Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan

by MAITS - Multi-Agency International Training and Support
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
ACELP, Pakistan
ACELP, Pakistan

Dear Friends,  

I want to begin by acknowledging the challenges we have faced as a global community over the last few months. Children with developmental disabilities and their families have been severely impacted by the pandemic and there has been limited access to therapeutic support and medicines in some regions, specifically India and Pakistan.

The adaptation of our Community Healthworker Empowerment Programme (CHW) online is therefore critical, as we continue to support people with special needs. This need is more urgent given that children with cerebral palsy are more vulnerable to the virus.

Phase One of MAITS’s programme sees local therapists train as Master Trainers, who will then deliver this to Community Healthworkers in the field over the coming months, ensuring this a sustainable community led initiative.

MAITS are delighted to report that from October 2020, MAITS expert Master Trainers, Aasiya Faris Sachwani (Speech-Language Pathologist) Aen-ul-Huda, Nazia Nadeeb and Saadia Asif (Speech Therapists) delivered 6 weeks’ training to a total of 29 therapists in partnership with four leading Karachi NGOs - Indus Hospital, ACELP, URAAN Paediatric Therapy Services and Al Rozan, Karachi. These organisations are recognised in Pakistan for their pioneering work in supporting children with developmental disabilities. Our newly qualified Master Trainers now include teachers, nurses, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists and will ensure that knowledge and expertise is kept within local communities where access to therapeutic support is limited –creating a pool of experts best able to meet the needs of children. We hope that we will be able to resume our Phase Two of this programme in a face-to-face capacity, subject to COVID restrictions.

Whilst 2020 has been hugely challenging for all organisations, including small scale NGOs like MAITS, your support has been crucial in enabling us to continuing evolving and adapting our work – and we are incredibly grateful for each and every one of you for the part you have played.

Thank you.

We do hope you have a peaceful and safe Christmas and New Year!

With all best wishes,  

 

Meheen Dalamal

Chair, MAITS

ACELP, Pakistan
ACELP, Pakistan

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Aasiya delivering training
Aasiya delivering training

Dear Friends 

I want to begin by acknowledging the challenges we have faced as a global community over the last few months, both with the COVID-19 pandemic and important conversations about racial justice and equality. I hope this update finds you and your families safe and well during such unprecedented times. 
 
Since the outbreak, and subsequent lockdowns of international borders in March 2020, MAITS has made the decision to temporarily postpone all face-to-face programmes, in order to protect the health and wellbeing of all those we work with. This is particularly important as we support people with disabilities, who are even more vulnerable to the virus.  Despite these difficult circumstances, MAITS is determined to continue to support children with disabilities in Pakistan whilst we wait for safety to deliver face-to-face programmes. 

Over the past three months, we have worked closely with our expert trainers to deliver an online training programme to one of these organisations, Eilya Carehome, an NGO and school supporting 80 children with disabilities. This resulted in a fantastic 13-session online course, delivered by five of our trainers, which directly targeted Eilya's needs. 

Ther were 22 members of staff who attended our training sessions, ranging from therapists to special educational needs teachers. You can see Aasiya Sachwani, speech and language therapist based in Toronto, Canda, delivering her session on supporting families in the home in the photo below. 

The training was a great success- both trainees and trainers were so pleased with the format that we are now coordinating a digitalised version of the Community Healthworker Training programme, which we will be running over the next few months to organisations all over the world. You can find out more about this programme by following our social media accounts (as listed below). 
 
As you know, at the end of March 2020, three of the expert therapists from Karachi were also due to be delivering life-changing training to 36 community health workers at AURA, a local healthcare NGO in the Karachi area. This was unfortunately interrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, which resulted in nation-wide school closure in Pakistan. We will be rescheduling the training in the Karachi for when it will be safe to deliver, as this organisation will benefit from face-to-face training from our local expert trainers. We will bring you more updates on this programme in our next report. 
 
We are so hugely grateful for your support of MAITS’ work at this very challenging time.

With all best wishes,  

Esther

CEO, MAITS 

Training content for our partners
Training content for our partners

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Dear Friends and Supporters,

Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support towards our ‘Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan project.’ With your continuous generosity, we have raised £7,638, which has directly enabled us to train 11 expert therapists, who have gone on to train 14 community healthcare workers. Thanks to your donations, they are now better equipped to provide real support to children with disabilities and their families in their own homes, and have so far reached 1,400 people: 700 children with disabilities and 700 of their main carers. At the end of March 2020, 3 of the expert therapists will be delivering this life-changing training to 36 more community health workers at a local healthcare NGO in the Karachi area. The new trainees will be equipped with vital skills in identifying children with disabilities, making referrals to the right health authorities, and supporting families to provide their children with care within their own homes. This could not have been done without your donations.

Now our Karachi-based expert therapists and community health workers are fully trained and using the programme in their work, we are now fundraising for the next exciting stage in the project. We will be spreading the training further afield to Faisalabad, in the Punjab area in Eastern Pakistan. Our Karachi trainers will be travelling to Faisalabad to deliver our programme to 15 new expert therapists, from 5 different local organisations, who will go on to train 35 community healthworkers. This life-saving training will reach 500 children with disabilities and more than 500 of their main carers. We hope that you will continue to support the development of this project as we expand to a new area of Pakistan.

If you would like to give towards this new stage of the project, there is a great way to do so coming up soon. On the 23rd March 2020-Friday 27th March 2020, MAITS is taking part in GlobalGiving’s exciting Little by Little Matching Campaign: during this week alone, for everyone who makes one donation to a MAITS project of up to $50, GlobalGiving will match your generosity at 50%! This means if you donate $50 to our our ‘Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan project’, GlobalGiving will contribute an extra $25, so a total of $75 will go towards expanding this life-saving programme to Eastern Pakistan.We hope that you will continue to support this project during this exciting week.

If you would like to keep up to date with the project’s progress, and all MAITS’ other work, you can find us on Twitter at @MAITS_Charity and on Facebook at MAITS.Charity

With thanks once again,

Esther Hamilton CEO

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Dear friends and supporters,

Warm festive greetings from MAITS! For the last time in 2019, we would like to thank you for your ongoing support towards our ‘Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan project’. Thanks to your continuous generosity, we have managed to raise £7,508, which brings us ever closer to our target of £15,379.

As the year comes to an end, it is a good time to reflect upon the progress of the Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan project, by telling you about one family whose lives have been changed by your donations, which help train therapists and community workers to identify and support children with disabilities.

We trained therapists at the Pakistani charity, ACELP, to be Master Trainers and go on to deliver training to lady community health workers. Since all finishing this training this summer, the Master Trainer therapist and lady health workers are now all busy implementing everything they have learnt into their work with families, as they assess the needs of children with disabilities within their communities and provide vital support.

Recently, the lady health workers have been working under the clinical supervision of the MAITS master trainers to support a family in Karachi, who have two disabled sons, Aziz, aged 21 and Muhammad, aged 18, alongside two disabled grandchildren, Sadia aged 5 who is blind and Amar aged 2 and a half who has cerebral palsy.

Before meeting the ACELP therapists and lady health workers, the parents were struggling to afford the daily commute to receive treatments for Aziz and Muhammad, they had no experience or training in managing their relatives’ conditions, and were hesitant to even reach out to medical staff Sadia and Amar’s disabilities.

Thankfully, they were recently referred to ACELP, where the Master Trainers have since carried out a full evaluation and, using their MAITS training, identified the best treatments for Aziz and Muhammad. The parents were also encouraged to receive care for Sadia and Amar, with the therapists explaining the vital benefits of early intervention for children with disabilities. They are now seeking medical advice for their grandchildren, which is a hugely positive turnaround from their initial hesitations.

Under supervision of the ACELP Master Trainer therapists, the community health workers carried out a home visit and disability training for the parents, following the MAITS ‘Guide for Parents Manual’. The Master Trainers at ACELP told us that that this help has “made family’s lives more comfortable and functional,” and what’s more, the feedback from the family themselves has also been fantastic. They have reported that since, Aziz and Muhammad’s “quality of live has improved.” They told us that through making their day-to-day routines easier, their children have grown in their independence and they can be properly handled at home. The trust and confidence between the whole family and the MAITS Master Trainers is flourishing.

The MAITS Community Health Worker Training enables staff to give the right information and support to parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities. Without the vital work done by the MAITS trained community health workers and Master Trainers, families like this may continue to struggle to support and provide for their children with disabilities.

We now are hoping to move on to the next stage in this project: recreating the training’s success in other areas of Pakistan. We’ve already had requests from charities in the Punjab area of Pakistan, Rawalpindi and Lahore, who are all keen to start rolling out the programme to train lady community health workers as soon as possible and increase the number of vulnerable children with disabilities that the charities reach. However, we do not currently have enough funding to do this. If we were able to raise additional funding, we can start planning this training straightway.

At this festive time of giving, please do consider supporting the growth of this project. You can also help by telling your friends and family about MAITS’ work and staying up to date by following our social media.

 

Best wishes, 

 

Esther Hamilton 

MAITS CEO 

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Community health workers during their training
Community health workers during their training

Dear friends and supporters,

Many thanks to everyone who has generously donated to the MAITS Community Health Worker project, which is providing community workers and families of children with developmental disabilities with the skills they need to help the children thrive.

The project has made fantastic progress since our last report. Our therapists have officially finished training 13 community health workers, who are now using their training when working in the community. The feedback from the community health workers has been fantastic.

Gunaz is one of the community health workers we trained. She works at the Community Outreach Centre in Sikanderabad. She explained: “Two children came into the centre recently and for the first time ever I was able to recognise that the children had cerebral palsy and was actually able to refer them to the doctor. I felt really confident explaining to the doctors that the children have CP and they took the referrals.” Shehla is one of the other community health workers and works at the Public Health Centre in Shehla explained: “Now I am referring children who have autism for speech and language therapy. Whereas before I would have thought that they just had behavioural issues, I now realise that that is not the case and am able to make sure they are getting the help they need.” All the trainees have received hands-on training, working directly with families to be able to support children with building their speech and muscle strength under the clinical supervision of MAITS’ trainers so they can provide this support to families in addition to the support the children will receive from specialist services.You can see some of what the Master Trainers and community health workers in these photos. 

To celebrate the dedication of everyone involved in this training, we invited everybody to recieve their certificates in Karachi, Pakistan. It was a fantastic celebration of what MAITS training can achieve. The invitees included including 12 Community Health Workers, 8 of their Master Trainers, representatives of our two partner organisations for this project, ACELP and Ziauddin University, two families of children with disabilities. MAITS' very own Sadia ran the event. 4 new Master Trainers and 12 Community Health Workers received their certificates.

One of the MAITS trained therapists said: “The families that Community Health Workers can reach are based in rural areas where there has been no access to any professional services. Whilst therapists can be unaware of the problems faced by people with disabilities in rural communities, CHWs have a better understanding. CHWs are now making referrals so the therapists who have the solutions to these issues can reach the families.” Through this project, we have established a system of referrals, and created a great relationship between MAITS and organisations working with some of the most disadvantaged people with disabilities in Pakistan. MAITS has 12 highly qualified master trainer therapists who can continue to roll out the community health worker project.

We have also had requests from charities in the Punjab area of Pakistan and Rawalpindi and Lahore to roll out the programme. We are fundraising for this now, so please continue to give and share the word of MAITS’ work in Pakistan so this project can continue to spread and grow.

Thank you once again, 

Esther Hamilton, 

MAITS CEO

MAITS Master Trainer, Ali, delivering training
MAITS Master Trainer, Ali, delivering training

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Organization Information

MAITS - Multi-Agency International Training and Support

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Maits_Charity
Project Leader:
Sadia Mirza
London, United Kingdom
$31,664 raised of $35,000 goal
 
256 donations
$3,336 to go
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