Inclusive Employment in Nigeria – celebrating an amazing partnership & lasting impact

A man with a physical disability in Nigeria, using a tricycle to get to work.
Author:CBM UK
Posted on: Thursday, 19th May, 2022

Since 2006, CBM has partnered with Elim Christian Vocational Training Centre – a community-based rehabilitation programme – to ensure people with disabilities in Nigeria have access their human rights.

This is the second in our 3-part blog series celebrating this amazing project and partnership between CBM and Elim. In this blog, we’re sharing stories of people that have been supported to access employment.

CBM and Elim have been working to ensure people with disabilities have access to employment through vocational training and providing resources to aid people in setting up their own businesses (e.g. microcredit). Keep reading to hear Job and Blessing’s stories!

Job

Close up of Job, stood outside his home in Nigeria.

“I received a microcredit for business from Elim. I also received a cutlass and hoe. I have also started weaving, I make baskets and brooms for sale.”

Ten years ago, Job contracted an infection in his eyes, which led to visual impairment. Living with visual impairment in Nigeria can make it challenging to find a job and a source of income. “When I knew I had become blind, I knew I needed to find a way to make a living for myself and my family.”

Elim and CBM started providing grants, training, and assistive devices to support people with visual impairment to earn a living. With such assistance, Job has been able to support himself and his mother. He grows yams on his farm, while also weaving baskets and brooms on the side. He hires other people to assist him with some of the more laborious tasks, because of his back pain.

Job standing outside, holding a basket he's weaved.

“I contract part of the cultivation to people, and I pay them for their services. I work on other parts of the farm, and I also do the weeding myself.”

Mobility is a great challenge for Job and his mother assists him, such as supporting him to walk to the farm and around his home.

Job working on his farm.

Job has been farming for more than six years now. “When I harvest my farm, I get all sizes of yams, small, medium and large one. I keep some for food, others for the market and while the others are kept as seedlings for the next planting season. My baskets are sold between 150-1,000 naira (27p-£1.80) a piece.”

Job hopes to get more funding to expand his business, to enable him to support his family, church, and community.

Blessing

Wheelchair user, Blessing, in the doorway of her home, smiling.

“We have received a lot of services and help from Elim. They met me in the hospital where they registered me; they were the ones that paid my hospital bills, then the bought a back slab and callipers for my walking aids. When we came home, they gave me a wheelchair and they gave me a small trading loan of N7,000 (£12.50) in 2004.”

Eighteen years ago, Blessing fell from a mango tree whilst helping to clear an outside area for her local church to hold services. She was only 15 years old and sustained a spinal cord injury that changed her life dramatically.

After four months of rehabilitation in hospital, Blessing was introduced to the Elim team. She was registered in CBM and Elim’s community-based inclusive development programme and was bought her a first wheelchair. Over the years, Blessing has received support for her education, assistive devices, and help to earn a living.

When Blessing sustained the injury, she had to drop out of school. However, with support from Elim, she was able to return to school, complete her education and set up a thriving knitting business to support herself and her family – and she has ambitions to develop it further.

Blessing outside her home, sewing.

“When I finished my training, they settled me and bought me this knitting machine that I am using right now. I make children’s wear like cardigan, pants and shorts, socks, shawls, then I make school wear like pullovers too. I make adult caps for men and women and children also. This helps us a lot. As my father has died, I am supporting my family, we are feeding from the business and my younger brother is in school. I support his education too; I send him some money that comes from the income of this business.”

As well as livelihoods support and training, Blessing still receives regular physiotherapy from the physiotherapist at Elim.

In case you missed it, read part 1 in this blog series, which shares stories about inclusive education (open in new tab).

Images: 1st - A man with a physical disability in Nigeria, using a tricycle to get to work. 2nd - Job stood outside his home in Nigeria. 3rd - Job standing outside, holding a basket he's weaved. 4th - Job working on his farm. 5th - Blessing in the doorway of her home, smiling. 6th - Blessing outside her home, sewing.



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