Unequal opportunities, unavailability of conducive infrastructure and lack of practical skills remain the main reasons that deprive persons with disabilities (PwDs) in the Gaza Strip of enjoying a decent life where they can find gainful employment to provide their basic needs and those for their families.
In response to this situation, Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children (ASDC) had implemented the project entitled “Enhancing Livelihoods Opportunities for People with Disabilities in the Gaza Strip through Inclusive Economic Empowerment and Social Protection” over the last 15 months (January, 2015 to March, 2016). The project was funded by World Bank through NGOs Development Center (NDC).
According to ASDC project team, the project applied an inclusive approach towards promoting livelihood improvement and inclusion of people with disabilities (PwDs) in the Gaza Strip through economic empowerment and social protection allowing them to realize their full potential and rights in order to meet their own needs within an inclusive society.
The project targeted the vocational training graduates of ASDC. The main achievements of the project included: provision of apprenticeship opportunities for 40 PwDs in local restaurants, food production shops, and carpentry workshops throughout the Gaza Strip of whom 14 received permanent job opportunities. The project also included the establishment of 23 small business projects in the fields of poultry farming for women and men, hairdressing for young women, and mobile food carts. Noteworthy that the projects ideas were identified by the beneficiaries themselves based on their competencies. Additionally, small business management training course was carried out for 30 PwDs. All of that was supported with Job counseling and guidance workshops for PwDs and awareness lectures for community members including PwDs, their family members, and employers.
Mohammed, 27, a deaf recipient of poultry farm project, expressed his great satisfaction with the small project he had received: “The feeling of being financially independent and self-reliant is indescribable!” Mohammed said.