Inspire2Care is a community programme that emphasises the power of people in line with the needs, possibilities and capacities of poor rural communities. The model is aimed at Karuna’s mission – prevention of disabilities, malnutrition and diseases among children and a better life for children with disabilities.
Inspire2Care is based on our vision and principles to inspire communities to take action themselves and to care for children with disabilities, and address the challenges in a holistic manner. Karuna believes that different aspects of disability and inclusion are interrelated, and you need to address all of them in order to establish sustainable development. This means not only access to healthcare and the prevention of disabilities, but also promoting access to education and work, advocacy for equal rights, and improving the attitude towards people with disabilities. All these aspects together strengthen and complement each other.
Inspire2Care accomplishes its goals by:
- A development plan for every child
To improve the quality of life for every individual child with a disability, a development plan is made and implemented with attention to all components of the WHO Community Based Rehabilitation-matrix: healthcare (including specialised care), education, livelihoods, social activities and empowerment.
- Strengthening local leadership
Through training, capacity building and empowerment we inspire local leaders to take responsibility for people with disabilities, and to be a good example. A Village Development Rehabilitation Committee (VDRC) is established and a Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Facilitator is appointed and trained. Together they organise the improved preventive care, rehabilitation and inclusion of children with disabilities.
- A positive attitude towards people with disabilities
Karuna inspires leaders, parents and health workers to embrace people with disabilities. Every village establishes a Child Club for children and youngsters with and without disabilities. Together, they use wall paintings and street theatre to draw attention to social issues, breaking taboos and educating the community that people with disabilities can contribute to society in a positive way.
- Raising awareness
Raising awareness to (mainly) young women is vital to prevent disabilities. In every village, pregnant women and women of reproductive age are identified by the Female Community Health Volunteers, together with the CBR facilitator and health workers. They educate these women about the importance of healthy nutrition, hygiene and safe, institutional deliveries.
- Strengthening mother and child care
Karuna improves the existing healthcare systems and trains local health workers. Due to timely diagnoses, prenatal check-ups, institutional deliveries, vaccination and timely treatment of infections, up to 70% of all congenital disabilities can be prevented. Mothers, infants, young children and women of reproductive age are the target group.
- Lobby for equal rights
Karuna influences and works together with local, district and national authorities and with (inter)national governments to make healthcare policies inclusive. We draw the attention of governments to their obligation to fulfil the rights incorporated in the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
- Mobilising local funds
Before Inspire2Care starts in a village, Karuna sets the condition that the village council contributes at least 5% of the local yearly budget for development (around €4000 per village) to Inspire2Care. Karuna only contributes financially in the first two years. Karuna then supports the villages for another two years by investing in technical knowledge, coaching on the job and training. After four years a community is fully self-reliant.