Innovative Practice 2021 on Inclusive Employment and ICT

Vocational training and micro-financing for young people with disabilities

The Lebanese Union for People with Physical Disabilities (LUPD) is an advocacy organization run for and by people with physical disabilities. Since 2018, LUPD has been running a project to empower young people with disabilities to access employment or self-employment in rural areas of Bekaa and south Lebanon. The project offers vocational training, management courses, mentorship, and access to microfinance. As of 2020, 200 people have found employment and 23 small businesses have been created.

“I can’t express my feelings when I got my first salary and could buy anything I wanted.”

Zeinaba LUPD beneficiary
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Improving Socio-economic Opportunities for People with Disabilities in Bekaa and South Lebanon
Organisation:Lebanese Union for People with Physical Disabilities (LUPD)
Country
of Implementation
Lebanon – Beirut, Bekaa, Mount Lebanon, and south Lebanon
Start Year2018
Sub-CategoryA project of Civil Society

FACTS & FIGURES

  • 200 people have gained employment, with 30 full-time
  • 23 small businesses have been started
  • 50 training courses were attended by 400 people

PROBLEMS TARGETED

People with disabilities can face difficulties finding employment due to a lack of physically accessible workplaces and infrastructure.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

LUPD provides vocational training and courses in marketing and management as well as mentoring to prepare people for employment. Training is provided at accessible locations using easy language, sensory objects, and sign language when required.
In addition, the project offers loans through microfinance organizations for those individuals who want to open or expand their own business. People have found work in sectors such as tourism, industry, and media, or have established their own businesses in agriculture, tailoring, and carpentry.

The Ministry of Social Affairs has provided training locations and supported networking with local authorities. The Chamber of Commerce has also supported LUPD by connecting them to local employers.
Between 2018 and 2020 the project ran over 50 training courses for 400 attendees. Moreover, LUPD has convinced 49 companies to create internal policies promoting diversity and inclusion and to improving workplace accessibility.

There is a long rectangular table with five young people sitting on each side and one person at the head. A laptop and training materials are on the table. Most people are smiling.

LUPD conducts a training session for young jobseekers with disabilities.

FUNDING, OUTLOOK AND TRANSFERABILITY

LUPD received US$250,000 from the US Agency for International Development in 2018 via the Palladium Group, one of USAID’s private-sector partners. In 2019 and 2020, LUPD received US$115,000 and US$162,000, respectively, in grants from Diakonia, a Swedish development-financing NGO.

In 2020 it signed multiple employment protocols with organizations to support them to implement Lebanon’s 3 per cent employment quota for persons with disabilities.

The project started in Bekaa and south Lebanon and has gradually expanded to other areas of the country. In the coming years the project aims to steadily increase the number of project beneficiaries.

FACTSHEET

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