“After my participation in the business plan development training with the Okard project to get ready and well equipped for starting my own business, I am so glad to receive the motorbike parts and other materials to develop my shop and provide good services to customers.” – Mr. Nota’s caregiver from Hib Village, Kham District, Xieng Khouang Province. Nota is a USAID Okard beneficiary who has an intellectual impairment.
From August through December 2021, the USAID Okard Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) team provided livestock such as goats, chickens, pigs, and fish, and equipment such as motorbike parts, tractor parts, and grocery items, valued at more than 282,000,000 LAK to 90 households of persons with disabilities in Kham District, Xieng Khouang Province, and items valued at more than 238,000,000 LAK to 86 households of persons with disabilities in Xayphouthong District, Savannakhet Province. These assets are intended to support households to start or strengthen their own business. Recipients attended various income generation training sessions, including business plan development, financial literacy training, technical training, advice about suitable locations for businesses, and household and personal finance management training in order to help them build their businesses.
One of the priorities of the USAID Okard CBID project is ensuring that no one is harmed or fatally injured from Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) while initiating or expanding a farming IGA. Therefore, prior to the handover of livestock, USAID Okard coordinated with the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, the National Regulatory Authority for UXO, and UXO-Lao to clear the land of 33 households of persons with disabilities who live in the high-risk UXO areas in Kham District, Xieng Khouang. Now they can pursue their chosen farm IGA with limited risks to their safety.
Through USAID Okard’s support, more persons with disabilities and their households are now able to initiate or expand a business, increase their household income, and start saving to prevent any risks of unexpected out of pocket expenses that might jeopardize their financial stability.
“These 100 chickens are keeping me busy, but I like it that way, knowing that I have a lot of chickens that can help with my family’s income and enable us to sustain our finances. Thank you to USAID Okard for providing me with the assets and the skills to manage the livestock effectively so I can sell some of them for a good price and start saving money.” – Ms. Dern from Phonthan Village, Xayphouthong District, Savannakhet Province. Dern is a USAID Okard beneficiary with difficulties in mobility.
USAID Okard, funded by USAID and implemented by World Education, Inc., Humanity & Inclusion, Quality of Life Association (QLA), and Association for Rural Mobilisation and Improvement (ARMI), improves access to quality healthcare and economic opportunities for persons with disabilities, and supports the design and implementation of disability inclusive policies.