BraveHearts Program endeavors to contribute to the extra care and resources that go beyond just survival for orphaned children with special needs. These children are extremely vulnerable- they have been abandoned, they are spurned by society since disability is still openly stigmatized in Cambodia. It takes enormous resources to care for a child with disability and of course for the majority of our children – independent living is unforeseeable. The children do not have proficiency in the skills of daily living.
We hope to see our children gaining ground in being able to use whatever facility their bodies can be coaxed into expressing. We are encouraging verbal expression, so that the cries and tears are also mixed with laughter, giggles and whoops!
We want to give them the best rehabilitation possible. We want to give them loving care, laughter and fun, counseling, and a nutritionally rich diet. We want to also provide our special needs children access to specialized therapists.
We have been picking up the pieces of these children’s lives; they number more than one hundred, and there are so many pieces. There are a myriad of ways to make a difference. It’s amazing what life is like when you no longer have a mouthful of rotting teeth! It is life saving to have compassionate medical care – with people teaming up to consider ongoing health plans. It’s incredible to have willing and able playmates to explore having fun!!!
BraveHearts has lots of pieces to put together. We hold regular celebrations, organise outings to the beach, zoo or parks, and we head off in a joyous tuk-tuk convoy, wheelchairs, and babes in arms, Cambodian style.
In this institutional setting it becomes perfectly clear the tireless and selfless gifts that parenting bestows on children with special needs. In a developing country like Cambodia, the lack of sophisticated medical infrastructure and services is obvious.
ABOUT OUR CENTER
The building is large, airy and filled with light. It is equipped with a rudimentary lift and has adequate grounds that are home to over 100 children, all with varying disabilities and ability levels.
The children are cared for 24/7 by program staff and volunteers. There is also a school attached where children from the center – as well as disabled children from the community – can learn skills for independent living.