New treatment centre for disabled children

Global Rehabilitation Services (GLORES) is a non-government organisation based in Bafoussam, Cameroon treating severely disabled children.  GLORES  is badly in need of a new centre to expand its services to meet a growing need.
The sum of £29,770 is needed for this of which £25,721 has already been provided by the FIOH Fund.

 

 

glores-improved-planBackground
GLORES rehabilitation approach is global, as its name implies. That is, we are not only concerned about treating disability, but ensure that our beneficiaries lead self-reliant and socio-economically independent lives.

GLORES major mission, therefore, is to prevent disability in children; identify and treat those already affected; support education, provide vocational training, placement and follow-up in their communities to achieve effective socio-economic integration.

Global Rehabilitation Services was authorized by administrative order No 238/RDA/F35/BAPP of November 2004 and registered as a non-profit association at the service of disabled children.  GLORES is made up of a group of Cameroonians of all walks of life, men and women, concerned about the plight of an increasing number of underprivileged disabled children in the West Region, who decided to make their contribution in the fight against poverty, specifically among disabled children.   GLORES is the first comprehensive rehabilitation centre in the region.

GLORES opened its doors to physically disabled children in July 2005.  Despite the micro resources available, 1,500 physically disable children have received direct services while 4,500 persons have had indirect services from GLORES.

These beneficiaries came not only from this region but also from the northwest, littoral and central provinces of Cameroon. GLORES organises the following activities from a basic rented building in Bafoussam:

PHYSIOTHERAPY DEPARTMENT
fioh.fund.cameroon.glores. Child undergoing re-educationThis is the first objective in our rehabilitation process where functional re-education is provided through intensive physical therapy, functional re-education, and mobility training. The aim is to ensure mobility and use of limbs because we believe that without mobility a disabled person cannot lead a productive and independent life.  During therapy, parents and the disabled persons are themselves educated to become their own therapists upon discharge from the centre.

ORTHOPAEDIC WORKSHOP
childh-with-independent-mobilityThis is where splints and mobility aids are produced including orthopaedic shoes, splints and other assistive devices.  This serves as a training place for those disabled who would like to become either shoemakers or orthopaedic technicians.

VOCATIONAL TRAINING
After treatment, beneficiaries choose from such income-generating professions as shoe making, tailoring, hairdressing and cane work.  Upon successful completion of the training, beneficiaries are placed in either individual or group business ventures in their communities with follow-up to ensure success.

COMMUNITY BASED REHABILITATION
This is a follow-up programme in which maintenance treatment is also assured.  This involves the family and the community at large. In this programme, the families and the disabled become their own therapists.  Preventive measures are taken and disabled children are identified and referred for appropriate treatment.  Disability prevention services, human rights education, information about discrimination against the disabled are provided and self help, social, and group activities including community development participation are introduced and supported.

ASSISTANCE PROGRAMME
GLORES also runs assistance programmes to sponsor treatment and corrective orthopaedic surgery for those children with severe disabilities who are unable to afford the symbolic treatment fees.  GLORES pays particular attention to orphaned disabled children.  GLORES hopes to extend the project to include other disabilities other than physical disabilities as the project expands and develops.

The need for the new centre
Despite the successes of the activities of GLORES, the most important difficulty has been the lack of space in the present Centre to accommodate the many children being referred for treatment.  The present rented building only has four small bedrooms, a small physiotherapy treatment room, an adapted internal kitchen that is being used as the administrative office and treatment room at the same time and an external kitchen which is being used as the orthopaedic workshop.  Besides these, there is a small external traditional toilet, and two internal toilets which often fail to function due to mechanical malfunctioning and shortage of water which is common in the Bafoussam town.  In fact the house was conceived as a residential house not for other activities.

GLORES, therefore needs a larger space in order to effectively carry out the many activities as specified above. To summarise, a larger building is needed for the following reasons:

  1. A larger building will help cut down the high rents we have to pay for the existing house.  The heavy rents could be use in purchasing other items for the centre.
  2. We will be able to serve the many children who are asking for our help from neighbouring regions in Cameroon, GLORES being the only comprehensive rehabilitation centre for physically disabled children.
  3. A more spacious workshop will help us in the production of more orthopaedic equipments without leaving children to wait for long to get ambulation and other equipments.  It will also provide space for the training of disabled children in the production of orthopaedic equipments.
  4. A larger treatment room will help us better position treatment equipments and consequently we will be able able to treat many children simultaneously.  With the present structure children have to be put on the waiting list to have treatment.
  5. There will be enough dormitories to accommodate children, most of whom come from distant villages and have no place to stay for follow-up treatment.
  6. The hygiene situation will be solved with available toilets and the water system.
  7. The New building will be situated by a major surfaced road and is more reachable by public transport unlike the present centre.
  8. The new building will be more adapted for handicapped persons.
  9. There will be space to train disabled children to engage in income-generating professions.
  10. A new centre will provide a conference room which will be rented by the public for meetings thus generating income for the centre.

The land for the centre was purchased in 2014 and the foundations have been completed.  The production of blocks for the walls was completed in December 2015.  The roof was completed in September 2016.

glores-delivery-of-materials glores-water-carried-from-stream wall-construction

Delivering sand
The completed foundations.
Making blocks.
Wall construction

 

Water is collected by hand from a local stream.

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Roof construction.
Completed roof.
Window protection – September 2016.

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Alfred Wingo assists visiting Dutch surgeons with an operation.

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Moving testimonials of six of the children treated by GLORES

Mike Thomas with some of the children

Mike Thomas with some of the children in 2009

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