TUESDAY 6 OCTOBER 2020
Home Our Campaign Quality of Life How Nepalese people with CP are gaining independence and dignity

How Nepalese people with CP are gaining independence and dignity

The Self-Help Group for Cerebral Palsy (SGCP) Nepal runs a number of programs helping people with cerebral palsy (CP) and their families access much needed services and support for an independent life. SGCP has been awarded a World Cerebral Palsy Day 2018 Merit Award for improving the Quality of Life for children and adults with CP.

The project

As Nepal’s only non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting people with cerebral palsy, SGCP has been operating since 1986. Its goal is not simple, but it is focused: to create the necessary infrastructure to empower people with CP to lead a life of independence and dignity.

To achieve this, SGCP runs a number of comprehensive programs and services to support people with CP and other neurological conditions, while also supporting their families.

These programs and services include:

  • Rehabilitation Centre – a medical/paramedical service that offers a range of interventions including medical assessments, counselling, speech therapy, physiotherapy and medication, such as BOTOX injections. Around 270 assessments were conducted in the last year and more than 90 families access medication annually for their children. Camp programs are also run across 11 different locations, providing services to 400 children.
  • Special Education Program – a school which caters for around 50 students with CP and other neurological conditions, offering specialised programs, materials and computer education. The program also has a vocational training unit.
  • Out Reach /Home Visit Program – conducting in home therapy, assessment, counselling, provision of equipment and assistive devices across 20 districts, benefiting around 1400 cases annually. They also assist with access to financial support and integration of children into mainstream schooling where possible.
  • Day Care Centres – 19 centres across Nepal operated at a local level by parent groups formed through SGCP.
  • Residential Program – short-stay program where children come for intensive interventions and therapy. Parents also learn how to continue with rehabilitation at home.
  • Care for Carers Program – support and empowerment for carers using the Carers Worldwide model. Currently 23 carer self-help groups are operating with nearly 400 members engaged in empowerment training, health assessments, income generation and advocacy.
  • Technical Unit – production and modification of technical aids and assistive devices such as walking frames, standing frames, wheelchairs etc., with over 200 hundred being distributed annually.

Working together

As with any charitable undertaking, financial sustainability is one of the biggest challenges SGCP face. In order to carry out their extensive range of services, the organisation relies on the help and support of both national and international donors.

“Funding is always a problem. 95 per cent of funds depend on donations from abroad,” explains Chief Executive Officer, Bimal La Shrestha.

The list of organisations and individual donors that contribute to the amazing work of SGCP is impressive. Program donors/partners come from Holland, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, USA, UK, India, Australia and Nepal.

Parents and members contribute financially to programs and SGCP also generate funds through activities such as selling products made at the centre.

As with many organisations in this sector, finding qualified professionals to staff the programs is another challenge faced by SGCP, as is lack of awareness about CP among families, public institutions and the wider community.

An empowered future

With approximately 2500 people benefiting from SGCP’s programs annually, there is no doubt that adults and children with CP in Nepal are facing a brighter future.

Testimonials from parents, teachers, therapists visitors and people with CP attest to the tremendous outcomes being achieved at SGCP.

  • “SGCP Nepal provides various interventions that are more than a conventional therapy; rather it’s a real hope for children with CP. SGCP has highly experienced professionals, and highly effective methods of rehabilitation that takes into consideration the whole aspects of a person: cognitive, physiotherapy, education, psychological and so on. My child, Binisha Shrestha has significant development. Now she is studying in school. I would definitely recommend SGCP Nepal for those parents, who have a child with CP. Thank you!” – Parent
  • “I really enjoy visiting children and families at home in their own environment and providing my services. It feels good to help children with special needs and their families.” – Home Visitor, Out-Reach Program
  • “I am very grateful to SGCP Nepal and my family for all their help and encouragement so I can be where I am today. Now I am in the third semester on B.Sc (Hons.) Computer Science and Software Engineering. There are many ups and downs in my life and we all could use some inspiration to keep us headed in the right direction”. – Young person with CP

SGCP plans to continue strengthening its current programs and services, including extending the out-reach program and day care centres to cover all provinces of Nepal.

Ultimately, SGCP would like to establish itself as a Centre of Excellence in the field of comprehensive services and support for children with CP and neurological disorders.

In fact, it would seem they are already well on their way.

Dr Ritesh Thapa who worked with SGCP for nearly a decade, is furthering his study at the Cerebral Palsy Lab, Holland Bloorview Rehabilitation Hospital in Canda. Dr Thapa can personally attest to the great things SGCP are achieving in Nepal.

“I can confidently say that we are applying more than 90 per cent of the latest knowledge from here at SGCP… I am so delighted to see that this place is so similar to SGCP. This makes me proud to have worked in the CP Center.”