Care for people with a disability
Strategies of Fracarita International in the development of care for persons with a disability in the South:
Our basic principle is an unconditional respect for any form of life, even for those who cannot dispose of all of their abilities. We do not want to let respect for their life depend on whether or not they have the abilities to become accomplished as a human being or useful to the world. Regardless of the level of disablilty, the have the same rights to health, education, work opportunities and reintegration into society, as does any other individual.
We constantly want to work on the amelioration of the quality of their life starting from their reality, on a physical, psychological, social, existential level, in which we aim to increase their well-being on a physical, a material, a social and an emotional level.
1. Improve the quality of life
For different forms of disabilities there are adapted treatment and rehabilitation programmes. As Brothers of Charity, we try to develop and apply the most optimum treatment and rehabilitation programmes for every disability. The aim is to bring back as much children and young adults to society as possible, and let them lead a life that is as normal as possible with the necessary social support. Normalization (seeing a life with disabilities as a life of equal value and not taking the so-called “normality” as a standard) and integration in the most appropriate way of cohabitation are pursuable objectives. Collectively tackle stigma, discrimination and inequality, and empower and support persons with disabilities and their families to be actively engaged in this process of reintegration is one of the main tasks of the programs of the Brothers of Charity.
2. Develop adapted rehabilitation programs
When starting a new initiative, it is our greatest priority to professionally train local staff so that they can give adapted care and support from a clear view on the person with a disability. However, we find that there are only few training programmes for specialized educators and caregivers in Africa and Asia. That is why we try to train staff ourselves. Through exchange programmes with countries where well-trained staff is already present, services are professionally extended.
3. Train local staff
In many places, the fact of having a disability is considered as very negative and linked to the work of an evil spirit or a punishment for certain actions. Persons with disabilities are often cast aside by their families and are marginalized by society. Their life is considered inferior and disabilities are often taboo.
With our care and support, we want show the local community that these people are certainly worth while, worth every effort, to improve the quality of their life through adapted methods of treatment and support. Our dedication alone can already be a great indicator for the greater society and for the authorities involved, and it can be an exhortation to change or adapt their views on persons with disabilities.
In addition, we take specific action to foster integration into society for persons with disabilities through the distribution of information in schools and to certain factions, through organizing opportunities for people to start working as a volunteer in the care and support of persons with disabilities, through creating a sheltered living environment and sheltered workshops in local communities.
4. Change mentality
The Brothers of Charity combine a strong international central structure, creating true solidarity between different partners, with a participative management system involving the local partners in the decision-making and the sharing of the responsibility. With this combination, the Brothers of Charity guarantee the continuity of the engagements.