In developing countries like Ghana, people with disabilities are often denied access income generating activities, making it impossible for them to earn a living. This condemns people with disabilities and their families to a perpetuating cycle of poverty. Through its economic inclusion progrmme, FHI promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities in decent, income-generating employment to break the cycle of poverty, contribute to the overall development of a country, and boost the dignity and independence of people with disabilities in Ghana.
Only broad, Economic Inclusion programme creates opportunities for employment that can move large sections of the people with disabilities out of poverty. FHI is working actively in rural communities in Ghana to provide skills training and microfinance for people with disabilities.
The FHI helps people with disabilities become entrepreneurs by providing training and startup funds or supplies. In coordination with local disabled people’s organizations, we also develop partnerships with microfinance institutions to promote financial services that are accessible. Our microfinance program is committed to serving people with disabilities who are very poor particularly the youth and women with disabilities. Studies indicate that women are more likely to use their loans and profits to benefit their families by investing in their businesses and using additional income to meet household needs such as purchasing more and better quality food, improving family housing and health care, paying children’s school fees, and saving for emergencies. Ironically, women with disabilities are often the poorest members of their communities and control the fewest resources, therefore, FHI’s skills and microfinance programs are designed to strategically target the youth and women with disabilities in an effort to uplift them economically.
Most people, particularly women and young people with disabilities are unemployed. Most of them are not well educated and as such lack skills to engage in any meaning full venture that can secure them proper jobs and income. In the financial sector, lack of financial service providers, particularly for PWDs. Lack of access to credit and inadequate financial services are major constraint to employment creation, especially for poor people who are determined to do something that can generate them with some means of livelihoods.
FHI’s supports training programs that teach people with disabilities essential skills including technical skills like sewing, cooking, and mechanical repair, business skills, and core life skills, dressmaking, textile design and printing; home management; hairdressing; cloth weaving; food processing and preservation; soap, talcum powder and pomade making; catering and nutrition; jewelry making; gardening; block molding; agriculture (irrigation, animal husbandry, tree planting, and fish farming), and groundnut oil extraction. They also receive education on reproductive health, child development, family planning, human rights, gender issues, math, and literacy.