Disability Inclusion in Village Community Banking

Disability Inclusion in Village Community Banking

Disability-Inclusive Village Community Bank (VICOBA) Scheme group, Kilimanjaro region.

Project Summary

Together with our partner Tusonge Community Development Organisation we successfully developed and have been awarded funding from The National Lottery Community Fund for a two-year Disability Inclusion in Village Community Banking (2018 – 2020) project in Kilimanjaro region. This project establishes 12 village community bank groups and delivers vocational, business and financial management training to people living with a disability and others surviving on less than $1 a day. It enables those living with a disability and vulnerable women to borrow small seed capital and start income-generating activities, which is expected to result in improved economic and social well-being. In addition, our project raises understanding and awareness of women’s rights and the rights of people with a disability. Read more about our Disability Inclusive project here

Project Context

In Tanzania, negative attitudes, behaviour and practices towards people with disabilities are widespread. Other challenges include an inaccessible infrastructure; a lack of budgetary provision to address the challenges disabled people face; and poor representation of people with disabilities in decision-making bodies and processes. As a result, women and men with disabilities face difficulties relating to health, shelter and education; employment; ownership of property and land; as well as stigmatisation and discrimination in terms of social life, status in the community, and marriage.

A 2018 ‘Disability Situation Analysis’ of northern Tanzania, commissioned by African Initiatives revealed that parents are not likely to send a child with disability to school. This means that educational attainment and normal social interactions are limited for disabled children, significantly affecting their self-confidence and livelihood opportunities. The report also highlighted the need for finance and business support for people living with a disability.

Meet Priscus

“In 2011, I fell from high up while working as a welder. Since then, I have been in a wheelchair. In the beginning, my employer helped me with some initial medical fees, but I’ve had no support since then. My wife left me after the accident, she is now remarried, and my three children are staying at a relatives’ house because I have no home to support them. I was initially living with other relatives but they were unaccepting because of my disability – they didn’t share their food with me and they did things like putting a chicken in my bedroom to make me feel unwelcome. I now live with a friend which is better, but I still feel rejected by the community. My family often do not pick up the phone when I call and being in a wheelchair means it is difficult for me to rent a property, even if I am able to afford it. With a VICOBA loan, I will be able to buy additional parts for my welding machine at home which I can use for business. I also hope that the project will raise awareness about disabilities that will help to change people’s attitudes.”

Recent Achievements

180 beneficiaries

received a 5 day training session on village community banking and financial management skills.

12 community champions

attended training to be able to disseminate knowledge gained from project interventions to local leaders and other strategic decision makers in the community.