Breaking Barriers: A Community-Based Rehabilitation Training for Scholars

The Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Certificate Program has taken a significant step towards promoting inclusive education and rehabilitation by enhancing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of Scholars in the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Gondar. The certificate program is one of the extracurricular packages that is intended to equip the Scholars with the necessary tools to establish a more inclusive environment for individuals with disabilities.

The Certificate Program comprises six comprehensive modules: Introduction to Disability, CBR and Inclusive Development, International and National Legal Frameworks to Disabilities, The Community-Based Rehabilitation Matrix, Community Development Skills, Project Management Cycle, and Field Attachment. 

This year’s training took place from June 13 to 19, 2024, with Cohort 4 Scholars focusing on Module 3 and Cohort 5 Scholars beginning the program with the first module. Half of the Cohort 3 CBR trainees from the Department of Law are currently on field attachment, while the remaining half will proceed to their attachment after completing the university exit exam.

Throughout the training, Scholars participated in various activities aimed at promoting understanding and empathy towards individuals with disabilities. They received practical strategies and techniques to address the diverse needs of persons with disabilities, improving their access to quality education. Additionally, they gained valuable insights into the challenges faced by persons with disabilities and learned effective approaches to overcome these challenges from their trainers and peers.

A key aspect of the training was the opportunity for Scholars to hear personal accounts from their peers about their educational experiences, highlighting the significance of empathy, patience, and respect in supporting individuals with disabilities. The Scholars were inspired by the resilience and determination displayed by their peers. In addition, they got the opportunity to network with their fellow trainees and trainers since trainees are from different departments found on the various campuses of the University of Gondar.

The CBR training was highly successful, empowering Scholars with the necessary knowledge and skills to make a positive impact on their lives and those of individuals with disabilities. By fostering a culture of inclusivity and understanding, the training has paved the way for a more supportive and fair education system for all. As Scholars bring back new insights and approaches to their communities, the far-reaching effects of this training are expected to create a more inclusive society for individuals with disabilities.

For those Scholars who go on field attachment, it allows them to meet members of the community, develop their social and soft skills, and translate the theories and methods into meaningful action.

Upon successful completion of the training, Scholars not only receive a Senate-approved certificate but also get the opportunity to become CBR trainers and be able to train from their lived experience.