Letters

Disability awareness 

Awareness is a big word. In Nepal this word is used by organisations in many different ways: disability awareness, poverty awareness, women awareness, community awareness, political awareness and so on. The NGO, Community-Based Rehabilitation Service (CBRS), works with and for disabled people, their family members and community. Our vision is of ‘a society, which respects the rights and dignity of people with disabilities in their families and community, using their skill and knowledge as potential’.

Our work is to make this vision a practical reality. We use posters, drama, song, stories and videos to raise awareness of the needs of people with disabilities. In Nepal, few teachers are really aware of the needs of children with disabilities and their learning potential. CBRS runs awareness programmes in schools, emphasising these messages:

  • Look first at children and their abilities, not their disabilities.
  • Children with disabilities have the right to attend their local school.
  • Provide special support, if needed, to help children with disabilities to attend school.
  • Don’t tease children with disabilities.
  • Disability is not the result of sin or a curse, either for the child or the parents. Our work has helped over 100 children with disabilities to attend local schools.

Krishna Lamichhane, CBRS, Pokhara, Nepal.

Use of role-play 

Thank you for the experiences shared in Footsteps by communities participating in their own development. I often make photocopies of the magazine to encourage communities in their process of self-development.

After receiving the issue on using theatre in development, I started using role play to raise awareness with members of our health insurance management committee. By asking people to play the role of different stakeholders – community members wanting explanations, tactless managers, responsible managers and committee members – everyone gained a much better understanding of their task.

Emile Kweguent, Saild – Binum, Cameroon.

Identifying community leaders

TETELESTAI (this means everything is accomplished in Greek) is an NGO seeking to improve people’s quality of life and to fight against poverty in Togo, especially with young people and women.

Members of the technical team recently met for a training workshop on ‘Identifying true community leaders’. The training was based on an article in Footsteps 48, page 16. During the training, a survey sheet was used to help identify leaders in our target communities. We’re grateful to Footsteps for this information.

M Adodo S Houemy, BP 29, Badou, Togo; Adeva/Pez, BP 21 Butembo, Democratic Republic of the Congo