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European Union support for inclusive development in Sri Lanka

persons with disabilities attending workshop

Muthubanda of Keselpotha in Rideemaliyadda, Badulla, was born with a restrictive disability that slows him in walking and with a difficulty to sit or bend down. He has once run a successful grocery in his town and has saved enough from this primary enterprise to purchase a bus to lease as an additional source of revenue, DailyFT writes.

However, after a few troublesome years in his entrepreneurship and losing his bus and the grocery, Muthubanda was identified by Project Coordinator Dileepa Gamage, of a project funded by the European Union (EU), ‘Bringing the Community Onboard: Strengthening the role of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in increasing the economic resilience of communities’ (BCoB) and implemented by World Vision Deutschland together with their local partners, World Vision Sri Lanka and Janathakshan, as a man determined to fight against his adversities and possessed entrepreneurial skills.  Seizing the EU and World Vision’s support as an opportunity to regain himself, Muthubanda has made a simple request – a multi-grain grinding machine. While he had not used this type of a machine before, it is a true testament to Muthubanda’s understanding of market opportunities and willingness to start afresh that he made this choice. World Vision team has further supported him by providing equipment such as a scale, water pump and bag sealer, which were identified to be essential for his enterprise.

Support for persons with disabilities to access services and resources was identified as a critical need in Badulla District by BCoB project. This project was started in 2016 with the aim of strengthening local CSOs to promote inclusive and sustainable local economic development. Through its implementing partner World Vision, the EU has been able to support PwDs in three villages across Badulla, a district identified both for a high prevalence of persons with disabilities and also for a high rate of poverty.

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