The percentage of person with disability in Sitakunda (a sub-district of Chittagong) is reported to be the highest in Bangladesh, at 17% compared to the national average of 10%. Livelihood conditions of the person with disabilities in Sitakund are below the poverty line. They are excluded by the finance institute such as bank, microfinance institutions etc. Moreover, no skill development and income generation activities (like micro credit facilities) exist for them in their locality. Despite Sitakund Upzilla is an industrial area, microcredit facilities or self – employment opportunities were not given to them.
As a partner organization of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), YPSA is implementing a project on microfinance and microenterprise where total members of beneficiaries are 29,173 as on 31st May 2016. But people with disabilities were not part of this group. Since no financing initiatives were taken earlier for the development of the persons with disabilities in the area of the project, an intensive financing program and skill development was required to generate the employment of people with disabilities.
Primarily YPSA has selected 1250 person with disabilities by an intensive household survey in the working area. 50 self–help organizations/groups have been formed with them and each of them have been motivated for their own capital generation through regular savings. YPSA has selected 250 persons with disabilities out of 1250 to provide microcredit supports. Each of them has been given 255 USD without interest, only 5% service charges added considering the future program sustainability. Before the financing YPSA has given different need based skill development training and support for business development as well as maintained monitoring and follow up.
Already some of them have established themselves as a successful model of self-employment. They have made huge linkages with local markets. 100 are successful in their business and they are taking loans for the second time for their business expansion. So it is widely considerable as a model for the whole Bangladesh.
Person with disabilities have included themselves with the inclusive financing activities and make success. They make saving groups and they have started their small business to take microcredit loans from YPSA. YPSA have considered the types of disabilities and their needs in the time of loan disbursement. YPSA gives loans like seasonal loan, small loan, business loan etc. without interest, only 5% service charges they have to pay. Besides different types of need based training for their skill development, YPSA supports them to linkage with the local market for marketing their products. Person with disabilities are creating self-help organizations to monitoring self–employment and other important issues in their life.
At the same time, YPSA‘s great innovation, in the project areas YPSA creates Disabled Person Organization (DPO) by the community people named “Federation of DPO’s Sitakund” for advocacy purpose which is supported by Disability Rights Fund (DRF). YPSA gather information and ideas from those organizations and take steps further. And YPSA have provided training to build their advocacy skills so that they can claim their rights stated in UNCRPD and play vital role to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by empowering through financial inclusion and employment creation.