Nawabshah, Pakistan: 01st July 2016: The National Disability & Development Forum (NDF) recently announced a new project called ‘Empowering Women with Disabilities through Skills Development’. The project, coordinated and run by NDF is funded by the USAID Small Grants Ambassador Fund Programme.
Mr. Abid Lashari, president of NDF speaking during the launch ceremony, said that NDF believes in women’s empowerment by bringing together different programmes and projects contributing to their financial strength.
Mr. Lashari briefed those attending the ceremony about the project objectives and benefits. He stated that the project will seek to empower 60 women with disabilities through skills development training in tailoring in Tehsil Nawabshah, District Shaheed Benazir Abad, Sindh with the assistance of North Americans through USAID.
The stated objectives of the project are to: help reduce disparities and bring excluded people into the mainstream; empower disabled women and girls by increasing their capacity to realize their rights; provide them with skills to earn their livelihood; determine their life outcomes and influence decision making.
Mr. Lashari explained that women with disabilities are likely to be poorer than disabled men on account of their very limited opportunities for education and skills development. The project responds to this situation by improving the social and economic conditions of these 60 disabled women through vocational training and social mobilization. It also seeks to change community attitudes towards people with disabilities to acknowledge their abilities in becoming productive members of society.
Apart from skills development training in tailoring, the project will also provide consumable and non-consumable tailoring items. Ms. Anna Iqbal Bhatti, from the organisation, explained the selection criteria of beneficiaries: a woman with a disability above 18 years of age; belonging to a poor family with a monthly income not over PKR15,000; committed and willing to learn tailoring skills; must have family support; should have basic understanding of tailoring; has a physical impairment but is willing to learn and practice tailoring.
Mr. Abdul Rehman Khaskheli, District Social Welfare Officer in District Shaheed Benazir Abad expressed his support for the NDF/USAID initiative contributing to the rehabilitation of women with disabilities in the District. He said this project is unique in the history of District.
During the ceremony, Professor Shafqatullah Shaikh said that persons with disabilities should be encouraged at all levels, expressing how this project will have an impact not only in Nawabshah, but also in surrounding areas.
Mr. Arman Khanzada, civil Society activists, Mr. Abdul Hameed Arain, Mr. Talib Chandio, advocate Israr Ahmed Qureshi, Shams Jokhio and others spoke on the occasion.
For more information on the project: www.ndfpakistan.org