“It is good to know that I am not the only one who faces difficulties with my disabilities, I would like to thank my community and the CBID team who facilitated this activity. I got a chance to express my feelings and listen to one another who have the same life experience as myself, and the best part is that we can exchange our experiences and solutions to overcome any barriers” – Nouthida, SHGs participant from Tha Village.
What are Self-Help Groups (SHGs)? SHGs are informal groups of people who come together to discuss and address their common problems, which are faced by persons with disabilities and their families such as social exclusion, lack of awareness of their rights and inclusion. One important characteristic of SHGs is the idea of mutual support – people helping each other. SHG members are supposed to meet regularly in order to find reassurance and support one another with mutual life experiences and develop actions for improving their quality of life and empowering each other.
From 11-12 August 2022, the USAID Okard Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) Facilitators from the Quality of Life Association (QLA), together with the District Labor and Social Welfare Officers and local authorities conducted the SHG activity “Meet & Greet for exchange ideas and lesson learnt within persons with disabilities and caregivers” in Ban Village and Tha Village, Kham District, Xieng Khouang Province. It is through the involvement of groups that they can begin to develop their awareness and the ability to organize and take action and bring changes in the community.
USAID Okard, funded by USAID and implemented by World Education, Inc., in partnership with Humanity & Inclusion improves access to quality rehabilitation and economic opportunities for persons with disabilities, and supports design and implementation of disabilities inclusive policy.