Help at hand for developing countries
25 February 2011
UnderAusAID'sAustralian Leadership Award Fellowshipscheme the University's Faculty of Health Sciences will work hand-in-hand with professionals from developing countries to nurture leadership skills and address key regional issues in the areas of disability and development, and human rights.
Professor GwynnythLlewellynwill oversee visiting fellows in a project which is centred on addressing the rehabilitation needs of disabled children and adults living in rural and remote areas in Lao People's Democratic Republic and Vietnam.
"With the Asia Pacific region home to two-thirds of the 650 million people worldwide living with disability, the goal of our program is to work with our ALA Fellows to expand the capacity of these countries in increasing the participation and employment of these individuals,"said Professor Llewellyn.
The scheme will see talented fellows from the Cooperative Orthotic Prosthetic Enterprise(COPE) and National Rehabilitation Centre in Lao PDR, and the Office of Genetic Counselling and Disabled Childrenin Vietnam visit the University of Sydney to work with leading researchers.
They will focus on the use of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health for effective policy-relevant data collection, monitoring and evaluation of community-based rehabilitation.
"We are really looking forward to the opportunity to participate in the activities through the AusAID ALA Fellowship program as this will help to build capacity in Lao PDR and ultimately improve the delivery of services to people with disabilities in Lao PDR,"said Miss Bounlanh Phayboun, CEO of COPE.
"Attending this training as a team is an important step in building relationships to continue the delivery of programs for people with disabilities. This willenhance the capacity of local staff to build an effective community based rehabilitation system and expandand improve current programs."
Dr Patricia Weerakoon was inspired to pursue funding under the ALA Fellowship scheme after avisit to Sri Lanka which opened her eyes to growing concerns in regards to child sexual abuse. In recent years this problem has been exacerbated by swelling poverty, sex tourism and a shortage of specialised training professionals.
The ALA Fellowship scheme will provide Sri-Lankan professionals with interactive training with Australian experts in the field and in turn develop an inter-professional team-training model for prevention and detection.
"The importance of establishing a multi-disciplinary resource group in Sri Lanka for the early detection and prevention of child abuse cannot be overstressed,"said project fellow Ms Thiloma Munasinghe. "The in-depth program has been meticulously planned based on the needs identified by the multi-disciplinary group of state and non-governmental actors."
The Sri-Lankan fellows nominated for the program are drawn from the spheres of medicine, psychology, justice, law enforcement and the non-governmental sector. Working together will strengthen their capacity to deliver the initiative as a team on return to their home country.
The global AusAID Program assists Australian organisations to build partnerships and linkages with developing countries by offering professional development opportunities in Australia. For more information visit http://www.ausaid.gov.au/scholar/alafellow.cfm
Contact: Richard North
Phone: 02 9351 3191