Children living with a disability are amongst the most vulnerable in Cambodian society. Few services exist in-country, especially a specialist residential centre like DT’s. People living with an intellectual disability are stigmatized and discriminated against within communities. In Cambodia people with disabilities, are more likely to live poverty and people with disabilities suffer from social exclusion and discrimination. In addition, children with disabilities require highly individualized and tailored care that few institutions can offer, especially in the long-term.
DT’s Phnom Penh centre shelters up to 30 children and young people living with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. Many of the children are former street children, as well as children who were abandoned or trafficked. Residents benefit from medical care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psycho-social support, and also attend school outside the centre when appropriate. DT supports children to develop skills, enabling them to gain autonomy and re-integration when possible.
Staff capacity building in disability
Since the beginning of this project in Phnom Penh, one of the main challenges has been hiring qualified staff able to work with children with intellectual disabilities. To face this constraint, regular trainings have been organized with partner organizations to develop and improve the staff’s capacities and adapt them to the children’s intellectual and physical needs.