Building livelihoods

Usha stands inside her petty shop in Kothara village, India.

Our impact last year

  • 68k people with disabilities supported to earn a living
  • 21k people received vocational training

People with disabilities in poor communities often find it difficult to earn a living because they can’t access education or training, face prejudice and discrimination or cannot access resources or loans to get started.

CBM programmes improve access to employment, training and working rights for disabled people, providing training and support to help them get a job or start their own business.

Disability, livelihoods and unemployment

  • In every country in the world, people with disabilities have higher rates of unemployment than anyone else.
  • In some countries, the unemployment rate among people with disabilities is as high as 80%, putting them among the poorest 15 – 20% of the world’s population.
  • Excluding disabled people from the labour market is damaging for all of society, for example failing to include people with disabilities in Bangladesh was calculated to lead to an economic loss of US$234 million per year.

How we help

CBM helps people with disabilities to earn a living by:

  • Offering training in vocational and life skills;
  • Helping people with disabilities to build their confidence and see themselves as active members of their communities, through one-to-one support from trained outreach workers;
  • Providing start-up resources to help people set up businesses, such as small loans or equipment like a sewing machine or computer.

In action

Changing lives through livelihoods

When people with disabilities can build secure livelihoods, they can escape poverty, support their families and also…

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Group photo of a Village Savings and Loan Association holding up their membership books

Helping people with disabilities in Rwanda to be financially independent

Supporting people with disabilities to earn a living through training, support and village savings groups.

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A lady in a wheelchair teaching a young girl IT skills.

i2i: Helping people with disabilities into employment

People with disabilities in developing countries often find it difficult to earn a living because they can’t access…

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Transforming lives

Eje sits at a computer that is in the shop that he owns thanks to ELIM in Nigeria.


“I never mind what people say about me anymore provided I get to where I want, because of the encouragement I received from Elim staff, who always go beyond people’s expectations.”

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Pooja from India has learning difficulties. His father is being trained in organic farming.


“Now I don’t have to worry about owing money. I am free from debt, and I can save some money to pay for Pooja’s medicine and appointments.”

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Rajesh was paralyzed from birth and is now is an organic farmer.


“I have always tried to help with the farming, but my abilities were not recognised in the family, or in the wider community… Now I have respect from them. They see me as a person, a successful person.”

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Participants at the 2-day launch event for the pilot project in Kenya, in February 2021.
29th Sep 2021

Piloting innovative solutions to improve access to employment for deaf people

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Students attending an inclusive school in Nigeria.
5th May 2022

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

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