On 9th December 2016, Caritas’s Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health program (CCAMH) commemorated its 25th anniversary in conjunction with the celebration 68th anniversary of the International Human Rights Day under the theme “Promoting child’s rights and rights of people with disabilities”.
On 68th anniversary of International Human Rights Day H.E. Teav Vannol, Member of the senate and Chairman of the first commission on Human Rights to the Senate presided the event to mark the 25th anniversary of CCAMH.
On behalf of the government, His Excellency, Teav Vannol expressed gratitude to CCAMH for their unique and steadfast journey in addressing the need of Cambodian children with development disabilities and mental health problems, aimed at improving their individual rights and the quality of the life of the families. His Excellency extended appreciation to the work of CCAMH by announcing continued and firm support and commitment of the government in fulfilling the needs and rights of children with disabilities and the families.
In Cambodia, comprehensive services for the mentally handicapped persons, especially children and adolescents are not widely available at present. Ms. Sok Dearozet, Program manager for Community Based Inclusive Development program said Caritas is committed to fill the service gap for children with special needs and their families. For the past 25 years, CCAMH team has been passionately engaged in promoting children’s rights through various means to include them in education, vocational rehabilitation and other aspects of the society.
To fulfill the mission, CCAMH is has been implementing Center-based, School-based and Community-based programs. These three programs are built on the values of social justice, health and educational equity. “Through early identification, counseling and multi-model therapy the Caritas-CCAMH team reaches the children with neuropsychiatric problems, such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autism, epilepsy and mental health problem”, reported Ms. Dearozet.
CCAMH began operations in Cambodia in 1991 and has been actively engaged in providing quality service to children with neuro-psychiatric problems, developmental and psychological problems in the country. With a strong collaboration with the Government’ s Ministry of Health, CCAMH has made substantial progress by establishing itself as a pioneering organization to provide quality service for children with neuropsychiatric, developmental and mental disabilities. All children in the age group of 0-18 are the focus of Caritas-CCAMH and clients from 23 provinces of Cambodia benefit either directly or indirectly from the services.
Dr. J.Bhoomikumar, Program Director and Consultant Child Psychiatrist, working at the center for the past 20 years remarked: “It has been a challenge to work in post conflict setting but a satisfying experience to develop sustainable systems of health care in the community, school and at the center for vulnerable children. The 25th year of Caritas-CCAMH coincides with the ‘Year of Mercy’ and during this year the team at CCAMH extends its program to the young prisoners, a pioneering effort in the region. Compassion (serving with), Curiosity (to explore the causative factors) and Creativity (in delivering multi-model therapies) are the core values
the Caritas-CCAMH team aspires to strengthen in the coming years. The Caritas-CCAMH team gratefully thanks all the Caritas partners for the invaluable support over the years and looks forward to the journey together with love and wisdom for the sake of children with disabilities in Cambodia. For further information on the achievement and background of CCAMH program, read more: Interview Dr J-Bhoomikumar.nterview Dr J-Bhoomikumar.
2016 marks the 25th anniversary of Caritas-CCAMH. During the year, a series of events were held such as workshops, trainings, meetings and several other activities. Approximately 200 participants representing the Cambodian senators, lawmakers, government officers from in-line Ministries and provincial departments, Catholic NGOs partners, children with disabilities and their parents, Caritas staff attended the 25th anniversary in Chey Chumnas Referral Hospital in Takmao, Kandal province. The day ended with a solidarity lunch along with traditional performances by a group of children and handicapped children from Apostolic of Battambong.
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