World Cerebral Palsy Day: Training Creates a Community of Support
On World CP Day, learn how trainings at CCBRT help create a community of support between parents of children with CP
According to the World Health Organisation, cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common physical disability in childhood, but it is widely misunderstood. CCBRT is celebrating World Cerebral Palsy Day by highlighting the network of caregiver support that our trainings have created.
Cerebral palsy – a condition caused by brain injury developed around birth, limits a child’s development and mobility as they grow. In Tanzania, many caregivers of children with CP do not have adequate support to manage their child’s condition and help them integrate into day-to-day life. As a result, these children can spend up to 95% of their time at home, leaving parents overwhelmed with caregiving responsibilities and children largely hidden from community life.
CCBRT’s rehabilitative services include Weeks of Intensive Treatment (WIT), which is part of CCBRT Moshi’s evolving approach to community-based rehabilitation. WITs engage caregivers of children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida and hydrocephalus as the primary providers of their child’s treatment plan. In this five-day training caregivers learn tools to help their child communicate, eat, play and use assistive devices in a way that supports the child’s development. WITs provide caregivers and children with group therapy and community building support, allowing them to better integrate in their communities and serve as ambassadors against stigma surrounding disabilities.
Earlier this year Priscilla, a mother of a child with CP, attended a WIT training and said, “I learned a lot from CCBRT’s rehabilitation team – but may have learned even more from the other mothers at the training.” WITs allow parents to share concerns and form support groups to care for children with disabilities. Through this training, CCBRT has created a space for caregivers to raise awareness in their communities. Realising they are not alone, caregivers are empowered to help their children participate in day-to-day life: studying at school, making friends and attending community events.
Last week Sophia, a mother of a child with CP, attended one of CCBRT’s Parent-Carer Trainings (PCT). PCTs focus on training for caregivers of children with CP to help them understand what CP is, how to care for their children and empower them to create a parent self-help group. Sophia said, “I now have the knowledge and skills to encourage women in my community to not hide their children with cerebral palsy.” Not only do trainings like WITs and PCTs create a community among the participants, they also give caregivers the confidence to raise awareness and share information in their own communities. These trainings create long-lasting networks of information sharing and support that go far beyond the walls of CCBRT.