IDRAAC Launches a Platform for Community Support & Rehabilitation

12/14/2023
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"IDRAAC" unveiled an electronic gateway on December 7th, featuring a comprehensive map and data of nearly 900 community support, mental health, elderly care, and people with disabilities services in Lebanon. The event took place at the Citea Apart Hotel in Achrafieh, with representatives from the Ministries of Education, Health, and Social Affairs, and several NGOs in attendance. 

Following the national anthem and an introductory speech by IDRAAC's Communication Officer Elie Saab, Dr. George Karam, the Executive Director of IDRAAC, delivered a speech emphasizing the motivation behind the project. He highlighted the significant increase in societal needs over the past four years, underscoring the clear need for a reliable database for services provided in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, especially concerning disabilities. He stressed the necessity of creating an easy referral mechanism among non-governmental organizations. 

Dr. Karam explained that the project's main objectives include providing a framework for communication and coordination with specialists, ministries, programs, and organizations offering community rehabilitation services. It aims to develop policies for identification, counseling, and referral for persons with disabilities and the elderly, along with approved tools and practices in this field. 

Efforts have resulted in the provision of an "easy-to-use and accessible for all" online platform, available at www.cbr.idraac.org. The platform includes "over 900 listed services" and enables anyone to access the service they need. Non-governmental organizations also have access to a referral tool for inter-organization collaboration, with the ability to track beneficiaries. 

He emphasized that every NGO could modify its information in this database and add new services. Dr. Karam expressed hope for securing more funding in the future to expand this fundamental database nationally and execute awareness campaigns about its existence. 

Diana Daou, the Health Coordinator at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), explained that the Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) program's gateway aims to enhance comprehensive rehabilitation services in Lebanon. She highlighted the collective commitment and collaboration between the IRC and IDRAAC within the "Supporting Social Recovery for Vulnerable Groups in Beirut" project, funded by the Lebanon Financing Facility (LFF) managed by the World Bank. 

The innovative Community-Based Rehabilitation portal ensures that persons with disabilities and the elderly have better access to services in health, education, livelihoods, social integration, and empowerment. It facilitates more efficient coordination among various stakeholders, allowing continuous updates of available services and serving as a central referral mechanism. 

Ibrahim Abdallah, a consultant with the International Rescue Committee described the gateway and referral platform as a "significant achievement by IDRAAC." He expressed hope that persons with disabilities and the elderly would benefit, enabling them to access services available through participating organizations. 

The primary goal of the International Rescue Committee's project, which facilitated this achievement, is to support immediate social recovery for vulnerable groups, especially persons with disabilities and the elderly, following the Beirut port explosion. It focuses on supporting civil society organizations working in the fields of disability and aging, which have good experience in social recovery services. 

Abdallah mentioned that the project, supported by the International Rescue Committee, allocated direct grants to several organizations to enable them to provide social services to the targeted groups. Participating associations, including “IDRAAC”,Mousawat”, and “Caritas”, have a solid record in providing social recovery services and working with the targeted groups. 

The Community-Based Rehabilitation program is not new in Lebanon, with its roots dating back to the 1980s to address significant needs during the civil war. It has proven successful, and now, CBR, or Community-Based Inclusive Development as it is increasingly known, is the practical strategy to achieve the goal of full integration of persons with disabilities in all aspects of community life, enabling them to access facilities and services fully. It aims to provide equal opportunities and an independent lifestyle, overcoming challenges and restrictions in health, education, livelihoods, social affairs, and empowerment. 

Sivan Ishkhan from IDRAAC stated that the gateway's services are divided according to the Community-Based Inclusive Development matrix, providing an easy way to search for the required service. She explained that the referral models for non-governmental organizations would contribute to increased networking and meeting the beneficiaries' needs. 

The project, executed by IDRAAC with support from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and funding from the Lebanon Financing Facility (LFF) managed by the World Bank, aims to empower people in need of these services. The gateway seeks to enhance the identification, counseling, and referral system in this field. 

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    • Email: idraac@idraac.org
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