ACT Project Staff Hannah has been busy visiting a few of the Advocacy and Inclusion for Adults with Disabilities Project participants who have set up income-generating projects thanks to the support of ACT and in partnership with our network of partner centres.
Here are her reflections on a recent visit down south:
Khadija* started her first livelihood project in November 2019. She raised several sheep in a shelter built in the courtyard of her family home. Her joy in her work was clear as she served us coffee and sweets while explaining her daily habit of caring for her sheep.
After one year, she easily returned half of the initial investment to ACT’s partner, AGIM Medenine, to enable their investment in future livelihood projects. Khadija was highly motivated, however, and she wasn’t ready to stop at one livelihood project! She and her brother, Rashid, who also has special needs, asked for funding to start a small neighbourhood shop.
The back courtyard was already occupied by the sheep Khadija continues to raise, so her family decided to build the shop onto the side of their house and add a separate doorway from the street directly into the shop. The shop was a chaotic construction site in June 2021.
Six months later, Khadija saw us at an end-of-project celebration in Medenine and invited us to her home to see the shop. The space was completely transformed and stocked with basic household supplies and a full cash box. Khadija was in business!
* name changed
Khadija continues to look to the future and pursue financial independence.
She has said, “I was embarrassed by my disability, but through the project I was encouraged by the centre director to work on a small-scale project of my own. Running a store has led me to learn to depend on myself. I have now understood what self-advocacy means. I’ve found a lot of encouragement from my family. I’m proud of what I have done.”
ACT wishes Khadija every success in her hard work and future efforts!