A community-based disability programme for rural areas
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This study was conducted in the Heuningvlei community in the Kgalagadi District Municipality in the Northern Cape Province. This study was part of the "Tshwaragano Project" with the general aim of empowering the disadvantaged communities in rural areas. The aim of this research was to develop, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a community-based disability programme for poverty stricken families in rural areas of the Northern Cape Province. To achieve this aim, the following objectives needed to be attained: w> To study the interrelation between health, poverty and disability? This objective was achieved by means of a critical review and analysis of the relevant literature. It can therefore be concluded that the interrelation between health, poverty and disability is significant. Poverty makes people more vulnerable to disability and disability can lead to isolation, lack of support and lack of resources. Many people still remain ill-fed, ill-housed, under-educated and defenceless to preventable diseases. To establish what the bio-psychosocial needs of the Heuningvlei community with regard to a community-based disability programme are? The researcher also established a profile on the community members with disabilities in the Heuningvlei community. The study showed that the highest prevalence of disabilities involves physical disabilities, with hearing, blindness and mental impairments also represented. The causes of disabilities are mostly illness related causes, substance abuse and natural causes. All three aspects which could, on the whole be prevented through general health awareness and a healthier lifestyle. It was also palpable that crucial disability management- and support services lack in this rural area. Partnership working between government organizations and Non Government Organizations (NGO's) seems a foreign affair and the community members with disabilities and their families an elapsed entity. To design and implement a community-based disability programme for rural areas. This programme was presented successfulfy over a stretch of five group sessions to ten community members with the aim to improve their knowledge regarding disability matters. They also received skills to start their own food garden. By means of this programme the members of the group also enhanced their social functioning and showed great interest in disability awareness and management. To evaluate the effectiveness of this community-based disability programme in empowering community members with disabilities, their care-takers and the wider community to manage disability related matters in a poverty stricken area. The evaluation by utilizing a focus group with the identified key role players in the community. The results obtained through this evaluation indicated that the programme had brought a significant change in the lives of the members. It can therefore be concluded that the programme was very successful and effective in the sense that members felt that there was a transition in their lives. In summary it can be stated that proof has emerged from this research that a scientifically founded, well-planned community-based disability programme can undoubtedly be applied to improve the social functioning of poverty stricken rural families.
- Humanities