In Pakistan, over 5 % of the population are people with disabilities. The poor amongst them are the hardest hit as they face social, attitudinal and physical barriers and discrimination. Up to now the government has not been providing any assistance for people with disabilities. Without help, many people with disabilities would languish in pain and misery and remain disconnected from the society. To address this serious situation, the Lahore Businessmen Association for Rehabilitation of the Disabled (LABARD) has designed a project to provide vocational skills training for people with disabilities outside of their homes in order for them be able to seek employment opportunities. This is being implemented with financial assistance from the TVET Reform Support Programme as part of its Fund for Innovative Training component. The TVET Reform Support Programme is co-financed by the European Union, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Federal Republic of Germany and administered by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
LABARD was established by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) which comprises more than 15,000 business members. LABARD aims to train people with disabilities in order to fulfil the quota requirement under the Law for the Disabled Persons (Rehabilitation & Employment) Act 2012 Punjab, in which all business concerns are required to maintain employment of people with disabilities equal to 2 per cent of their total work force.
The objective of the project is to have an increased number of people with disabilities (men and women) with enhanced skills, which enable them to find employment and thus achive independence and decent living conditions.
Under this project, a total of 1030 beneficiaries will be trained over a period of 18 months in courses such as industrial stitching, domestic stitching, mobile phone repairs, accounting (book-keeping), and photo-editing. The training has a strong focus on necessary practical skills and how best to master them in spite of individual disabilities. As there is a social stigma for people with disabilities, which hampers their inclusion into the society, the project partners will need to mobilise social forces to reduce this stigma especially regarding the parents. Once training is completed, LABARD will facilitate job placements to members of LCCI. To ensure that the newly placed can adjust to their working life as easily as possible, the companies are sensitised and at the same time, LABARD offers a close follow up for the beneficiaries for three months after a successful job placement.
The project is expected to facilitate social inclusion of people with disabilities in Lahore. The acquired vocational skills will help them to lead a more independent and dignified life. At the same time, the participation and support of companies’ will also result in more inclusive policies and practices for the socially different needs of society.
Stories From FIT
“Skills training empower people,” say German MPs
LAHORE May 1, 2014: A delegation of senior German parliamentarians on Thursday visited a vocational training institute run by the Lahore Businessmen Association for Rehabilitation of the Disabled (LABARD) to see a special project aiming at equipping the disabled men and women with employable skills in Punjab.
Members of the delegation, which was headed by Professor Dr. Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag (Parliament), were briefed about the overall interventions undertaken by LABARD, which works under the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), with a specific focus on a special project called “Vocational Training for the Disabled in Punjab, Lahore.” read more
From disbaility to stability
“You are only as weak as you feel or as strong as you feel” is a popular saying we have often heard. A true manifestation of this can be seen at a vocational training facility in Lahore.
Here a bunch of determined individuals challenged by disabilities of different types-categorised as mild to severe-are getting vocational training to build their lives. Instead of being dependent on others, they are striving to contribute to the well-being of their families, society and economy as well.
The facility, located in Shadman, Lahore, is run by the Lahore Businessmen Association for Rehabilitation of the Disabled (LABARD). This training centre offers vocational skills exclusively to the people with disabilities. read more…
Contact Details: Muhammad Naeem Anwar