“This self help group has become the voice of women in the community. This self help group not only works for the development of people with disabilities but it also pays attention to other vulnerable people of the community. They have become the decision makers, they are financially solvent and self dependent. Overall, the success of this group is that it gives other women the courage to raise their voices and reach their potential.”
Keya, Project Manager, CBM partner project in Bangladesh supported by #ANCP Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Jahanara now runs a successful goat rearing business, thanks to the support of a CBM partner project and #ANCP Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Before CBM Australia’s partner CDD started a Community Based Inclusive Development project in 2012 people with disabilities in Bangladesh’s west were isolated and stigmatised. Lack of awareness and negative attitudes created barriers that prevented people with disabilities from accessing government services or getting involved in programs that might help them step out of poverty and isolation.
All this has changed now; CDD supported self-help groups to mobilise and train in leadership skills, and these groups have had a marked impact not only in their village but beyond, due to their increased confidence and social networks.
Here’s just a few examples of some of their achievements:
- Women with disabilities are becoming active in local government and making recommendations on policies, programs and budgets for their communities.
- People with disabilities are accessing rehabilitation and other basic services, which is often the first step towards inclusion.
- Group members are accessing government training on sewing, computer skills, and goat and cow rearing and receiving government loans to start their own small businesses.
- Women with disabilities are saying that attitudes towards them are changing. They are increasingly becoming engaged in community activities and their needs are being considered locally.
There are now 65 groups like this, across Bangladesh, and all of them have stories about these small victories that they have fought hard for.
The Promotion of Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Bangladesh project, is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) and CBM Australia supporters.