The work we do Empowering Tanzania's MVCs goes hand-in-hand with our operations in the community. This branch of our organisation can be further broken down into three main areas.
Community Education: At the heart of everything we do is a desire to reduce discrimination and prejudice individuals with disability are faced with every day. In Tanzania, people with special needs are excluded because of their disability, and we think this exclusion stems from a lack of understanding. As such, it is our responsibility to decrease cruelty and exclusion by providing communities with a crucial education.
We do this by working closely alongside our workers in the community, who themselves work every day to advocate for the rights of vulnerable people and prevent discrimination as they see it. We also do it through the one-day workshops and seminars we provide for different sectors of the community, where they are invited to our home at Emmaus Hill to be taught by experts and leaders, given a space to ask questions, and an opportunity to connect with the people in their community.
We also do it through the one-day workshops and seminars we provide for using Kupenda for the Children's Disability Training Program. During these workshops, different community groups (such as pastors, parents, etc.) are invited to our home at Emmaus Hill to be taught by experts and leaders, given a space to ask questions, and an opportunity to connect with the people in their community.
Community Outreach: The reason our homes are filled with incredible children and teenagers who rely on us to sustain their well-being is thanks to our community outreach programme. Community outreach is essential because it promotes a constant dialogue between our organisation and the people we support, and it builds a relationship between EMFERD and the community we work in.
Our volunteer community workers are in contact with a geographically diverse group of communities, so that they are able to visit vulnerable families in need, assess how we may best be able to help them, and then provide informal support to them where we are able.
Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR): There is a significant challenge faced by the unique population we serve - how do you provide the access to necessary resources and support services to people from low- or no-income settings who live in geographically remote and rural settings? The answer is community-based rehabilitation (CBR).
CBR is a way of empowering communities with the resources and services they need, by taking the resources and services to them, and enabling them to help their own communities with the information they gain. It is logistically the only way hundred of thousands of people across the globe are able to access some of the help they need, and it is an essential part of the work we do. Our CBR operations are directed by a physiotherapy expert, and our strategy works side-by-side with our community outreach to help provide families in the community with the low-cost, low-resource help and education they need to provide a high standard of care to their child with a disability.
Moving forward we want to formalise our community outreach and CBR provisions, so that all of our community workers and CBR practitioners are highly trained and equipped with all the information they need. To do this we need to invest much more in our training opportunities, provide all of our team with any of the resources and learning aids they need, and provide more consistent support to the workers in the community.
We also want to increase the amount of community education seminars we conduct at Emmaus Hill, and fund opportunities to travel further afield to host community education seminars to parts of the community who are not able to come to us.
With these things combined we will be able to make such a substantial difference to those who need it the most, and the impact this will have on our society’s understanding of disability and the rights of the disabled will be profound and wide-reaching.