CAPDA would like to thank everyone who supported its work in Moshi over the last year.
A growing number of Australian individuals and organisations have made generous donations to support disabled communities in Tanzania.
Fundraising events have ranged from school casual clothes days to church fairs. St Chad’s Anglican church (Fullarton, South Australia) and its community continue to support CAPDA, and one enterprising group is knitting squares to make blankets for the children, who often lack even the most basic necessities. Another group has arranged a private concert, with CAPDA to receive part of the proceeds from ticket sales.
If you have any suggestions for fundraising, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Poverty erodes or erases economic and social rights such as the right to health, adequate housing, food and safe water, and education. The same is true of civil and political rights, including legal rights, political participation and personal safety.
Poverty is both a cause and consequence of disability: poor people are more likely to become disabled, and disabled people are more likely to become poor. Neglect, abuse, discrimination and exclusion means health, education, housing and livelihood resources and opportunities are difficult for people with disabilities to access. The costs and availability of medical treatment, rehabilitation and assistive devices also contribute to chronic poverty and social isolation experienced by many people with disabilities and their families.
Addressing disability is a concrete step to reducing poverty. At the same time, poverty must be eliminated to achieve health/life improvements for people with disabilities. A main focus of CAPDA’s work is to support poverty reduction by supporting community-based disability services and disabled people’s organisations to improve access to health, education and livelihood opportunities by children with disabilities and their families.
It was a pleasure for CAPDA Director, Jan Baker, to see and report the wonderful improvements noted to BCC centres in Moshi in the last 6 months. Easier accessibility to centres, mobility and supporting aids, and simple things like bibs and storage cupboards, makes such a difference to children and carers alike. To see the children sharing a meal at their new dining tables and chairs was a joy!
This trip CAPDA met other local agencies helping children with disabilities in this region that are in also in need of assistance. We will keep you posted.
Over the past decade, the government of Tanzania has made several serious commitments to improving the lives of people with disabilities. The National Policy on Disability, 2004 (NPD) and Tanzania’s ratification of theUnited Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) form a promising policy framework to improve the lives of people with disabilites.
The aspirations of the National Policy on Disability include:
- encouraging the development of people with disabilities
- empowering families of people with disabilities
- reviewing and amending legislations that are not disability friendly
- improving service delivery
- enabling participation of people with disabilities and their families in decision making and implementation of important activities and disability activities in society.
However, as is so often the case in developing countries, these encouraging policies have been hindered by economic and social factors.
The real challenge is to find ways to turn Tanzania’s disability policy aspirations into concrete action. Various CAPDA projects, focused on practical and sustainable development, aim to assist local services and groups to meet this challenge by:
- offering training for the professional carers, volunteers and family members who care for children with disabilities
- developing assistive technologies and related services for people with disabilities
- improving material standards of daily care provided by disability services
- improving access to information, early intervention services, technical aids and participation in decision making
- developing networks with disability groups and service organisations.
CAPDA’s recent grant from the Australian Government’s Direct Aid Program was a great success. Here are the reactions of two of our Tanzanian partner organisations.
The grant has been very helpful in improving the quality of the service rendered by BCC … Staff have received training which has made a tremendous change in their capacity to deliver services to children. Children who needed adaptive equipments have received them and it has made life much easy to them self and their caregivers. Ramps, furniture and other supplies in the centres has made the centres much more friendly to children and staff to work more comfortably.
Elirehema Kaaya, manager of Building a Caring Community (BCC)
Our experience is that children with cerebral palsy who receive wheelchairs come to the center under/malnourished but there is a definite increase in their weight after three months of using a wheelchair during feeding. Children also definitely have better trunk and neck control after 6 months of using a wheelchair. We are grateful and CAPDA enabled us to provide wheelchairs to children who attend WIT at CCBRT.
Ruth Mlay, Director of the Moshi branch of Comprehensive Community Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT)
In late 2011 CAPDA won a grant from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Direct Aid Program (DAP), administered by the Australian High Commission in Nairobi. This has allowed us to hasten some of the many improvements needed in disability care in Moshi.
Often lacking basic equipment and infrastructure, BCC strives to provide basic care and support to the children who access their 11 daycare centres. With the DAP grant CAPDA has already delivered some important improvements.
- built ramps to allow children easy access to the centres and their toilet facilities;
- provided wheelchairs, special seats, toileting aids;
- provided basic equipment to improve hygiene, including waterproof mattresses, towels, wash basins and assorted food storage containers; and
- provided educational toys.
Tackling food security
Access to affordable and nutritious food is a challenge for many Tanzanians, particularly for families with a child who is unable to contribute to household productivity. Food security is a global issue, but small, local food growing initiatives can make a difference. With our AusAid grant funds CAPDA has made a start by providing several centres with fencing, tools, seeds and water tanks to establish community gardens.