Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime: Ripon’s story

Stories | June 14, 2022

Ripon wasn’t born with a disability. When he was younger, he damaged his spinal cord after falling from a tree. From that moment, his life changed.

Growing up with a disability in Bangladesh was not easy. Ripon said that his family started ignoring him and seeing him as a ‘burden’. As a result, he began missing out on opportunities. He had to drop out of school, he could not find a job and was slowly isolated from the community he belonged to.

Ripon says his life took a turn for the better when he joined a Self-Help Group. Through this group, supported by CBM Australia, he received a wheelchair and became involved in group activities.

Ripon took on the responsibility of maintaining the group’s register, a task he did with great diligence. He attended countless meetings with government and non-government agencies, and slowly his confidence grew.

The Self-Help Group was able to help Ripon access a loan of $650, which he used to set up an aquaculture business, where he started breeding and selling fish in the local markets – something he’s found very profitable!

Now Ripon is earning enough to support his family, and he’s become a pillar for the community as people seek his advice.

Ripon says he has the courage to speak up now – he’s found his voice. He wants the world to know that disabilities are not barriers to success.

CBM Australia acknowledges the support of the Australian Government for this project through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

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