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Rural Ability Programme (RAP)

CBM SA’s primary focus is on people with disabilities living in resource-poor rural areas of South Africa. Home to an estimated 24 million people, South Africa’s rural communities remain some of the most impoverished societies in the world, with access to employment, education, land, housing, health services and other essential resources still dividing them from their urban counterparts.
 
People with disabilities living in rural communities experience unique problems in accessing even the most basic services including transport, sanitation, healthcare and education. These challenges are rooted in a life in poverty, and upheld and maintained by barriers including a lack of educational, skills development and employment opportunities; difficulty using public transport and the built environment; abuse and neglect; and on-going stigmatisation and discrimination.
 
The first initiative under the CBM SA banner is the Rural Ability Programme (RAP), which is situated in Zithulele, a small rural village in the Eastern Cape, one of South Africa’s poorest provinces.  Working closely with the Jabulani Rural Health Foundation (JRHF) as the local and implementing partner, the RAP seeks to build on a best practice Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) model, which may be replicated in other rural communities in South Africa and other African regions.
 
Through the delivery of the RAP, CBM SA aims to:

  • Improve interaction with health and rehabilitation services for people with disabilities in rural communities and increase knowledge of home management and prevention of secondary complications.
  • Increase the capacity of people with disabilities in rural communities to resolve difficulties and interact constructively with service providers and the local community.
  • Increase access to education for children with disabilities in rural communities.
  • Increase livelihood and income generation options for people with disabilities in rural communities.
 
In line with the CBR concept, RAP is building on existing resources in the community, including people with disabilities, their families and other community members and encourages the use of simple methods and techniques that are acceptable, affordable, effective and appropriate to the local setting.
 
RAP is improving existing medical and rehabilitation services for people with disabilities in Zithulele, Eastern Cape and, using this foundation as a base, incorporate other services including improved access to education for children with disabilities, livelihoods training, skills development, life skills and training in disability advocacy.


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