Disease and disability are both causes and consequences of poverty. They can make work impossible, meaning many people lose their jobs.

Entire households are pushed deeper into poverty because of increased expenditure on health care and loss of household income.

To tackle poverty we use a self-help approach, giving people living with disease and disability the knowledge and skills needed to work themselves out of poverty.

Self-help groups

We help them to form groups in their communities called self-help groups. They are trained on simple group management skills, and on livelihoods topics such as tailoring and cultivation of food crops.

At each meeting, members make a small financial contribution (around 10p) to a group fund. This fund can be used to provide members with an interest free business loan to finance business initiatives such as a local shop or tailoring.

This promotes financial independence, and means that groups can also set up group bank accounts, which usually they are denied from doing.

1,500 families better off

Over the last year we have worked with over 1,500 people affected by disease and disability to help them to improve their incomes and quality of life. That’s over 1,500 families who are now better off thanks to this work.

We have seen some remarkable improvements in standard of living and quality of life. Incomes have increased by a third on average, enabling them to spend more on essential items such as food.

Now, members are sharing their knowledge with the rest of their communities, helping to raise their social status and improve living standards for the whole community.

Shamol leads a self-help group in Bangladesh.

We have received different types of training such as self-care, livelihoods, banking, and vegetable gardening. Training helps us to open our eyes to living in a community with equal rights

Find out how him, and his community are now better off.
Read Shamol's story