The Foundation is partnering with MAITS on a three-year programme to deliver life-changing Community Health Worker (CHW) Empowerment training in Pakistan and Bangladesh. The funding of £45,000 will reach some of the countries’ most vulnerable people who are often in hard-to-reach areas and will help to enhance the quality of life for 3,100 children.

Since 2008, MAITS has provided training to 6,952 individuals in over 23 countries, benefitting over 1,350,000 children with disabilities and their families. Access to MAITS’ global training network of online training (over 450 trainers) ensures expertise and knowledge is retained locally and where it is most needed. The CHW Empowerment training targets hard-to-reach families who have limited access to specialist therapists and therapy centres, and who rely on the skill and dedication of community workers to enhance the lives of their children with disabilities and their families and communities. This grassroots training enables timely specialist referrals to be made and enables the provision of targeted home support to promote children’s development, health and wellbeing, using MAITS’ expertly designed training packages and tools. The programme is successfully running in five countries and the resource package has been recommended by A.I.F.I Italian Association of Physiotherapy.

In Bangladesh, only 11% of children with disabilities receive any form of education and the biggest issue for families is inequality of access to support services. Children’s access to basic health and education in both countries is limited in ‘normal’ times and has been exacerbated during COVID. The programme will aim to improve the quality of lives of 700 children with developmental disabilities and 700 carers across Bangladesh and Pakistan in Year One alone, evidencing the ability of the programme to scale-up existing support.