To provide care, protection, education, and rehabilitation to every child with a disability in the community, OLS has been implementing the Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) In a program with the support of the Adoption Centrum of Sweden. This program aims to empower the children with disabilities and their parents/guardians/family members to protect and realize the rights of the children with disabilities with the active support of the elected peoples’ representatives, teachers, health workers, SHG members, school management committees and community-based organizations by orienting them with knowledge and information and developing their skill on protection and realization of the rights and entitlements of children with disabilities using advocacy tools. The project aims to ensure that no child with a disability is exploited, neglected, abused, or abandoned and that the community responsibly discharges its duties so that the children with disabilities lead a life with dignity as enshrined in the Constitution of India.
The organization provides home-based management services which include family counseling, facilitation for enrolment and education in the mainstream schools, linkages with various schemes, and promotion of independent living of children with disabilities in their activities of daily living.
The Project “Community Based Inclusive Development Program for Children with Disabilities” is being implemented in 48 villages under 6 Gram Panchayat of Nimapada Block of Puri District by covering 270 children with disabilities. Major activities carried out during 2021 – 2022 under the CBID program are as follows:
Child Protection has been the mandate on which OLS’s policies are based. It developed and implemented the Policy a long time back. All its staff members are aware of its provisions. During the period the project identified new 50 children with disabilities in 12 newly identified villages under 6 G.P of the project area by conducting 12 focus group discussions. All the identification was made based on data collected from AWC and conducting 12 focus group discussions with local stack holders. All the IEPs of 50 children with disabilities have been prepared for their development. Monthly follow-up and home visit activities and interaction with the family and community members have been carried out by the OLS staff and the Therapists.
As parents are the caretakers of the children, they should create an environment where children can grow up and develop their potential and be safe and healthy. Similarly, parents can create a suitable space, where children can express their thoughts and feeling. Keeping the above in view, OLS during the year organized 6 interactive training programs among the parents on children’s different health and nutrition issues and prevention at 6 G.P. of the project area.
12 SRHR training for adolescent girls and boys was conducted by giving importance to the sexual and reproductive rights of adolescent girls to access the correct information and services to positively influence their sexual health. Sexual and reproductive health and rights are fundamental human rights that are related to sexuality and reproduction. These rights allow people to make informed and meaningful decisions about their sexual well-being.
During the period, 12 inclusive children’s clubs have been formed in 12 newly identified villages in the project area. During the meeting, a discussion was made on their rights and COVID 19 pandemic and 12 capacity-building training programs has been conducted among the newly formed inclusive children club members on children’s different health issues and presentations. Discussion on demerits of junk food, hygienic problems during child age, use of nutritious food, and precaution taking during the pandemic. During the period awareness programs were conducted for the inclusive children’s club members in two phases, the first covering the COVID 19 and the second covering the Health and Nutrition for Children.
During the period 6 interactive sessions have been conducted in 6 G.P. with the Panchayat level duty bearers of the project area and a block-level workshop has been organized on CBID activities carried by OLS. The main objective of the activities is to increase access to knowledge, and skills for advancing inclusion and realization of rights of the children with disabilities. During the discussion, the discussion was made on the different activities carried out by the OLS for the increased physical and intellectual development of the children with disabilities and the sustainability of the project activities in the 6 G.P of the project area. The project took up the issue of personal health and hygiene of the people as it became vital due to the outbreak of COVD – 19 and to prevent its spread. The Project conducted the awareness and sensitization for the target children, parents, and adult support groups in the whole operational area. The lockdown was a major challenge in 25 communicating and arranging the events but with the rapport of OLS with the communities, these programs could be conducted by adhering to the Government guidelines.
Women’s participation has led to the real empowerment of the project area. Presently, their participation in all the project activities has been deeply accepted by their families and community members which is increased their self-confidence for participation in their development.
The general children, through the activities of children’s clubs, have become proactive. They are now interested to place their various issues about their rights on the proper platform. Training children club members on the rights of children and environment protection have enhanced the capacities of children to speak, ask questions, and take proactive steps on various environment protection issues. The attitude of teachers of regular village schools has changed to a great extent and now some teachers in the schools of the project area are showing interest and motivating their peers to promote inclusion in extra-curricular activities.
The project brought significant changes in the attitude of the parents of children with disabilities. Their level of knowledge on the protection of rights of children with disabilities has increased. Specific effort in creating opportunities for children with disability in participating in Special Olympics at local, state, and national level has brought about large-scale awareness among the community peoples that children with disability have talents like any other children. Children with disability have shown much improvement as compared to that before. The awareness among people about their responsibility in promoting and protecting the rights of children including children with disabilities has enhanced to great extent. Information was also shared on Special Olympics and how it can help provide an opportunity for the growth and development of their children and let them lead a life.