Vocational training and micro-financing for young people with disabilities
- Improving Socio-economic Opportunities for People with Disabilities in Bekaa and South Lebanon
- LUPD - Lebanese Union for People with Physical Disabilities
- Country of Implementation
- Asia & Pacific
- Beirut, Bekaa, Mount Lebanon, and south Lebanon
- Start Year
- First published
“I can’t express my feelings when I got my first salary and could buy anything I wanted.” Zeinab, a LUPD beneficiary
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.
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.
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.