On June 16th, 2019, the provincial government of Province number 1 in Nepal decided to adopt the Inspire2Care(I2C) program, a community-based healthcare and rehabilitation program, as developed by the Karuna Foundation in the past 12 years. The Ministry of Social Development in the province has the responsibility to implement the program in collaboration with the municipalities and the Karuna Foundation. They have allocated budgets, approved new cost-sharing modalities, agreed on implementation guidelines and renamed the program to the Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Program (DPRP). We see this as a great step towards changing the maternal/child health care system and developing disability inclusive society in Province 1. The program focusses on:
- Strengthening the existing maternal and childcare to prevent birth defects, maternal and neonatal mortality and (childhood) disabilities.
- Developing disability-inclusive societies by improving access to healthcare, education, livelihood opportunities and participation in social life for persons with a disability.
The program aims at reaching 108.000 pregnant women per year, 786,000 children under the age of 10 years and 78.000 persons with a disability (plus their families) in Province 1 by 2025. The Karuna Foundation will support the government in the scaling and implementation of the program in the coming 5 years in Province 1 and develop a resource centre to share their knowledge and experience. Karuna expects to inspire the remaining six provinces and the federal government in Nepal to adopt the program too.
The word Karuna originates from Sanskrit, the classic language of the Indian subcontinent, and means ‘compassion’. The mission of Karuna Foundation – improving the lives of children with disabilities – starts and ends with compassion to make people look after their fellow humans and take action.