Our Vision: To promote the full participation of Cambodians with disabilities in their community and provide education and training to all appropriate stakeholders regarding equal access to education, healthcare, employment and recreation.
Our Mission: To work in partnership with rural Cambodian communities to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities through education and research, advocacy, skills development and capacity building.
CambodiaCAN (ICDR-Cambodia) began in 2005 as part of a graduate student research project in international health. A core group of individuals with various rehabilitation backgrounds came forth with an interest in the project, and as a result, CambodiaCAN formed as a not-for-profit non-governmental organization.
In Cambodia, a 30-year history of violent civil conflict has left a reported 2-15% of its population with disabilities. In response, the government of Cambodia has set long-term goals to develop, implement and manage a national strategy for the prevention of disability and rehabilitation of the disabled, based on an integrated participatory and decentralized approach to service delivery. Although these actions are promising and progress is being made, service coverage remains fragmented and uncoordinated throughout the country. Rural areas have the greatest challenge in addressing disability issues due to limited infrastructure and a lack of skilled human resources and access to available services. This holds true for the rural province of Krong Kaeb, also known as the province of Kep.
Chair: Lyse Boisvert
Vice-Chair Research: Crystal MacKay
Vice-Chair Finance: Lyse Boisvert
Lyse Boisvert, Anna Chu, Crystal Mackay, Laura Passalent, Mana Rezai, Euson Yeung
CambodiaCAN is run on the generosity, hard work and commitment of our volunteers. Members are primarily University of Toronto faculty members and clinicians with a rehabilitation (Physiotherapy, Chiropratic and Speech Language Pathology) and/or public health background who are employed full time and additionally, volunteer their time to CambodiaCan activities.
Although most of our membership have rehabilitation backgrounds, CambodiaCAN is open to volunteers from other professional disciplines. This would help in providing a multidisciplinary perspective to our work, and the essential skills and knowledge to meet our goals. Contact us if you are interested in volunteering with CambodiaCAN.
CambodiaCAN is a collaboration between members in Canada, partners in Cambodia and the local Cambodian population. The following organizations are key partners:
Equitable Cambodia (previously Bridges Across Borders): Supported by the international grassroots organization Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia (BABSEA), Equitable Cambodia’s Kep Project was a community development initiative aimed at improving family income and food security, health, education, and sustainability in the Kep community. The organization’s close involvement with the Kep community, and Chamcar Bei in particular, has enabled Equitable Cambodia to better understand the needs of the community and facilitate long-term sustainability of progress once external support ceases.
Epic Arts: Epic Arts is a local non-governmental organization located in the town of Kampot, approximately 30 minutes from Kep. Staffed by local Cambodians, this organization promotes inclusion, social integration and community regeneration for people with disabilities through arts education. Epic Arts has significant experience with grass roots and community mobilization, and staff members are well aware of the issues that face Cambodians living with disabilities.
We have also recently developed a new relationship with another non-governmental organizations in Cambodia:
Komar Pikar Foundation: This Cambodian non-governmental organization focuses on projects that support children and youth with moderate to severe disabilities and their families, and advocates for their needs and integration into their community. In one project, Day Centers in the Chhouk district of Kampot provide education and therapy for children with moderate to severe disabilities while also involving families in the programme. This project has been well received by the community and has demonstrated success in facilitating the inclusion of disabled children in their communities.
- Problem Solving in Community Based Rehabilitation in Rural Cambodia – Euson Yeung, Anna Chu
- Passalent L, Yeung E, Chu A, Donaldson N, Rezai M, MacKay C. CambodiaCAN: A 5-year review of disability awareness and rural mobilization in rural Cambodia. Poster session presented at: Global Health Conference: Advancing Health Equity in the 21st Century; 2011 Nov 13-15; Montreal, Canada.
- Chu A, Yeung E, Rezai M, Donaldson N, MacKay C, Passalent L. An innovative problem solving approach to community-based rehabilitation in rural Cambodia. Poster session presented at: Global Health Conference: Advancing Health Equity in the 21st Century; 2011 Nov 13-15; Montreal, Canada.
- Rezai M, Donaldson N, Yeung E, Chu A, Passalent L, MacKay C. Overcoming barriers to education for children and youth with disabilities: Lessons learned from Cambodia. Poster session presented at: Global Health Conference: Advancing Health Equity in the 21st Century; 2011 Nov 13-15; Montreal, Canada.
For more information, please contact Lyse Boisvert.