With the support Australian NGO Cooperation Program, CBM has supported the Aceh Community Based Inclusive Development project, in partnership with two local NGOs. Over three years, the project tackled a range of challenges facing people with disability. One of the most pressing issues that this project addressed was to boost financial independence of people living with disability. The project sought to create and support self-help groups and linked 285 people with disability to vocational training.
There were different options for how people could improve their skills and access training, either through formal training programs, or by ‘interning’ with an employer. Over the course of the project, 111 employers engaged 285 people as trainees. Of these trainees, 100 people received an additional starter kit to help establish or consolidate a small business. The recent evaluation found that 270 people with disabilities were now earning an income and 300 people with disabilities and carers were involved in self-help groups. Linking people with employers for internships proved to be an effective model, and the combination of receiving a starter kit along with training had the most success in fostering economic empowerment.
The findings from the final evaluation indicate that the employment opportunities generated by this project were important, not only improving people’s livelihoods and economic positions, but also in terms of building confidence and self-worth. To this end, the project sought to assess the change in ‘dependency’ amongst the project beneficiaries as the best measure of success, rather than tracking change in income levels. As a result, people who were assessed as ‘highly dependent’ dropped from 49 percent at the start of the project to 25 percent by 2020. Overall, these findings indicate that the project was able to improve the quality of life for people living with disability through greater inclusivity and fostering financial independence.
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