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From staying home to thriving entrepreneurs: stories from four young people with disabilities in Nepal

Posted on: Thursday, October 5th, 2023

Young people with disabilities are developing new livelihoods thanks to support and training from our Futuremakers project in Nepal. Having participated in financial literacy and vocational training, participants aged 18 – 35 now have the confidence and support to put their new skills into action. Here, we meet four of the young people who are really making the most of the opportunity: 

Lalita’s Story

“My name is Lalita, I am 28 years old. I began tailoring seven years ago, just inside my family’s room. At that time, our family was in economic crisis. It was very difficult, and a high percentage of our income was for my health treatment.

When I was born, there was an infection in my leg. At seven years old, I had an operation to have a metal rod in my leg. It is still there, at this point it’s very difficult to take out. When I move my leg all the time in the sewing machine, or walk too much, then take out my prosthetic, at that time it will hurt.

With support and training from the Futuremakers project, I established this tailoring shop. At the training, I learned different types of advanced designs with more variety. Now lots of people know I do good tailoring, and so many people come. 

Lalita is wearing red and is using a sewing machine to alter a blue garmentNow, I’m very happy. My income has improved, and I am saving daily.

I am proud that for International Day of People with Disabilities, Kohalpur municipality awarded me with a certificate of appreciation!”

In future I want to be a trainer and teach others, including people with disabilities like me.

Surbir’s story

“My name is Surbir, I am 33. I live with my wife Ashodha and two daughters, who are 10 and 13 years old. They are both in school.  

Before starting this business, I just stayed at home. I have a visual impairment, with partial vision in one eye only. Before, our income was my disability allowance and my wife’s earnings from daily labour work. It was enough for subsistence only.

Surbir is wearing a yellow coat and is standing in front of some shelvesNow, I spend my whole day working here. My wife and I provide small lunches or snacks. This is the only shop in this location, so we get lots of customers. 

My main aim for the future is to use the income from this business to educate my daughters. I want them to get good jobs.

Read more from Surbir >

Chandrakala’s story

“I was interested in becoming a beautician. But my parents don’t like me to go outside or participate in training, only because of my physical disability. One of my legs is smaller than the other, so I have problems with mobility. They always say that I can’t do anything, so just stay inside the home, and support us in the household chores.

Chandrakala, wearing a pink shirt and holding money, stands in front of some goods and smiles at the cameraNow, I am a member of a self-help group. I participated in three months of beautician training, and I was supported to start this business.

Although I didn’t get support from my family members, there are other people who are supporting me. I feel very happy and encouraged.” 

I want to prove that a person with a disability can also build a business and become independent.

Read more from Chandrakala >

Deepak’s story

“My name is Deepak, I am 26 years old. I live with my mother and father.” 

Before this support I used to stay in and do nothing, but now my full time is spent in my business. If it wasn’t for this support, I could only stay in the house.

Deepak is wearing a blue shirt and is sitting on a rug next to jars of sweets and a bunch of bananas“Previously my only source of income was my disability allowance, but now I have my own source of income in this grocery shop.

I will use the income from this shop to build my business, keep myself, make savings, and I will enjoy it with my family. I always enjoy with my family.

After getting this support and being involved in Futuremakers, I feel very good. Thank you for all of this support.” 

With our fantastic 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. Between July 2022 and December 2023, we aim to reach 335 young people aged 18 35 with training and support to unleash their potential! 

Read more about our Futuremakers project

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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