A small but very successful aspect of our Project for Afghan Refugees with Disability (DARP) is the skills training to facilitate income-generation.
A group of 11 mothers were trained in producing handmade goods from leather. All the group members are producing an income through selling their handmade leather products and one member has even set up a class in her own home to train others!
Due to this success we started two extra leather work groups. The participants are a mixture of caregivers and people with disabilities. Their Iranian teacher is delighted by their skill and progress and says that these are her favourite classes because these women are so motivated to learn.
The leatherwork group is a prime example of Asset Based Community Development. Instead of looking at what needs the community had, we looked at their assets – they are skilled with their hands and they have time at home to produce goods.
A mother of two sons with disabilities says that her favourite time of day is when she has finished the boys’ exercises and the housework, and she is able to spend some time sewing her leather goods. As well as giving her the opportunity to do something creative with her hands, it generates money that helps with all the extra expenses that families with a disabled member face.