Children In Families (CIF) is celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities today! The theme for 2018 is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.” Children In Families’ ABLE Project is right in step with this objective. It’s even in our name. ABLE stands for “Accepted, Belonging, Loved, Empowered.”
Our dream for ABLE is: “Children with disabilities or special health needs are cared for within loving families, accepted as valuable members of their communities, and provided with the opportunity to realize their full potential to participate in their communities without discrimination.”
We do this through community based rehabilitation. This empowers families to provide for the optimal health and well-being of children with disabilities. We work to maximize each child’s potential, as well as promote inclusion and participation in the community.
The 2018 theme for this year’s Day of Persons with Disabilities was chosen with regard for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which pledges to “leave no one behind”. This is exactly why the ABLE Project exists. Because all children have a right to live in the warmth and security of a family. A right CIF commits to preserving. If we do not make a way to support children with disabilities part of our services, we would be leaving them behind. This means that functionally we would be discriminating against 10-15% of the population.
Making Theory a Reality
It’s one thing to have a vision and a mission statement. But, how does the ABLE project work to make these things a reality? When we assess the developmental progress of the children in our project, we also assess their environment and learn about their routines. In the course of a day, we observe their involvement with others in their family and community. Engaging with the families helps us determine ways to best support and empower them. Some support is through therapeutic activities which can help the child develop their functional abilities.
We also determine if there are any adaptations that can improve the child’s capacity to participate in their communities. We provide training about child rights and the rights of persons with disabilities. In addition, CIF encourages families to advocate for the rights of children with disabilities. Likewise, we collaborate with other organizations to improve inclusion regarding education and access to health care.
So, today, we at CIF honor the children and families who are part of our ABLE Project. And, those who are working with us to open doors for greater engagement of people with disabilities within their communities. We also recognize all of the individuals and organizations paving the way for a brighter future for all Cambodians through helping ensure that no one is left behind.