A group of around 15 participants stand in a group photo

Supporting young people with disabilities to build secure livelihoods

People with disabilities in Nepal often find it extremely difficult to earn a living as they are routinely excluded from education and training, and face discrimination and stigma due to negative stereotypes. This means that they are more likely to live in poverty than people without disabilities, and the barriers are exacerbated for those who also experience discrimination on grounds of their gender, age or caste.

The COVID-19 pandemic made the situation even more challenging. Research by the National Federation of the Disabled-Nepal found that 40% of people with disabilities – 49% of women with disabilities – lost their source of income and a further 20% were at high risk of losing their livelihood.

With our partner DECN, a community organisation run by and for people with disabilities, we are working in Nepal’s Lumbini province to help young people with disabilities build secure livelihoods. We will equip them with the skills, knowledge and tools they need to unleash their potential by:

  • Delivering training in entrepreneurship and vocational skills, such as goat rearing or organic agriculture, in accessible locations with appropriate adaptations for participants, such as large print learning resources or sign language interpreters where needed
  • Support with setting up small businesses such as animal husbandry, small shops or vegetable production, depending on the interests of the young person and local market analysis, including expert help in developing a sustainable business plan and access to seed funding
  • Providing assistive devices or accessibility support, such as modified farming tools or adjustments to a livestock shed to make it wheelchair accessible
  • Helping them access existing business networks, such as local government schemes or cooperatives.

As well as supporting young people directly, the project will influence and support existing livelihood and financial service providers to help them make mainstream services more disability inclusive.

Between July 2022 and December 2023, we aim to reach 335 young people with disabilities aged between 18 and 35. Half of the participants will be women and those facing additional discrimination due to caste will also be targeted for support. As well as those who have not yet accessed livelihoods opportunities, many participants have the skills but not the resources to start a business, and some have already started businesses they can build on.

This project is funded by the Standard Chartered Foundation and delivered by CBM and DECN in partnership with the Standard Chartered Foundation. It is part of Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, a global initiative to tackle inequality by promoting economic inclusion for disadvantaged young people, including those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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