Welcome to Avacayam, Our Disability Livelihood Program
The objective of this project is to provide opportunities for persons with disability and other socio-economic backwardness without academic qualifications to be economically empowered to live and work independently and survive.
90 beneficiaries (as per the profile above) were reached through 33 trainers (comprising staff and parents of beneficiaries from 6 groups) who were trained over a period of 3 workshops in Product development in September 2015; December 2015 and February 2016. Micro-enterprise development training could not be carried out as the lead institution abruptly stopped participating.
238 beneficiaries (with the above profile) and 19 trainers from 8 institutions (12 groups) located in Urban Bangalore and surrounding areas over a period of 10 months from December 2015 to November 2016. The first session in Bangalore was carried out by SfCD in December 2015. Thereafter, 9 workshops were conducted with the Bangalore based institutions. Training was conducted through a Train-the-Trainer model.
35 beneficiaries from a rural area skilled directly in making products from discarded flex banners.
· Intellectual disability
· Cerebral Palsy
· Mental illness
· Multiple disabilities
· 18 years of age and older
· Have attended some type of informal functional education in special schools
· Currently attending institutions that keep them occupied in activities
· No skills in vocations and hence extremely low prospects of earning an income
· Beneficiaries from urban areas were from relatively higher socioeconomic groups
· Beneficiaries from rural areas were from low income communities
· All beneficiaries are dependent on their parents
The project was initially slated to be completed in 31 August 2016, this period was extended to 30 November 2016 (with prior permission and no additional financial inputs).
Designing of Products: The products and the associated training program for microenterprise development for institutions working with persons with severe disability (like intellectual disabilities, Cerebral palsy, autism, multiple disabilities and mental illness) was conceptualized and designed by SfCD. Institutions were provided with a portfolio of 12 products for training. In addition, Craftizen Foundation added three products to the portfolio and were taught the other 12 products including recycling flowers to holi colors .
These disabilities are characterized by delayed cognitive processing and/or altered thought patterns that impede their response and learning time, leading to delayed skill acquisition in Production. Thus, all products are designed in a way to require short and repetitive steps, with the final product being functional, useful and high customer appeal.
The products that were offered to the institutions were reworked, after studying the profile of the institutions and the beneficiaries, by the design team in the SfCD HO in Delhi. New products were developed based on our research of the availability of discarded items in the area. Thus, institutions were trained in the fabrication of 15 products that over a period of time could be mass produced by the beneficiaries for income generation.
A total of 19 trainers from 8 institutions with 12 groups were trained hands-on in Bangalore by SfCD in Production planning, work plan development, Quality control, Inventory management and Finance documentation.
Under our guidance, Craftizen Foundation conducted three workshops with the same groups on Business acumen with special emphasis on production planning. Other topics included Basics of business, Importance of business planning, calculation of costs and pricing, packaging, labeling, Livelihood focus in NGOs, Organisation structure as well as Business modelling using BMC, Systems thinking, Visioning and filling the BMC for Green Skilling project, Delivering value in business, Production management, Inventory management, Quality management, Resource efficiency, Capturing value, Financial statements - Profit and cost statement, Cash flow statement, and Unit economics
Continuous review of the strategic plan was carried out of the skill training, capacity building and project planning taking feedback from local partners in line with the overall project objective of enabling income generation. This was done through meetings, reviews, market research, regular monitoring, hand holding and support.
Business acumen development: Business acumen workshop conducted with special emphasis on production planning
Production Support: Regular hand-holding and capacity building of local partners to ensure systems and production processes were being implemented in practice
Most of the Bangalore partner organizations (with the exception of one) were making products to keep their beneficiaries busy, there was no focus on selling or income generation, these were akin to “charity” purchases for consumers - such products typically have lower repeat purchase value.
Several partners had no focus on livelihoods; they were running day care centers where skills were meant as daily activities. With the training in a new range of easy to make products that require little investment in raw material, mentoring support provided, reinforced with templates and workshops on production and microenterprise development, these institutions have now adopted a structured and target driven approach. They are also now able to consistently manufacture products which will result in tangible income benefits for their beneficiaries.