Changing lives in Northern Vanuatu, Australian Aid: Friendship Grant

Churches of Christ in Queensland has receiveed an Australian Aid: Friendship Grant from the Australian Government to further the Churches of Christ Medical Santo Community Based Rehabilitation program in Vanuatu. The program commenced as a six month project in 2018 and will now continue through 2019.

The $60,000 grant will support four local Community Based Rehabilitation workers to identify and provide support for people living with a disability, and their carers, in the community.

Community Based Rehabilitation is based on empowerment and dignity and aims to increase a person's participation in their own community through a range of initiatives including employment, education, cultural activities or attending training. It increases awareness of the rights of people living with disabilities through the facilitation of information sessions at local schools, churches and community groups.
 
Two volunteer physiotherapists from Queensland will provide professional support, training the local workers, facilitating relationships with local service providers and government departments and advising on referrals and goals.

Medical Santo Executive Manager, Lyn Cox is delighted the grant will support a continuation of the Community Based Rehabilitation program in the region.

“Medical Santo is unique - the Community Based Rehabilitation team is fully integrated with the Medical Santo medical, nursing and allied health clinic services which provides a multidisciplinary team to address the full continuum of care for people living with a disability and/or their carers.”

“We’re really looking forward to continuing our partnership work with the Vanuatu Government, local provinces and strengthening our community networks in the region to continue to deliver this wonderful initiative,” Lyn said.

During 2018, Community Based Rehabilitation workers identified 280 people living with a disability across communities on the islands, ranging from young children to the elderly requiring care and assistance.

“According to the World Health Organisation, people living with a disability and their families in developing nations suffer extra economic and social disadvantage because of lack of services and stigmas around disability. This can result in families slipping into a cycle of poverty and abuse, which can impact the family for generations to come,” Lyn said.

“The Community Based Rehabilitation program aims to empower those living with a disability and their families to participate in education, livelihood and social opportunities, as well as educating the local community and reducing the stigma around disability.”

Since 2013, Medical Santo has provided primary health, emergency and allied health care from the clinic based in Luganville along with mentoring and training of medical staff in the local hospital. Teams have also been sent out to many rural communities in the northern islands of Vanuatu.

Medical Santo has delivered care to over 24,000 people since opening and will continue to assist the people and change the lives of those in Northern Vanuatu into the future.

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Posted April 15, 2019 in Networking blog