Working TOGETHER benefits children with disabilities in hard-to-reach areas

In Sri Lanka, the TOGETHER project (Civil Society Organisations and Local Authorities together to include Children with Disabilities in Sri Lankan Society) has brought together key civil society organizations and local authorities to empower children with disabilities within society.

3 young girls in Sri Lanka, about 10 years old, sit in a row. The one on the left has a disability.

The project has used the key informant methodology (KIM), an innovative social mobilization strategy that enables community-based diagnosis, treatment and provision of assistive devices to reach children with disabilities in hard-to-reach regional and rural areas. TOGETHER is implemented by ChildFund Deutschland in coordination with ChildFund Sri Lanka.

TOGETHER has benefited 2,500 children with disabilities and their families. One of them is Nimesha (in photo). Through the KIM medical screening camp, Nimesha’s parents received information to help them understand her disabilities and the need for therapeutic exercises at home.

Sri Lanka NimeshaNimesha, above, has benefitted from the TOGETHER project. She now "She now tries to talk all the time and smiles" says her mom.

As transportation is a big challenge for the family, arrangements were made for home visits by a physiotherapist and occupational therapist from the Trincomalee Base hospital. During the visits, Nimesha’s parents were trained on specific exercises to strengthen her muscles and improve her coordination skills. Now she has routine clinic check-ups and her life is filled with more joy than before. 

Nimesha now actively engages in drawing, and her family is able to care for her. Nimesha’s mother’s words stand testimony to this: “I have seen a great change in my daughter. She now tries to talk all the time and smiles. She is also getting physically stronger.”