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100913 CBR Guidelines Empowerment Component UN


100913 CBR Guidelines Empowerment Component UN

WHO UNESCO ILO IDDC

Empowerment is the fi nal component of the community-based rehabilitation (CBR) matrix and is a cross-cutting theme. While the fi rst four components of the matrix relate to key development sectors (i.e. health, education, livelihood, and social sectors), the empowerment component focuses on the importance of empowering people with disabilities, their family members and communities to facilitate the mainstreaming of
disability across each sector and to ensure that everybody is able to access their rights and entitlements.

The word empowerment has diff erent meanings in diff erent contexts and is not easily translated into all languages. Simple descriptions of empowerment include: having a say and being listened to, self-power, own decision-making, having control or gaining further control, being free, independence, being capable of fighting for one’s rights, and being recognized and respected as equal citizens and human beings with a contribution to make.
 
Many CBR programmes have focused on the medical model, i.e. on the provision of rehabilitation to people with disabilities without asking for anything in return. While this has resulted in positive changes for many people with disabilities, it has also promoted a dependency model – a mindset of giver and receiver. Empowerment begins to happen when individuals or groups of people recognize that they can change their situation, and begin to do so. It is a process that involves things like awareness and capacity-building leading to greater participation, to greater decision-making power and control, and to action for change. People with disabilities, their family members and communities are central to CBR. These guidelines encourage and promote a move away from the traditional model of CBR to a community-based inclusive development model. The starting point of any CBR programme should be to facilitate the empowerment of disabled people and their families and communities as this will lead to achievement of goals, outcomes and sustainability.