In 1991, with support from Action Aid and Oxfam, COMBRA began its first community based rehabilitation outreach in the low-income suburb of Bwaise on the northern outskirts of Kampala City. The purpose of the Bwaise community project was a two-fold attempt to provide services to PWDs and secondly to provide a hands-on training ground for COMBRA’s CBR students. As the community project grew, the Bwaise community purchased land and COMBRA constructed its training center and developed a curriculum for training in CBR for grassroots workers. The project was handed over to the community of Bwaise in 2003 and has continued successfully to this day.
Today, COMBRA continues to provide service and hands-on training for students with the outreach now focused on Goma sub-county in the Mukono district. The community outreach continues to produce success stories while serving as a practical venue for students to hone their skills.
COMBRA relies heavily on its Community Coordinator and a vast network of community volunteers to identify potential clients for the Organization. Hard work is put into creating an understanding between COMBRA, the clients and their care takers to ensure expectations align with a clear path forward. Once an agreement is reached a group of two students is provided access to clients as they carry out assessments and determine the best course of action to meet
the client’s needs. Students then have an opportunity to return to COMBRA to design and craft appropriate assistive devices. The COMBRA Workshop provides students the perfect forum to carry out this crucial aspect of CBR training.
The outreach has also proven a success for providing a training ground to international students undertaking concentrated studies in Physiotherapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT) respectively. In the future the Organization seeks to strengthen it ties with international institutes so that a genuine and productive collaboration between the Ugandan disability fraternity and the global movement in PT / OT can be strengthened for the benefit of all.