Embargoed Wednesday, 06 July, 2016 – Port Moresby, National Capital District || For the second year running, Digicel Foundation formalized a partnership agreement with the Cheshire Disability Services with the signing of a Memorandum Of Agreement for the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Program for 2016/17.
Digicel PNG Foundation CEO, Beatrice Mahuru, said over the years the program has been implemented in NCD and Central Province, the Foundation has seen the positive and life-changing impact it has had on beneficiaries. This is what has encouraged and inspired the Foundation to continue with the financial support of K 150,000 for the program.
“The CBR Program is such an important program. As a Foundation we are not promising miracles but what we are promising is that with awareness and the correct information and skills, we are able to better care for our people living with disabilities and truly make our societies inclusive for them to participate equally. The sustainability aspect of this program is the skills sharing from Therapist, to carers and parents, which is further disseminated to the community to achieve this. I must acknowledge the wonderful work of Benard Aiyeko and the Team at Cheshire disability Services who are our implementing partner. They have done such a phenomenal job,” Mahuru said.
Since its inception in 2014, the Community Based Rehabilitation Program has impacted the lives of over 900 people living with disabilities in Kokopo, Wewak, Central Province and the National Capital District.
Meanwhile, Benard Aiyeko, General Manager, Cheshire Disability services said that the focus of 2015/2016 programs implementation will be to build up on the lessons learnt under the successful NCD project, employ strategies to address the challenges which were experienced and to strengthen partnership with especially, the Government Administration at the national and local levels to sustain the outcomes and improve the lives of the beneficiaries.
“Cheshire disability Services is grateful to Digicel PNG Foundation for the continued funding of this program. Their funding enables us implement the program and pay the salaries of the field workers and physiotherapists who go out to the communities so that we can achieve our shared objectives,” said Aiyeko.
Targeted locations for the rollout of this program are Settlements, Suburbs and Indigenous Communities. They include; Morata, Wildlife, 8 mile, 9 mile, 14 mile and 17 miles. Local villages to be targeted are Kirakira, Mahuru, Pari and Hanuabada while Gerehu, Hohola, Tokarara and Burns Peak suburbs will also be covered.
To date Digicel PNG Foundation has funded 474 classrooms and 14 libraries, 22 Mobile Health Clinics, 4 rural Health Aid Posts, 3 Women’s Resource Centres, co-funded 5 Family Support Centres in partnership with UNICEF and NDoH, graduated 261 grassroots community based teachers in early childhood development and learning and over 15,000 men and women are now equipped with basic business skills.
900 people with special needs, their families and communities have been impacted by the Community Based Rehabilitation Program; and the Men of Honour Awards – a campaign against violence in PNG, is the latest to the Foundation’s development portfolio.
Established in October 2008, Digicel PNG Foundation has directly invested K55 million in PNG’s rural, remote and marginalized communities across all 22 provinces directly impacting over 500,000 people.