This year’s Beach Energy sponsorship enabled staff at our partner organisation CCBRT to undergo further training in wheelchair repairs and maintenance. This WHO-accredited Intermediate Service Provision training will allow staff to cope better with the heavy wear and tear on the wheelchairs caused by the tough local environment.
Beach Energy’s generous contribution also enabled 125 children with disabilities in the Kilimanjaro regions to receive much-needed health and therapy services, and provided wheelchairs and walking frames to the children who needed them.
Again we thank Beach Energy for their continued support.
An important part of CAPDA’s work is providing mobility aids for children with disabilities. Without adequate equipment, the only way for children to attend school or participate in activities outside the home is for them to be carried on their mother’s back.
Judith (pictured) is one of six children who recently received a wheelchair from CAPDA through our partner CCBRT and Beach Energy’s sponsorship. She is now attending (and enjoying!) school.
We are very happy to announce that our long-term partner Beach Energy has recently renewed their generous sponsorship supporting CAPDA’s projects in Kilimanjaro Region over the course of the next year. This is very exciting news for CAPDA and the children we support!
Working with Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation Tanzania (CCBRT), the latest sponsorship has four major activities.
- It will train traditional birth attendants from remote regions with poor hospital access in safer birthing practices. The aim here is to reduce the rate of birth-related disabilities in children, and reduce maternal deaths and the incidence of fistula complications.
- The sponsorship will also fund surgery for 20 children with clubfoot and non-surgical treatment for clubfoot for a further 60. These treatments are relatively simple, but can mean the difference between being able to walk or not!
- Maintaining a wheelchair in the tough terrain of Tanzania is essential. Remote and urban trainees will learn to repair and maintain wheelchairs as part of this sponsorship too.
- Approximately 200 children (with 200 carers) will travel to CCBRT to attend week-long therapy and training sessions. These weeks focus on the child’s needs, and are often the carer’s first opportunity to learn about how to best support their child’s development. These ‘Weeks of Intensive Therapy’ include food, access to doctors, intensive occupational and physical therapy, equipment review, support for carers, and tests for anaemia and malaria, with intervention in emergency cases.
These will complement previous activities already sponsored by Beach Energy which have improved services and opportunities to those born with a disability. These include:
- providing material aid (wheelchairs, special seats etc)
- training for surgeons, nurses and health workers in Spina Bifida and hydrocephalus management in two regional areas
- training for community rehabilitation workers to detect and initiate treatment for malaria and anaemia, reducing the likelihood of factors which compound disability through malnutrition, stunting, and secondary brain damage.
Children, families, the community-based organisation providing services to the children, and CAPDA are hugely thankful for the on-going support of Beach Energy! These sponsorships create an energy and excitement as workers learn new skills, and make a tangible difference in the lives of children with a disability and their families, as they build the capacity and skills of the workforce to further prevent and treat disability.
Click here to view CCBRT’s comprehensive report on this project.
This young woman recently graduated from the school for children with disabilities run by one of CAPDA’s partner organisations. With the DAP grant, CAPDA presented her with a set of gardening tools which will allow her to make the most of the vocational skills she has learnt at the school. Under their continued supervision, she has now established a small market garden growing vegetables that will be sold at the local market.
The grant enabled the school to expand its vocational gardening program, which has taken off since CAPDA first became involved in February 2013.
CAPDA’s work in Moshi over the past 6 months has gone from strength to strength, with a truly amazing amount of activity having a real impact on the quality of life of many children in the Moshi area. With the support of funding from the Australian Government’s Direct Action Program, and in partnership with five disability care agencies in Tanzania, CAPDA has provided:
- Week-long live-in intensive courses of therapy and support for disabled children and their parents. The children were assessed and treated by a paediatrician and other health professionals, and parents and carers were given the opportunity to share their experiences and learn new strategies for caring for the children
- Upgraded schoolrooms and playgrounds to provide better, healthier environments
- Much-needed teaching resources, including desks, chairs and play equipment
- Cupboards, cooking equipment and mosquito nets
- Important disability equipment, including supported chairs, wheelchairs, cupboards, waterproofed mattresses and standing frames
- Gardening equipment, allowing several vocational education programs to flourish.
In May we received welcome news – the AusAID application we’d made in November 2012 for development project funds was successful! This grant of $75,000, augmented by CAPDA fundraising, will support local action from now until October 2014 to:
- Build local disability workforce capacity through seminars for day care workers, courses for community rehabilitation workers and specialist skills development for paediatricians and surgical nurses.
- Build family and community capacity through engagement in community gardens, chicken and goat projects; vocational training for young people with disabilities; and action to increase community awareness of disability issues.
- Build disability organisation capacity to manuafacture, supply and maintain disability aids; plan income-generating projects and services for future sustainability; and build strategic partnerships for funding training and advocacy.
Local action in each of these areas is already well underway.
A series of projects funded by a sizeable grant from South Australian energy company Beach Energy is being rolled out by CAPDA in northern Tanzania.
The grant has already been used to provide advanced training for two paediatricians and three nurses in surgical procedures to help children with spina bifida. Children born with this condition often suffer from hydrocephalus, and, if left untreated, this leads to a build-up of fluid and pressure on the brain.
Hydrocephalus can cause permanent brain damage and loss of function, and in extreme cases the head can become so large the person cannot hold it up. A simple shunt can be inserted to drain the fluid and relieve pressure on the brain. Sadly, in developing countries many children still die of hydrocephalus and on the operating table. During the training, procedures were carried out to treat eight children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, all of them successful!
The inaugural Beach Energy Scholarship was awarded to Albert Chaki (above), an Occupational Therapist from Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation Tanzania (CCBRT). Albert has impressed us over the years with his skill and dedication, and we are delighted to support his further studies in Community Development. Future projects led by Albert will support children with disabilities by improving nutrition, reducing family poverty and social stigma.
The Beach Energy grant will also be used to purchase wheelchairs, design seating solutions and support 9 of CCBRT’s live-in week-long intensive therapy and training workshops in 2013. Each workshop allows 25 children and their carers from rural villages to receive assessment, treatment and information from a range of health professionals.
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.