In January 2014 Livability started an employment programme with the Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC), its partner organisation in Nepal. The project, which received a grant of £6,000 from the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Northern Ireland, aims to support patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) to become financially independent when they return to their communities after receiving rehabilitation services at SIRC.
Adults with SCI face barriers to employment with a global unemployment rate of more than 60%. They also are 2 to 5 times more likely to die prematurely.
The employment project will focus on supporting 80 disabled people to either start up their own business or support them to find employment within a year.
Through this project Livability has teamed up with Sadle Traders, which specialises in the production and marketing of handicrafts and jewellery. Sadle Traders will provide training to beneficiaries and market the good produced through their established international export channels. Carers or other family members of people with SCI can also be included in the training programme.
Two staff members will be employed – a vocational trainer, who will be responsible for overseeing the vocational training programme at SIRC; and a project officer with responsibility to develop an enterprise programme at SIRC which will increase the capacity of people with SCI to commence and sustain a business.
For those beneficiaries where it is not appropriate to commence their own business, they will be supported to find paid employment. In this regard Livability will actively advocate for the employment of disabled people, identify employment opportunities and create a database of employers willing to employ disabled people.
As a pilot project Livability is hopeful that it will inform the design and delivery of similar programmes in other parts of Nepal and in doing so increase opportunities for more disabled people to earn a decent income and break the cycle of poverty in which many are trapped.
The charity is delighted to report that the first training day took place at SIRC for patients and their carers and was deemed a huge success.