In providing therapy (mainly but not exclusively physiotherapy) Stepping Stones seeks to overcome the disabilities imposed on Burmese migrant children by their neurological conditions through fostering independence, promoting movement and by challenging negative perceptions of disability. Through the provision of ongoing therapy and appropriate equipment, many of the secondary musculo-skeletal complications of cerebral palsy will be avoided leading to improved posture and less pain, enabling children to access a rich variety of learning and social opportunities to maximise their wellbeing.
To identify Burmese migrant children and young people up to 18 years of age living with cerebral palsy and similar neurological conditions in the Mae Sot area.
To offer ongoing and direct physiotherapy to disabled Burmese migrant children and young people in the Mae Sot area.
Through partnerships with migrant schools, to enable many more disabled children and young people to access school on a regular basis.
To gain parental/ carer support through engagement and education in order to foster higher expectations for the children in their care.
To build capacity within the local area through formal training programmes and local partnerships to develop the necessary skills and knowledge.
To develop an Early Intervention Programme (Tiny Steps)
It is hoped that as Stepping Stones becomes even more established around the many diverse localities that make up Mae Sot, that communities will increasingly welcome the interventions and begin to undertake and develop their own groups and mini-projects.
Examples of successful community partnerships already established include a weekly session with an antenatal group run by one of our partners, Charis; equipment building by two different carpenters, each of them fathers of children we see regularly, aided by others in their community; gaiters produced by women living in a womens refuge where we visit; termly training in neighbouring community Pho Phra, supported by BMWEC. There are many other ad hoc partnerships that occur and we are very keen to develop each of them as they each increase our stability and create strength within the community as a whole.
Therapy and education are very closely interlinked in that it is through therapy that disabled children can more readily access education. Stepping Stones is a project of All You Need is Love (UK) and the vision statement of AYNiL(UK) is:
To release and realise the lifetime educational and career potential of each child we support.
This vision should be as relevant for disabled children and while seeking to release the potential of each child, we should also seek to ensure that the child’s wellbeing is at the heart of each and every day.