Asha Bal Bikash Sewa (“ABBS”) is a day care ministry for children with physical and learning difficulties under the age of 16. The ministry was founded by a Norwegian Missionary Family who were living and working in Nepal. They had a severely disabled child who was cared for by a Nepali woman, Tulsa Sharma. Tulsa is now the Co-Ordinator of the ABBS programme.
The ministry has grown from a single centre in Dhobighat, attended by three children which opened in 1993, to operating three centres serving approximately ninty five children with dedicated staff and volunteers. Two centres are based in Kathmandu, in Bahisepati and Jorpati, with the other in Bharatpur, Chitwan. Since 2007, the main centre has been located in Bahisepati where a purpose built facility has been built which provides many new services: a sensory room, a hydrotherapy pool, a play area and larger class rooms. In 2009, ABBS was able to put into operation a bus service to take children to and from the new centre.
In April 2009, ABBS launched a Community Based Rehabilitation (C.B.R.) programme in Rukum, in the west of Nepal. This is a very exciting project which will involve volunteers from the local community educating others about special needs issues, diagnosing and caring for children with disabilities and supporting families through home visits. An awareness initiative was held in 2008, and a great need for this project has been identified.