Community Based centers for Persons with Special Needs
According to WHO (2015) estimates there are 1 billion persons with special needs in the world, and they comprise 15% of total population. The disadvantages of disability are often magnified by social status, gender and health conditions.
It is not possible for a country like Pakistan to set up special education institutes in every village and town. A more cost effective and sustainable model could be to set up community based small centers to identify, educate, train and rehabilitate persons with disabilities. Rising Sun has taken the initiative of setting up low cost, community-based centers for persons with special needs to reach the most marginalized segments of population with special needs. We want to develop a cost effective, community-based program which can gradually be run in collaboration with local community. This Community ownership will not only strength monitoring and guidance mechanism, but it will also help in mobilizing local technical & financial resources. In long run this community mobilization & collaboration will help in scaling this project up to other areas of province.
During first phase, five centers have been established in Kasur, Purana Kahna and Shahdara. Teachers for this project were selected from the vicinity of the centers and after training they are providing services to children and adolescents with special needs. All professional services (speech therapy, sensory, physical & occupation therapy, assessment, counseling etc.) are provided through mobile teams from Rising Sun Education & Welfare Society.