HOW, WHERE, WHY

— How we do it:

Teams of Community Rehab Workers, Physiotherapists, Special Educators, Occupational and Speech and Language Trainers teach parents / caregivers how to integrate Early Intervention therapy into the children’s daily lives.

Screen children and enroll parents/caregivers into the program to train and build their capacities to perform therapies for their children and improve their environment and participation. Provide weekly and monthly visits to the homes of children to support parents/caregivers.

Leverage technology to make the program system driven and enable monitoring using our EI app which connects CRWs to rehabilitation specialists (physiotherapists, special educators, speech therapists / trainers, occupational therapists) so that high quality treatment is provided.

Incorporate awareness and education programs for mothers, communities, school students and school management in the area.

Use the WHO’s International Classification of Disability and Function model to promote participation.

Services are provided free of cost to families as we target low income families.

— Where we do it:

We directly implement in 5 districts in rural Tamil Nadu (Tenkasi, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Madurai and Namakkal), India.

In 2014, we started with 5 Blocks (Geographical Area, each block population ~ 100,000) in Tenkasi District and reached 351 children and their families. By 2020, we have expanded to 34 Blocks in 3 districts (Tenkasi, Tuticoirn and Tirunelveli) and will reach > 3500 children.

We provide training, support, app licensing and knowledge sharing services to other NGOs and governments throughout India and globally.

— Why we do it:

According to UNICEF’s Child Disability Report (2021), there are nearly 240 million children with disabilities in the world.  Children with disabilities are 34% more likely to be stunted, 25% more likely to be wasted,  24%  less likely to receive early stimulation and responsive care, 25% less likely to attend early childhood education, 16% less likely to read or be read to at home, 42% less likely to have foundational reading and numeracy skills, 49% more likely to have never attended school, 47% more likely to be out of primary school, 33% more likely to be out of lower-secondary school, 27% more likely to be out of upper-secondary school, 32% more likely to experience severe corporal punishment, 41% more likely to feel discriminated against, 51% more likely to feel unhappy and 20% less likely to have expectations of a better life.

Based on the official census data, there are 7.8 million children with disabilities in India, constituting 1.7% of the child population (Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation, 2016). Other studies estimate that nearly 10% of children in India have some form of developmental, physical or learning delay, making the true burden of childhood disability much higher.

According to the World Health Organization’s Early Childhood Development and Disability discussion paper, “If children with developmental delays or disabilities and their families are not provided with timely and appropriate early intervention, child rehab, support and protection, their difficulties can become more severe—often leading to lifetime consequences, increased poverty, and profound exclusion” (WHO, 2012).

According to UNESCO (2020), 90% of children in India and other LMICs don’t have access to proper child rehab and development services.

Through our EI Program:

  • Parents/caregivers are provided with continuous support with the therapy to improve the lives of their children.
  • System driven program with prior scheduling, family being the primary decision maker.
  • Real time monitoring of the program.
  • High fidelity data generated from system for decision making, planning and budgeting.
  • Research for impact evaluation and validating outcomes.
  • Cost effective delivery for less than $300 USD per child per year compared to $1,500 USD from traditional centre based approach in Tamil Nadu where rehabilitation specialists provide therapy services.
  • Paperless and eco-friendly system.
  • Evidence based outcomes for advocating state level policy changes.
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