Independent Living

Roukiatou's legs are deformed. A LIGHT FOR THE WORLD Community-based rehabilitation worker supported her in getting the treatment she needed. The basis for her to have a future.

Roukiatou has a chance to lead an independent life in the future

Independent into the future

The social environment works together – this is the main reason why Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) has proven so succesful. In our CBR programmes, children with disabilities are supported in an environment which is familiar to them.

Children receive regular visits in their homes from our rehabilitation assistants rather than getting treatment in institutions, away from familiar surroundings. CBR workers evaluate the individual needs of children, for example the child might require immediate medical attention, physiotherapy, crutches, or perhaps a wheelchair. In addition, CBR workers show parents how they can support and strengthen their child with specific physiotherapy exercises. CBR also has a positive impact on the inclusion of people within a community. The programmes take place directly in the village, in order to involve parents, friends, and neighbours.

 What we do:

  • We provide individual treatment in children's homes
  • We involve parents, neighbours and friends
  • We support the inclusion of people within their community
  • We support people with disabilities in finding a job

The effect: The community cares for the child and its recovery. Many people lose their fears and prejudices, and accept the children as fully participating members of the society.

Another part of our CBR work is ensuring that people with disabilities have a chance on the job market. The aim of the CBR programmes is to guarantee that people with disabilities are able to live independently, make a living for themselves and their families, and be an equal part of society.

In October 2010, WHO, UNESCO, ILO, and the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) launched new CBR Guidelines. As part of IDDC, LIGHT FOR THE WORLD was involved in developing these guidelines. We have produced a CBR Guidelines Training Manual. CBR can also have a global impact by contributing to the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Prsons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Portrait of Marieke Boersma. Credit: Jaco Klamer

Senior Advisor on CBR: Marieke Boersma

+251 920 65 65 11
m.boersma [at]

What we do

Nefissa smiles again

Nefissa's smile has returned. Thanks to LIGHT FOR THE WORLD's medical outreach programme she is able to manage her daily life. Surgery has enabled her to care for her children again.

Martine Bilgo gives interviews Photo: M.Bron

Martine once was a client in one of our CBR projects. She successfully graduated to become a teacher. Today she works in a school which is linked to a LIGHT FOR THE WORLD CBR project.

Igliassu is playing with his school friends

A year ago, Igliassu could not even walk because one of his legs was much shorter than the other. LIGHT FOR THE WORLD helped him enrol in an inclusive school together with his peers.