International Child Care

International Child Care

June 15, 2009 12:48 ET

International Child Care: New $647,000 Canadian Partnership Reaches Disabled Children in the D.R.

MARKHAM, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 15, 2009) - More than 400 children with disabilities living in poor barrios surrounding Santiago, Dominican Republic (D.R.), will receive vital rehabilitation services for the next three years thanks to a new $646,000 partnership between International Child Care (ICC) Canada, and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

ICC Canada, a faith-based NGO, that works in Haiti and the D.R., has received the grant for its innovative community-based rehabilitation program (CBR) in the D.R.

"Disability is a major social and public health concern in the D.R.," said Peter Montgomery, ICC Canada's National Director. "These most vulnerable of all children and their families face difficult attitudes and almost no government services."

It is estimated that in the central province of Santiago, with a population of 1 million, the number of people living with disabilities is 60,000. At the same time, there is an acute shortage of accessible and affordable rehabilitation and special education services.

In October 1993, ICC launched a small pilot project to address the needs of eight children with disabilities in the barrios. The program trained a small team of local CBR workers to find more children with disabilities. They began to educate and empower family members to conduct daily rehabilitation exercises with their children at home. The program has grown since then and proven to be a cost effective, sustainable alternative for delivery of rehabilitation services to children born with reduced physical and mental capacity.

"This is an untold success story," said Montgomery. "Through ICC, Canadians have been making a grassroots difference for years for many children who otherwise would receive no support. This grant from CIDA is a huge boost to parents in these communities, and provides the opportunity for Canadians to do so much more." Not only will families in poor barrios receive weekly support visits thanks to the grant, the program will work to integrate children into the D.R. school system.

ICC is a Christian health development agency operating in Haiti since 1967 and the D.R. since 1988. Through ICC thousands of Canadians have helped provide core community health services to isolated and poor communities in Haiti through years of political upheaval. Previous CIDA grants to ICC have supported vaccination, maternal health, TB and clean water projects in Haiti for many years. This is the first CIDA grant for its work in the D.R. For more information, visit: www.intlchildcare.org.

For pictures and further info contact: Marshanell Levy, Dev/Communications Officer, 1-888-722-4453, ext.295, mlevy@intlchildcare.org.

Contact Information

  • International Child Care
    Peter Montgomery
    National Director
    1-877-722-4453 Ext. 294
    or
    International Child Care
    Marshanell Levy
    Development/Communications Officer
    1-888-722-4453, ext.295
    mlevy@intlchildcare.org
    www.intlchildcare.org