PFDA-Vocational Training Center Trust

Ability Bangladesh (AB)

Special population support

Life long conducive environment for orphan and distress persons with Neurodevelopmental Disorders (PwNDDs) by ensuring shelter, care, protection, education, health, employment and NDD old-age support

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Lead Organization

PFDA-Vocational Training Center Trust

Dhaka, Dhaka Division, Bangladesh

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Project Summary

The project shall cover life span of individuals with Neurodevelopment Disorders, Autism, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual and other Neurodevelopment Disorders (NDDs) from early identification till their death. The solution is based on organizational experience and good practices of other Countries following rigorous discussion points with the target beneficiaries, their family members, stakeholders and government personnel. The "four folder" solution focuses on establishing a 'complex' with 1) safe shelter and care, 2) education, skills building and employment for the PwNDDs and their families 3) a health care and therapy clinic and 4) A training facility to develop skilled caregivers who will initiate services for PwNDDs in their own areas having referral linkages within the 'Complex'. Supports will be taken from Japan, Australia, Hong Kong and United States of America (USA) for technical aspects of the project including accountability, monitoring, research and knowledge management to make the solution self-sustained.

Problem Statement

There may be approximately 282,000 persons with ASD in Bangladesh. And if one considers the estimated global prevalence rate for three of the four NDDs (ASD, Down Syndrome and intellectual disability), then there may be more than 2.8 million persons with NDDs (PwNDDs) in Bangladesh. Even without confirmed data, it is safe to assume that more and more people in this country will be needing rehabilitation, livelihood opportunities and supports in the years to come if they are to have meaningful lives. Bangladesh is yet to become a social welfare Country, nor the social service sector has a pro-active approach. The people of the Country do not have clear knowledge on disability itself which leads to social stigma, exclusion and misery for the PwNDD people and their family. The policies have political notions which completely limit the scopes for the PwNDD and their family members to receive proper care and support including services at any level. Solutions to the situation, even if planned are not inclusive, comprehensive and affordable. Absence of specialized services, positive attitude of the society and in adequacy of policy and policy implementation make PwNDDs and their families most vulnerable segment of the population. Level of violence against PwNDDs and their families are yet to be known. This significant number of population often considered as a burden but they could have contributed in national growth with proper opportunities. A durable and self-sustained solution can demonstrate how to change the overall situation.

Solution Overview

The project shall cover life span of orphan and distressed persons with Neurodevelopment Disorders, Autism, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual and other Neurodevelopment Disorders from early identification till their death. Safe accommodation and shelter will be established for 20,000 PwNDDs and their families based on self sustained and eco-friendly approach. Over five hundred thousand Autism, NDDs and PWDs shall receive services from the project. This service package will be comprehensive to serve all types of necessities of PwNDDs from early identification, diagnosis to burial services. Apart from clinical services, they will also receive education, capacity enhancement on issues affecting their lives, vocational trainings, income generating activities, recreational and psychosocial support. They will also be part of the group of employees who will manage and run the facilities. Severely affected NDD persons, those who are unable to move without others support shall be placed into an intensive care support unit. This facility will also target the old age citizens of the Country who have different types of disability and are separated from their families. An emergency medical service station with 24/7 medical facilities, therapy services and yoga/meditation, special gym facilities will be established. A technical 'Research and Knowledge Management' unit, after establishment with external affiliation will help in exploring neouro problems, mental health issues, multi disabilities and related issues to strengthen the project delivery mechanisms. Project sustainability will be ensured through exploring feasible and doable options where PwNDDs can contribute, be employed and get benefit out these.

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