CIF. You'll find below a summary of what you've helped contribute to since our last report, 3 months back.

 

Referrals and Enrollments

Since November 2019, CIF has received 56 referrals for children needing support to stay in, or find, a loving family. Of these, 44 have already been accepted to receive services, and are in placements, or undergoing an assessment process. So far, every child this quarter has been able to stay with their family of origin, or be cared for by relatives. As long as it's safe, this is always the best outcome, so we're really happy about that!

11 of the clients accepted have been found to need specific support with access to food, and/or with adequate growth and nutrition. CIF funds will contribute to helping them have the nutrients they need, and we expect to see improvements in their growth in future follow-ups.

 

Disability Support

This quarter, five children were referred to our ABLE team, for support with a disability or chronic illness. We also got featured in a USAID video for the work of ABLE - have a look over here!

https://www.facebook.com/USAIDCambodia/videos/2480738708832616/

 

Ongoing Care for Clients

Of course, it's not just new clients that your support helps. CIF Social Workers have a total caseload of 431 clients right now across all our programs, and in the past three months, our workers conducted visits to clients 1045 times! They visited families in six different provinces across Cambodia - Phnom Penh, Kandal, Takeo, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, and Kampong Chhnang. 

Check out the attached map of Cambodia - as you can see, we're pretty well clustered in the country's south-east, so our workers can support one another.

 

 

 

So that's it from us for another quarter. Thanks again for all your support of our work, and please don't forget to mention us to others you know who may be interested!

Links:

Nov 20, 2019

Building and Growing

In our last report we shared that the ABLE Project had received five new cases within a two-month period. That trend has continued, as we have received an additional seven cases in the last three months. This highlights the tremendous need for services to support families in caring for children with disabilities and chronic health needs here in Cambodia. The lack of services available to families means that many families have a difficult choice to make – relinquish their child to institutional care, or try to care for their child the best they can without access to any interventions to improve their child’s situation. Families who are caring for a child with disabilities or a chronic health condition face tremendous pressure with regard to resources of time and money and, in many cases, experience a decline in their child’s and family’s situation. But, the good news is that, with the right supports, these children and families can thrive. This is why it is so vital that these supports be provided. Without them, children with disabilities do not have the same opportunity to have their right to appropriate care within a loving family protected.

The ABLE Project team is not only working on building our own capacity to meet these needs, we have been offering up assistance to other organizations so their staff are equipped with skills to make their services more inclusive of children with disabilities and responsive to their needs as well. Through trainings and consultation we are building stronger collaborative relationships with partners to work with them in making quality care available to more children with disabilities. As we look to the future we recognize that we need to continue to keep building on both of these fronts: building our own capacity through hiring and training additional staff, and continuing to develop a more structured approach to helping other organizations build their capacity. Many organizations working together in close collaboration will have a widespread impact in making family based care inclusive throughout Cambodia. The ABLE Project is committed to having a strong role in this effort.

Recently, Family Care First produced a video to highlight the work of the ABLE Project and the difference that inclusive family based care can mean for a child. Srey Oun* had been abandoned at a local hospital and her family could not be located. She was born with significant congenital anomalies which made it difficult for her to eat. She was also blind and in need of surgery. Children In Families received her into emergency foster care and the ABLE staff began working with her and her emergency caregiver, while also working with CIF’s social work staff to find a long term foster family for her. Please click on the link below to watch the video and see the beautiful difference inclusive support for family based care has made in the life of this little girl.

* Child's name has been changed

Links:

 
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