Local NGO Grace House will open its new residential disability centre for children in Kor Kranh Village on November 20.
The centre will provide rehabilitation services for up to eight residents, as well as respite for home-carers, and Grace House director Bridget Cordory said it was prompted by the absence of much-needed services in the communities in which it has been working since 2008.
The centre will operate in tandem with Grace House’s disability day care centre which has just received additional funding, allowing it to expand its services to include behavioural as well as physical therapy.
The idea for the residential centre was prompted by concerns about one of the vulnerable children regularly attending the day care centre, and the opportunity to build came after Sally Baughen, Amansara’s general manager, held a fundraiser in December.
The new centre will have four bedrooms including one for staff, a kitchen, two bathrooms, a big internal open area and will be separated off to maximise residents’ comfort.
Staff will include day and night carers and a manager, and Grace House is also recruiting occupational and physical therapists but recruitment is difficult.
“Carers have so little experience of working with disabled people, and there is even less training,” Cordory said. “We have sent our day care carers down to Phnom Penh for trainings when they come up, but there has been very little so far.”
Grace House has also relied on support from the Angkor Hospital for Children, Friends International and Safe Haven, all based in Siem Reap, and organisations in Phnom Penh.
The hope is that the centre’s children will be fostered back into the community, or within family networks.
“We’ve got no expectation of any child being here for life. It’s a transitional home and we will then offer support and respite for families who take them in,” Cordory said.
The centre will also work with families to help them understand the nature of the disability affecting their child, and how things can improve.