Some case studies of projects run by PWDs
We give below a brief account of projects run by PWDs. These were
presented at the Entebbe Workshop by the participants. Limitation of space
forces us to give only short descriptions of a few examples. Since almost all
the organisations that participated in the Workshop were those that had received
assistance from either the ADF or the ILO or both, it is not possible to give
examples of financially self-reliant organisations such as the tontines
or Biika Weguze referred to earlier. However, in one case, the Uganda
National Association of the Blind, which has been in existence for 24 years,
received donor funding only in the last two years. [Indeed, what impact this new
development has made on the organisation - negative or positive - is an open
question]. This is not to say that donor funding is not important. It can
sometimes be quite critical. But, above all, the examples show that it is the
spirit of the people which is their primary resource.
Tariro Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centre, Harare
This institution in Zimbabwe receives psychiatric patients after
they have been discharged from hospitals and before they go to their communities
or homes. In this project, the municipality offered land to the Centre. The
government pays staff salaries, and 100 Zimbabwe dollars as per capita grant per
individual. The African Development Foundation gave an initial grant of
Z$18,000. Tariro Centre grows vegetables and has a poultry project of 1,500
chickens. They have saved money which they have used to buy cattle and to
cultivate another piece of land. "The project is now self-sustaining," the
delegate concluded. "Given the chance, we can mobilise resources locally and
sustain ourselves; we started in 1990, and the project is still going on." A re
settlement center for persons ready to leave Tariro has been established outside
Harare at Beatrice. There, former patients are conducting their own agricultural
activities by growing vegetables, raising chickens and cows and getting settled
back into community life.
Amaldeme Grinder and Huller Project
The Malian Association for The Prevention of Mental Deficiencies
in Children is based in Bamako and was created in 1984 to provide diagnostic and
treatment services for youth and support for their families. The grinder and
huller project intends to train twelve mentally retarded youth and six family
members to operate the mills in six communities in Bamako. From locally gown
cotton, Amaldeme is also Producing clothing that is sold to sustain the
Association's projects. The projects are designed to engage youth in meaningful
activities and to demonstrate to the community at large that the mentally
retarded can contribute to family and society.
Uganda National Association of the Blind (UNAB)
The Association has existed for 24 years. There are about 500,000
blind or visually impaired people in Uganda. The initial 22 years of UNAB were
based entirely on voluntary work by the members. Donor funding came in the last
two years only. The Association identified skills among its members, tapped and
utilised them. It has 23 branches. In each branch they have a different system
according to its specific situation.
In Gulu, for example, they got land on which they cultivate
vegetables. They have set aside three days every week to work on the common
garden. In Luwero they have a bricks moulding project which has kept them going.
In Jinja a group came together to set up a training centre.
In another group, sustainability has been maintained out of
payment of membership fees; furthermore, each member has contributed two
chickens which were put together as a group project. The eggs and chicken are
sold to raise money. "So resources are not only money," concluded the
representative of UNAB, "but includes people, items, etc. that are used to
sustain a group."
Ousmane Traore of the Amaldeme project
working at the grain mill. (Photo by R.J. Benn)
The Ghana CBR Programme
The experience from Ghana was that the community with PWDs
undertook to cultivate beans but had no money to buy the seeds. So they went to
a company which gave them the seeds With an agreement that after harvesting,
they would return double the amount of beans given. The group did so, and went
on to produce more beans.
In another project, a committee went to the faculty of agriculture
at the University of Science and Technology to seek advice on how to undertake a
fish pond project. After the project had taken off successfully and generated
some income, they were able to pay for the consultancy fees to the university.
Another example was a maize project. People went to the rural bank and obtained
a loan. After harvesting they paid back even though they had to double the
All this was organised by the local committees and the resources
National Council of Disabled Persons of Zimbabwe (NCDPZ)
The NCDPZ was set up as an alternative to the charity model. Now
most of their groups are self-sustaining. One group owns a supermarket. The
initial funds were received from an outside do nor. All but one of the members
are PWDs. Another group has a small catering project, where they sell beer and
minerals. These 5 disabled persons have been able to get above the poverty line.
Another group acquired a piece of land where vegetables are grown for sale and
another piece turned into a commercial car park with about 50 cars a day. They
charge a small amount to leave your car there.
Members of Greenfields Canvas Products
Makers sewing a truck tarpaulin. (Photo by Marla Feldman)
Greenfields Disabled Peoples Association, Uganda
The challenge of unemployment forced a group of disabled youth to
organise themselves. With donor funding and a "stock" of local talent and
skills, 58 of them set out in 1986 to make products made of canvas -including
tents, truck covers, full camp gear, hospital bedcovers, school bags and safari
bags. Owing to the nature of the work involved, the membership of the
association is mainly for the physically impaired with 60:40 as the ratio
between men and women. "We used to look for jobs before," the delegate
explained, "but now we are in a position to give Jobs. The community around us
is changing its attitude towards the disabled people and are offering to become
partners in business."
Book-binding Project in Senegal
This is a project of the Union for Training Production and
Insertion of Handicapped (UFPIH). It was started in 1986 with one disabled youth
who had skills in book-binding. First he trained some friends in the same trade,
and an NGO based in Switzerland for PWDs assisted in the training.
"They gave us just the equipment and the raw materials. We were
able to take the raw materials and make products for sale." Success built on
itself "We have now opened up four other workshops and we are able to train in
A member of UFPIH preparing pages to be
bound. (Photo by UFPIH)
Question from the floor: "Do you have problems about marketing?"
Delegate: "Yes, we do. We have the techniques and skills for production but with
our mobility difficulties it is a problem transporting the goods and looking for
market. So we have decided to commission agents to represent us and our
products. These agents go out and market our products and then get a small
commission of 10 percent. These agents are not part of the group, but they are
good people, they are sincerely interested in our group."
Bamugambe Society of the Disabled, Jinja, Uganda
A group of about 40 members, all disabled persons, sell produce
like sugar cane. They approached farmers in the local community and got items on
loan. After selling, they paid the farmers and kept the difference. From this
project, they have mobilised income to sustain their project and have acquired
kiosks in town. The group has never received any donor funding but they have a
high degree of motivation and independence.