Rehabilitation & Mobility

Power gives practical support to rehabilitate people with disabilities.

The World Health Organisation estimates that at least 96% of people with disabilities in developing countries have no access to rehabilitation services they need to enable them to participate in society.

Rehabilitation and mobility is the first step towards self-sufficiency. An artificial limb, brace or wheelchair can make the difference between getting to school or being left at home, between getting a job and begging on the streets. Rehabilitation and mobility have been a core theme of Power’s work since 1995. Our aim is to provide very practical assistance to individuals at the community level to ensure they are mobile and able to participate in all aspects of life.

Power’s early rehabilitation work focused on the Las PDR and Mozambique. 
  • Laos - the world’s most bombed nation, still lives with the lethal legacy of cluster bombs dropped during the Vietnamese war, leaving many men, women and children maimed for life. 
  • Mozambique has lived with a legacy of landmines planted during the 17 year civil war. 

In both these countries Power worked to support the development of a national rehabilitation service, and trained a cadre of physicians, technicians and physiotherapists to fit appliances and rehabilitate victims. In Laos this work continues through COPE (Co-operative Prosthetic and Orthotic Enterprise) which now treats around 1,500 patients each year throughout Laos. Power is still involved as a donor and supporter of COPE, and details of their work can be found here.

In addition to supporting the prosthetic and orthotic services in the Lao PDR, Power supports rehabilitation at community level through all our programmes. Activities include:

  • Helping children with disabilities to start or stay in school. POWER uses child-centred auditing methodologies to assess the physical needs of children, and to set in place community actions to ensure children have the supports necessary to get to school;
  • Installing ramps and other accessibility equipment in schools to improve access.
  • Providing grants to individuals, schools and communities to support mobility and improve access.
  • A crucial role of caseworkers in POWER’s programmes is information gathering, assessment, intervention and providing evidence to support the decisions they make on the lives of children, young people and adults with disabilities.

Relevant Programme Experience
Further details of our rehabilitation and mobility work can be found in the programme links below.

  • Laos: Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise  1995- On-going  (COPE)
  • Mozambique: Prosthetic and Orthotic Services in Mozambique 1995-2002 (P&OMoz)