In this 5-part series we are exploring each of the unique elements of our model that together holistically transform the wellbeing of carers. In this article we are focusing on respite/short breaks.
The role of caring leaves many carers tied to their homes. It is common for the carers we work with in India, Nepal and Bangladesh to report feeling socially isolated as a result of caring and many also feel stressed with having no free time for themselves.
To overcome this issue, since 2012 we have provided 2,825 carers with access to respite and short breaks from caring which help carers relax and rejuvenate.
As part of our work we have developed the concept of ‘Community Caring Centres’. These centres provide alternative day care for children with disabilities which at the same time provides a break from caring for their carers. Carers can use the time to engage in the work force, or to socialise with other carers and reduce their loneliness.
One such centre in the state of Odisha, India is managed by our partner Ekta and is funded by the local Government. At the centre there is a physiotherapist, special educator, and language therapist who provide support services for the children at the centre. The children are taught daily living skills and basic skills such as identifying letters and colours. 64 children are enrolled at the centre with around 10 – 12 attending per day. Carers and their children both enjoy attending the centre. Before the centre opened, there was no similar service available for these families.
Carers from another of our Community Caring Centres in Andhra Pradesh said: “The centre helps us as we can do livelihood activities within our village with the peace of mind that our children are safe and being looked after.”
We currently have 22 of these centres operating in the regions where we operate. The centres are very popular and there is constant demand for more new centres to be opened.
If you would like to support our Community Caring Centres please consider making a donation today. Visit our website next week to read our article about employment, training and education.