Niketan offers practical home-based care and community care to 255 children and young people with complex disabilities in the thanas of Ghior, Daulatpur and Badda in Bangladesh.
Children with complex care needs resulting from multiple chronic conditions, like functional and cognitive impairments, are often not able to come to a special school or center. Their disability has a significant impact on their lives, including interactions with other children or adults. An average family in rural Bangladesh who gets a baby with a functional and/or cognitive impairment, can seldom rely on professional support where they live. When the (grand)mother realizes that something is wrong in the development of the child, it is difficult to find out what is wrong. She has to rely on local knowledge and facilities, which are often lacking up-to-date knowledge and are therefore not in the best developmental interest of the child. This may lead to high costs for incorrect advice, worsening the family’s poverty situation.
In upazilla Ghior and Daulatpur, Niketan organizes veranda schools in 19 villages. These schools are located in the village where the children live, on the veranda of the house of one of the families. We also provide practical home-based care for 98 children, which helps the children to develop cognitively, functionally and physically. This form of care is offered to parents who, for whatever reason, cannot attend a (veranda) school and to children who are in primary school but need regular physiotherapy.
To raise awareness in the community and foster a more positive attitude towards people with disabilities, 90 people from the community, such as high school and college students, are buddies for children with disabilities. Niketan has 7 years of experience with this buddy system. These volunteers spend one to two hours a week with the child. They support the child’s family, play with the child and take some weight off the mother’s shoulders. By taking the child outside, they meet other people and other people meet them. This helps to reduce the negative stigma.