Tuesday, November 3, 2009

SCN Project

CARE- Belize Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Project
Title: Joint Innovative Project to sensitize the community in 4 pre-schools
and day care centers in Belize City on issues that impact the education of
children with disabilities and their Families.
Need for the project.
CARE- Belize has CBR (Community Based Rehabilitation) as a main strategy
where we collaborate with the community to make interventions. Community
Agency for Rehabilitation and Education of Persons with Disabilities (CARE) has
identified 4 day care and pre school centers in Belize City that are special needs
children friendly. Thus an automatic venue for inclusion, early childhood
stimulation and community based initiatives are already in place. Some parents
are reluctant to begin planning for Day Care or Pre School for their special needs
children due to fear of what will happen to their child. Parents also do not have
opportunities and access to meet other parents for mutual support and problem
solving. Monthly programs at these educational centers will allow both parents
and staff to become familiar, thus integration into the school system and the
community will be much easier.
25 Gabourel Lane PO Box 413 Belize City, Belize
Tel: 001-501-223-5986 Email: carebelize@gmail.com
CARE- Belize is fully conscious that children with disabilities are protected under
the constitution and it is their basic fundamental right to go to school. The
Education Act supported by Handbook of Policies and Procedures for Schools
clearly spell out the need for equal opportunities and for inclusive education. This
project will be the beginning of this process
Goal 1. Integration of children with Disabilities with other children in an early
childhood stimulation educational setting
Goal 2. Provide a forum for pre school and day care personnel and parents to
learn about caring for and teaching special needs children
Goal 3. Build the capacity of families and early education staff to cope with
disability and to learn how to advocate for their children.
Goal 4.Sensitize the community to special needs children
1. Identify 4 preschools and day care programs/pre schools in Belize City
that are willing to participate in this program
Activities: (1) Identify and meet with the pre- school principals and day
care directors preferably the ones that have children with disabilities. (2)
Explain to them about the project and get a commitment that they will be
participating.(3) Discus the different stakeholders who are involved such
as pre-school unit, the National Resource Center for Inclusive Education
and any other key player. (4) Ensure that the demographics of the preschools
and day care centers are not from one strata only. Southside and
Northside pre-schools and day care centers should be considered
2. Interview principals and staff at day care programs/pre schools to
identify their needs in regards to accepting special needs children
Activities: (1)Develop a checklist of questions that will be used for
principals and another checklist for teachers.(2) Conduct interview using
the checklists and use this information and data as a pre- attitude
information. (3) Make a list of all the needs that were given during the
3. Interview parents of special needs children to identify their needs in
regards to integration of their child into the monthly program
Activities: (1) Identify parents that will be interviewed (they can be from
CARE- Belize’s list). (2) Develop a checklist that will be used as a guide
for the interview.(3) Record the responses of the parents to include the
successes and challenges in the pre-schools and day care centers.
4. Based on needs identified, develop separate child early stimulation play
activities for each month and parent and staff informational sessions.
Activities: (1) Using the information from the interviews develop 8 activity
modules for integrated and inclusive play activities to do at each site.(2)
Develop 8 topics for informational sessions with parents. and 8 topics for
informational sessions with pre school and day care staff
5. Provide once a month morning program at each of the 4 selected sites, to
include early intervention and stimulation activities with the children and
informational sessions for the parents.
Activities: (1) From the activity modules developed design lessons and
activity exercises that you will do at each pre-school or day care center. It
should be activity based and beneficial to parents and children in
disseminating information, changing attitudes and having an impact on the
children and teachers.
6. Provide evaluation to participants at mid year and at end of the year to
change program as needed to obtain program goals
Activities: The program officer of this project will monitor the progress on a
monthly basis and will have an evaluation session at mid year.
Discussions on the evaluation will be shared with all involved and
measures to strengthen an area will be taken. The team will look at some
assumptions and risks of the program.
Evaluation of Goal 1. Integration of children with Disabilities with other
children in an early childhood stimulation educational setting.
1. The program officer employed will be trained on issues relating to early
childhood disabilities and the policies that we have in Belize
2. A list of the clients will be given so that s/he can make initial visits to
the pre-schools and day acre centers to make plans for the project
3. Rehabilitation Field Officers will support
Evaluation of Goal 2. Provide a forum for pre school and day care
personnel and parents to learn about caring for and teaching special
needs children.
1. Gather a list of parents and day care personnel. This will be done by
program officer with the assistance of the Rehabilitation Field Officer.
2. Have initial meeting with them to introduce the project
3. Get suggestions from them as what other components are necessary
4. Develop a time frame considering the information gathered during the
5. Develop activities based on the modules that will be presented
6. Identify possible personnel that can contribute.
Evaluation of Goal 3. Build the capacity of families and early education
staff to cope with disability and to learn how to advocate for their children.
1. Program officer gets assistance from PT’s and other personnel to
compile information that will be used. Based on information given by
parents and staff it will vary.
2. Ensure that feedback is given from parents and staff in regards to the
impact the training is having.
3. Involve other key players to give advice or feedback
4. Goal 4.Sensitize the community to special needs children
Evaluation of Goal 4.Sensitize the community to special needs children
1. Program officer will encourage parents and teacher to participate in
calling programs via radio
2. Involve the media for special events
3. Get the perception of the community by informal discussions
Commencement date: November 1, 2009 – October 31, 2010
Program Officer: Jerome Flores
Support Staff:
Inga Sandoval- Rehabilitation Field Officer for Belize district
Peter Kane: Peace Corp Volunteer – Family Support Program Officer
(Peter Kane is a PCV with CARE Belize and has experience working with
Families of children with disabilities)
Jerome Flores is no stranger to advocacy for persons with disabilities in Belize.
He was recently elected as the president of Belize Assembly for persons with
Diverse Abilities (BAPDA) and worked closely with CARE- Belize for the Blue
Shot Ride that was held in May 2009. He is a graduate of Canaan Seventh Day
Adventist College. Jerome is dynamic, young and independent and he will
definitely carry out the work for CARE- Belize as set out in the project.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Doris Staine Update

Doris is Ready!

Registration for entry in primary schools is completed in most schools by now. As a result of that Sister Beverly and I met with Ms Pollard and her vice principal on May 6, 2008 Issues related to Doris Staine and school placement for the school year 2008 which commences on September was priority in the agenda as well as the role of CARE- Belize. It must be emphasized that CARE Belize operates on the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Strategy where we do our best to apply inclusive approaches to ensure that people with disabilities are included in development work in particular inclusive education for this case. Since the last update we listed as significant some developments that were visible. Today we can report that Doris was given an evaluation at CRIQ (Centro de Rehabilitacion Integral de Quintana Roo) and she was fitted with orthopedic shoes and it was further determined that with surgery there are possibilities that she may walk. Further diagnosis was conducted by Dr, Jeffries and we are awaiting an appointment with Dr. Waight from KHMH to determine the possible impact of surgery for Doris. It must be noted that these events will have minimal impact on school because if any surgery is to be carried out it will be in July.
School Infrastructure
We had the opportunity to view the cement walkway that was built from the street to the classroom via a ramp. A wheelchair can be easily maneuvered in this walkway as it is wide and well built. For now the classroom are downstairs so it will not pose a challenge for Doris. We need to look at alternatives to accommodate her when she is ready to go to other classes which are upstairs. Sister Beverly was able to inspect the bathroom facilities that are being renovated and gave a few suggestions.
Staff Training
CARE- Belize is committed to providing the sensitization workshop to all the staff members in July or August. This was emphasized to the principal. The best approach would be to link up with NaRCIE and conduct the training collaboratively. Similar sensitization workshops have been done at Guinea Grass R.C school where 2 students with spina bifida are attending school. The principal agreed to give us a date where we can meet with the staff for the training.
CARE- Belize committed with the principal to provide support at the school setting on a monthly basis. If any urgent issue arises then CARE- Belize stands ready to assist in addressing the issue.
We presently have a new Rehabilitation Field Officer (RFO) who is on training and by September she will be ready to assist teachers, parents and Doris achieve her rehabilitation goals.
As to curricular support which CARE- Belize cannot provide we will refer the case to NaRCIE who should be in a position to support Doris and her teachers to address issues of curricular development
Through CARE- Belize Doris was given a new heavy duty wheelchair on May 23, 2008. Her father Marvin went along with CARE- Belize to CISCO construction where he was presented with the wheelchair.

At CARE- Belize office Marvin was shown the wheelchair and he took it home with him. In the future Marvin will come to CARE- Belize where he will be shown how to use the wheelchair as well as how to care for it.
CARE- Belize CBR programme plays an important role in ensuring that people with disabilities are able to get appropriate devices and have access to services for their maintenance and replacement. The devices should be appropriate, affordable and available in a timely manner so that people can live actively, independently and safely. We at CARE- Belize strongly feel that Doris is now ready to participate in the education opportunities that are available in her country and community. We stand ready to support her and other children with special educational needs achieve their education which is their human and constitutional right. I close with excerpts from Inclusive Education and the Social Model.
Inclusive education is about changing the system to fit the student, not about changing the student to fit the system. This is the main shift that is needed in understanding inclusive education in CBR programmes, which in the past, have tended to work more individually. Inclusive Education is ‘a process of addressing and responding to the diversity of needs of all learners through increasing participation in learning, cultures and communities, and reducing exclusion within and from education’

Let us all join efforts together in ensuring that we provide the opportunity that Doris needs to attain skills and live an independent life in the future.
Evan Cowo, Director CARE-Belize
June 5, 2008