People living with Disabilities
With 20% of people living in poverty having some form of disability, their lives of poverty and economic marginalisation are exacerbated. This has a significant impact on their quality of life, personal dignity, and self-confidence. Without support to help manage their conditions, they become isolated. They are left behind.
In 2019, we launched an innovative three-year programme, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, to increase economic empowerment and financial inclusion of 18,500 persons living with disabilities and their families or carers in eastern Uganda. Over 50% of people living with disabilities in Uganda are involved in economic activities and yet under 1% are formally banked.
To date, we have successfully:
- Created a safe, accessible banking environment; attached ramps to branch entrances, reduced the height of customer counters and streamlined account opening processes.
- Delivered disability awareness training to all branch staff, enabling them to understand the difficulties people living with disabilities face when accessing financial services.
- Assisted persons with disabilities to access loans and open savings accounts, empowering them to take control of their finances, increase their income and store their savings securely.
- Provided financial literacy training on the importance of savings and investment, to include educating individuals on income generating activities to create their own business and plan for the future.
- Established “Councils of References” – councils selected by persons with disabilities and comprised of persons with different impairment types, district union/local government officials and representatives from disability organisations and local communities – to give persons with disabilities a voice and the ability to steer the programme in a direction that works for them.