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Improving independent living and inclusion of Children with Cerebral palsy in Bugesera, Rwanda through an Appropriate Paper Based Technology

CECHE Foundation aims to make special assistive devices using cardboards to promote the inclusion of children with cerebral palsy in Rwanda


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What problem does your idea solve?

Access to assistive devices is a global problem for disability inclusion in ordinary living. In Bugesera district of Rwanda, children with cerebral palsy are facing complications due to inappropriate early intervention. Many of them are left stigmatized in their homes because they can’t move, communicate or interact independently. This results in lack of access to basic services in education, health and social. This situation overload caregivers making their economy situation deteriorating

Explain your idea

The Appropriate Paper based Technology is intended to be implemented for young children with cerebral palsy who don’t move from their homes due to postural weakness. Those children will first be identified by community Inclusive development workers, and their needs will be assessed with support from a professional. Family members will be included in designing and making the special assistive device which responds to the assessed need. Card boards and other waste papers will be used to make the therapeutic furniture produced locally by trained community resource persons This locally made assistive device will be taken home by a trained family member to be used for the inclusion in the family and the community in general. Regular follow up will be organized through a home visits program by Community Inclusive Development Workers under supervision of a professional. This will certainly change family and community attitude towards abilities and potentials of children with cerebral palsy, enabling and facilitating them to achieve their full potentials The final goal of the APT is to achieve independent living and inclusion of children with disability in family and community life; enabling access to education, healthcare and social community services. Those beneficiaries who were staying at home will be able to go to schools while their parents will be mobilized for mutual support through self-help groups. Community participation in the implementation of the APT is vital

Who benefits?

Children with cerebral palsy manifesting physical disabilities and postural problems with their families will benefit from the APT. It will be produced locally using available community resources in Bugesera district, Rwanda. Those children range from 8 months old to 6 years old both boys and girls, whom data are not known. This idea is targeting at least 10 children and their 10 caregivers per administrative sector, making a total of 150 children and 150 caregivers in the whole district

How is your idea unique?

This idea of APT is very unique: users participate in designing, using waste products in making useful life changing devices is an unknown experience to many people. It is only in few countries and in Rwanda it is not well known technology. The final product is meeting local context, is affordable, adaptable, and lasting. These elements make the user to feel comfortable and they don’t cause any harm. The advantage in this idea is that it will add a contribution to the sustainability of the organization, making a little income. Other few organization in Rwanda who are trying to make APT do not focus on quality standards of assistive devices. I strongly believe that my idea will be more successful because it will be extended in a social business model, ensuring quality standards from the making to distribution. To be able to make that, a close collaboration with advanced APT promoters who are more skilled across the developed countries will be established to allow technical exchanges.

Tell us more about you

CECHE Foundation is an acronym for Children in Educational, Culture and Healthy Environment. It is a legal national NGO founded in 2013 operating in Ntarama, Bugesera district in Rwanda. It is a community centered organization with minimum external support; working with Community workers who are trained on disability and inclusion backed by its staff. This team is devoted to make this idea a reality. A support from Cerebral Palsy Africa might be solicited for short course training in APT

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

The APT is a new concept in Rwanda. CECHE Foundation is the only organization in Rwanda whose staff have basic skills in APT and is really persuaded to moving from a community support service delivery to a wider money making socio-economic enterprise where PWDs will get employed. I am still working out on how CECHE Foundation can own a permanent residence within the community in order to move from a renting organization to a next level on which CECHE Foundation is strong, sustainable organization reputable in the country and across borders. This can be achieved in partnership with other organization who are eager to support both technically and financially because the organization is still fragile in terms of trained human resources.

Where will your idea be implemented?

  • Rwanda

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

Expertise in Sector

  • I've worked in a sector related to my idea for more than a year.

Organizational Status

  • We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

Idea Maturity

  • Early Growth/Roll-out/Scaling: I have completed a pilot and am ready or in the process of expanding.

How has your idea changed based on feedback?

the idea has not really changed. however, it was strengthened to include feedback from both CECHE Foundation and OpenIDEO communities. For example Including that the devices produced by this idea will be produced in consultation of both parent and user. Even if users are children, they will be consulted to participate in the designing phase of the assistive device and consider their choice. This is some thing that we did not think about deeply before the feedback. The other thing that we improved from the feedback is the standardization of the devices, matching the local production with the standards required.

Who will implement this idea?

This idea will be implemented in the full participation of the community. Five full time staff located at our Community Daycare Rehabilitation Center will be implementing this idea. the center is located within the same operation geographic area. The five staff will be working with Community Inclusive Development Workers based in the villages to promote the access to healthcare services. This idea will also collaborate with the Cerebral Palsy Africa to provide quality standards devices.

Using a human-centered design approach, you may uncover insights that lead to small or foundational changes to your organization’s existing strategy or processes in order to unlock the potential of your idea. How would your organization go about making such changes?

CECHE Foundation is a small organization of a strong team of young innovative leaders. in case there is an insight that lead to the changing of our strategy/philosophy, it will require the board to meet and decide. As a growing organization, it will welcome the new ingredients regarding to that change. once the board approves the changes they should apply . Such approval will be acceptable if the intended changes to amend do not deviate the mission of the CECHE Foundation which is to build a brighter future based on education, Cultural and health background among all children.

What is it that most attracted you to Amplify instead of a more traditional funding model?

The most attractive thing about the Amplify that I noticed is the mutual exchanges among professionals from different background to inspire each other. this help designers to orient their work in a human-centered mindset. The process of the challenge have a learning aspect through the comment section, e mails exchanges,.... this is really a participatory funding model which gives the time to the people in the competition, to reflect on their idea.

What challenges do your end-users face? (1) What is the biggest challenge that your end-users face on a day-to-day, individual level? (2) What is the biggest systems-level challenge that affects your end-users?

children with Cerebral palsy face many problems associated to either their impairment or to the environmental barriers, or a combination of both. Children with cerebral palsy have difficulties in positioning and mobility. if they are not cared in consideration of their disability during the early childhood, their body become nonfunctional, leading to severe disabling complications. in this situation, some parents in our community still have to leave their children locked inside the house and go for daily living work. nationally and globally, the assistive devices are still a dilemma for person with disability in need. due to high cost of assistive devices, children with cerebral palsy (their families) have problem in affording them because they are not eligible for health insurance.

Tell us about your vision for this project: (1) share one sentence about the impact you would like to see from this project in five years and (2) what is the biggest question you need to answer to get there?

IMPACT: By 2022, at least 150 children with cerebral palsy across Bugesera district are included and participate in their family and community lives by aid of the making of appropriate assistive devices which respond to their needs. QUESTION: How can we improve the functional independence of children with cerebral palsy to allow their participation and inclusion in family and community life? How could the parents be actively involved? How can we produce low cost local devices?

How long have you and your colleagues been working on this idea together?

  • Between 6 months and 1 year

How many of your team’s paid, full-time staff are currently based in the location where the beneficiaries of your proposed idea live?

  • Under 5 paid, full-time staff

Is your organization registered in the country you intend to implement your idea in?

  • We are registered in all countries where we plan to implement.

My organization's operational budget for 2016 was:

  • Under $50,000 USD

If your team/idea/organization has a website, please share the URL below.

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Photo of Christie Taylor

This idea is wonderful, replicable and inspiring! Good luck in your endeavors. I like that your concept is from a renewable resource. Thanks for sharing your concept.


Hello Christie! i really appreciate your encouragement. Thank you very much!
much appreciated.

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