Mar 1, 2019

Inclusive families create Inclusive communities

People with disabilities often face barriers which prevent them from participating in the life of their communities. The ABLE project works to remove the barriers that prevent children with disabilities from entering into family-based alternative care and making these systems more inclusive.  

Community attitudes can often be one of the biggest barriers to inclusion of people with disabilities. Fear or stigma attached to disability can make a community less inclusive and keep people with disabilities isolated. In such an environment it may seem impossible to recruit a family willing to foster a child with disabilities who is not related to them, and even the sustainability of kinship care can be threatened by negative community sentiment.

What we have learned from our experience is that we don't need to look for inclusive communities, we just need to look for inclusive families who can pave the way for making their community more inclusive. Within any community there are people who think differently, who have had different experiences which make them more willing to take on the challenges that come with caring for a child with disabilities. By identifying the kind of families who are willing to take on the role of being a foster family, and then equipping them for that role, we help them to become community advocates. The experience of watching a family care for a child with disabilities breaks down barriers for others in the communities and begins to make the communities more inclusive. It leads to other families expressing a willingness to care for a child with a disability.

Since our last report...

In December, we reported that we were looking to recruit another physiotherapist and that they were in short supply. We can announce that we have hired a physiotherapist, named Chet Aom, who has recently graduated from the country's only physiotherapy training program. She will start mid-March. We have also enrolled two new children into the ABLE Project, both of whom are in Children In Families' Kinship Care project, bringing the total number of children in the project up to 49. 

During January and February the Better Care Network filmed an interview with Srey Ny Sorn, ABLE's project manager, and Lisa Yunker, one of ABLE's technical advisers to share their learning. This video will be completed soon and will be available via the Better Care Network's website to allow other family-based alternative care organizations to benefit from the experiences of the Children In Families' ABLE team. 

Srey Ny is speaking this week at a UNHRC side event on preventing unnecessary separation and institutionalisation of children with disabilities. We are grateful to share the lessons we have learnt about how to create inclusive communities that support children with disabilities and the families that care for them. We look forward to learning from the other organisations represented at this event and together, see children with disabilities thriving in loving families and communities. To find out more, follow our facebook page.

Thank you for your continued support. We cannot do this work without the generosity of partners like you.


With Much Thanks,

Lisa Yunker (ABLE Technical Advisor at Children in Families)


Feb 11, 2019

Creating safe communities where children thrive

Training with Community leaders
Training with Community leaders


Over the last few months, our staff at CIF have been focusing on working with our communities to create safe places where children can thrive and grow, in supported, loving families.  Each month each program runs different training events in our communities. With our families, these events include training on hygiene and dental care, nutrition and healthy eating, and the importance of supporting children in their education. We also run training for on positive parenting with our caregivers and on recognising abuse with parents, children and wider community leaders.


During December, CIF was invited to run workshops with the community leaders in Svay Rieng Province. We met with public school leaders, commune and village chiefs, local police officers and CIF foster parents to explore how trauma informed practice can create safe communities for children.  


We believe that it is partnership with the local communities and with people like you who support our work is vital. It takes a village to raise a child, and with your support, the villages we work with can be supported to be safe and healthy places for children to thrive. By supporting the networks around the families, we support our caregivers and our children can grow up in loving families, where they belong.


Leak, our Foster Care project manager, summed it up like this: I like working at CIF because they have helped a lot of children such as those with disabilities and those neglected by family or relatives. CIF helps place children with a family that can provide them with love, enough food and safety." To find out more about why Leak is motivated continue his work at CIF, follow our facebook page and keep an eye out for the interview with Leak coming soon.


Thank you for being part of the village supporting the children in our care

The CIF Team

Community leaders join in trauma informed workshop
Community leaders join in trauma informed workshop
Leak meets with one of the children
Leak meets with one of the children
Dec 3, 2018

In-house Physiotherapy: Why physiotherapy at home matters

Learning to stand on his own two feet
Learning to stand on his own two feet


We hope this email finds you well. This is just a short note to tell you more about the sort of work that your support of our ABLE GlobalGiving campaign makes happen.

Your money is helping children with disabilities and chronic health issues grow up in loving families. We partner with these families to learn about what they can do to care for these children. The needs of children with disabilities and chronic health issues who are being supported through the ABLE Project are diverse. They require a broad array of therapy and medical services. Through it all, home-based therapy support with family education to equip caregivers to care for the children has been the foundation of the ABLE Project. These two areas continue to be a key component of our work.

The generous contributions we have received through GlobalGiving are helping to provide salaries and resources for our dedicated staff who provide regular therapy visits to children with delayed motor development. Through play-focused developmental exercises and activities, children are able to achieve new developmental milestones. Of the 47 children served by the ABLE Project there are currently 10 children who have significant neurologically based motor delays due to conditions such as cerebral palsy. Through consistent therapeutic intervention, along with family follow-through, children with significant developmental delays have been making great gains.

One little boy had been unable to pull himself up to stand at the age of three. Now at age five and a half, with help from leg braces and a walker created by our staff from PVC pipe, he is walking independently and beaming from ear to ear about it. Another little boy was not able to move himself at all, when we first received him into care at age five. He had had no therapeutic intervention up until that point and could not even roll by himself. Now, just over a year later, he is able to control his body enough to sit up without support! He is very interested in what is going on around him, taking advantage of the view from his new vantage point.

Every child’s development is unique, but almost all children have the capacity to make functional gains given the right assistance. This means they can be more active members of their family and in community life and it can also help to make it easier on those caring for them.

An article in a local Cambodian newspaper  highlights the current challenges for the physical therapy profession in Cambodia. According to the president of the Cambodian Physical Therapy Association, Cambodia currently has one physiotherapist for every 10,000 people, while countries like Singapore or Japan have one per 1,000. The ABLE Project is extremely fortunate to have a capable physiotherapist at the helm who provides direct client care. Srey Ny (link) also trains and equips our three community rehabilitation team members in providing therapeutic care under her supervision, extending our capacity to meet the therapy needs of the children in CIF’s care.

The funds from the GlobalGiving campaign are also going towards finding another physiotherapist for the team. You can see our advertisement here. We look forward to being able to introduce you to our new team member soon.

Thank you again for your generosity and your support to help children with disabilities in Cambodia, grow up in loving families, where they belong

Yours faithfully

Lisa and the rest of the ABLE team

Mum helping with leg exercises
Mum helping with leg exercises
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