Through its micro-project program the German Embassy was able to support yet another local NGO that helps children with physical and mental challenges. On Wednesday, 31 August 2022 the German Embassy in Windhoek and “Side by Side Early Intervention Centre” signed an agreement for a grant of 424,000 NAD (roughly 25,000 EUR). The funds will be used to procure mobility devices, such as standing frames, wheelchairs and carriers for disabled children and additionally provide applicable training to their parents throughout Namibia. The organisation aims to support children with disabilities and their families by mobilizing r
esources through various collaboration strategies involving the child, the parent and the community.
With a multi-disciplinary approach and a fully equipped and passionate team, their primarily focus lies on the well-being of every child with a disability and their families. They offer workshops, support therapy, and assistive devices along with referrals and integration techniques; because they believe that every child with a disability deserves a healthy, educated and informed family and environment. “Side by Side” believes that inclusion in society and education is key to the quality of life of these children and their families. Through advocacy, resource mobilization, and education they promote the strengthening of “early detection - early intervention and community based rehabilitation services” to achieve a fully inclusive Namibia.
During 2021, “Side by Side” trained more than 1,040 people in five regions (Khomas, Oshana, Karas, Omaheke, Otjozondjupa) in
Namibia on disability. 149 home visits were made and 1,600 one-on-one rehabilitation sessions with children with disabilities and their families were held. Additionally, the regular program sees 79 children per week at the rehabilitation centre. At their learning centre the NGO trains caregivers, parents and educators of children with disabilities on disability care, rehabilitation and inclusion. Furthermore, training for community leaders within the Ministry of Health are currently being scheduled.
The mobility devices that will be procured come from regional suppliers. These specially designed wheelchairs and buggies are well suited to African terrain and have many other features, accessories and adjustable options for a wide range of ages, posture support needs and functional abilities. The supplier will provide a week-long training on positioning / posture support needs of the children as well as the functional ability of the mobility devices.
The supplier of the baby / child carriers is specialized for the needs of children with disabilities. These carriers are therapeutic alternatives that allows parents to transport even bigger children with less effort, due to the specially designed system that supports the caregivers’ back, shoulders and posture. The carriers are produced in Namibia.
The partner: Side by Side Early Intervention Centre
Side by Side Early Intervention Centre has been registered as a Section 21 (Non-Profit Organization) since 2013. Their focus is the implementing of programs that support children with disabilities and their families. These programs include: early intervention services provided through various therapies, early childhood education centre, parent and caregiver trainings and workshops, early detection of childhood disability through hospital visits, home health visits, disability awareness, and community education.