Building inclusive and resilient communities

Our Community Based Inclusive Development programs work to build resilient communities that are inclusive of all marginalised groups and their rights, in particular, people with disabilities.

We work with communities so that everyone understands the importance of including and supporting people with disabilities. Our programs work with people with disabilities and their families, through treatment, rehabilitation and provision of devices such as hearing aids or wheelchairs, to enable people with disabilities to go out and participate in the community. 

Many of our partners employ people with disabilities and this greatly assists with providing the best insights and service.

Our programs

Our programs work at different levels of the health care system — from small community primary health clinics through to large regional hospitals.

Access to therapy and assistive devices

  • Training health workers on how to find people who need physical rehabilitation and refer them for the treatment and support that they need. Finding children earlier, because the earlier children are supported the better their chances of doing well in the long run.
  • Physiotherapy and rehabilitation services to support children and families after surgery or with ongoing disability-related needs.
  • Providing much-needed devices such as wheelchairs to help people participate in and move around their community.

Awareness raising

  • Our partners have a special focus on training community-based health workers and traditional healers so that they can identify and refer clubfoot cases from their villages.
  • Health worker training to identify physical rehabilitation needs in the community and referring people to services.
  • Training doctors, nurses and health workers to build their skills so they can achieve excellent results for adults, children and families.
  • Providing health workers with posters and brochures in local languages to raise awareness in communities about available resources for physical rehabilitation.

Systems strengthening

  • We aim to work with government wherever possible to increase our impact. For example, by linking with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and promoting the Ponseti method for clubfoot treatment, we are able to improve access to this life-changing treatment for all children in Ethiopia.
  • Some of our projects reach the national level by supporting university training curricula. This means that future physiotherapists and other medical specialists will be well-equipped to support people with disabilities.
  • Referral of people with disabilities between services is key, people with disabilities and their organisations along with parent organisations are strong advocates and represent needs to government providers.

Clubfoot treatment means Eyob can now run

“Now I can run!’’ Eyob said in an excited voice as he came to collect a t-shirt for the Ethiopian Great Run children’s race. He was running excitedly around the hospital grounds. Even the camera operator was having a hard time taking Eyob’s picture. His clubfoot treatment had made the difference between pain and difficulty walking, and being able to run.

Eyob was one of 50 children provided with a t-shirt by the National Clubfoot Program in preparation for the run. For these 50 children, their dream of running had been realised through treatment obtained from one of the clubfoot clinics supported by a CBM partner. These children have been promoting the Clubfoot Program’s motto, “Let us meet the dream of a child to run,” urging others with clubfoot to be treated.

Through CBM Australia’s partner clubfoot program in Ethiopia, children who may have otherwise lived with clubfoot for life, and depending on their environment, potentially increased disadvantage and poverty, were able to participate in the race.

Find out more about our Field Programs