Improving Disability Inclusion in South Sudan

Thursday, 08 Jul 2021

Improving Disability Inclusion in South Sudan

Decades of conflict in South Sudan, poverty and poor access to essential services have increased the rate of disability, and the marginalisation and exclusion of people with disabilities in South Sudan.

CBM has been working with partners in capital Juba, South Sudan on a Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) project, to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities.

A recent evaluation of the CBM project indicated that the project benefited 5300 people directly and was shown to have:

  • Increased awareness of disability rights, reducing stigma and leading to an increase in early detection of disabilities in children and referral for services.
  • Improved health of people with disabilities through better quality and better access to health and rehabilitation services.
  • Improved access to education for children with disability, resulting in more children with disabilities in school.
  • Improved economic opportunities for people with disabilities and their caregivers.

In South Sudan, people with disabilities are heavily represented among the poorest and unemployed. Ensuring vulnerable people know about and have access to quality health services is key to preventing or reducing the impact of disability. Radio shows about disability was one of the strategies used.

The radio awareness has reached very many people with disabilities within and outside the city were some of the people who have access to transport are bringing their children to Usratuna [CBM supported centre for children with disabilities] for treatment”, said one parent whose child had benefited from the CBM project.

The evaluation showed how the CBM project’s awareness activities led to early detection of disability and an increase in referrals for medical and rehabilitation services. The CBM project trained health workers to better understand the needs of people with disabilities. Feedback from the projects beneficiaries indicated that 85 percent responders said they received the care they needed.

The CBM project’s awareness campaign improved community understanding of disability issues and helped individuals realise that people with disabilities have potential, and that they too can learn and contribute to society and the economy. While previously, many children with disabilities missed out on school, now parents are seeing the value in paying for school fees for children with disabilities – setting a precedent for children with disabilities to go to school.

Before this program parents used not to pay school fees for their children with disabilities, however, this has changed now because one our student passed P8 and is now in Jubek East Secondary School performing better than even those children without disabilities”, said one teacher involved in the project.

For a child with a disability to thrive at school, the school must be disability inclusive. The CBM project supports inclusive education through accessible facilities and training teachers in disability awareness. This has led to more children with disabilities attending school.

The ramps built at the class entrance is really making it easy to go in the class by myself without anybody pushing the wheelchair and also the new constructed toilets is also friendly and easy to assess”, one child with a disability told evaluators

 

CBM acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

 

Read more about how the CBM project in South Sudan is improving access to health services for children like Agua, Mikala and Lino.

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