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Our Model: Income and Learning Opportunities for Carers

In this 5-part series we are exploring each of the unique elements of our model that together holistically transform the wellbeing of carers. In this article we are focusing on employment, education and training.

 

With heavy demands on time and erratic schedules, many carers of working age are unable to engage in employment opportunities. Households containing a carer and a person who is sick or disabled are at higher risk of living in poverty. Our research in Bangladesh estimates that 67% of families with a carer and person with disability are living in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 per day.

 

In regards to young carers, many have to quit school or attend irregularly due to caring commitments. Being unable to complete their education means that employment opportunities available to those carers as adults become very limited and many are unable to reach their potential.

 

A key aspect of our work is facilitating access to employment, training and livelihood opportunities that can co-exist with caring responsibilities. 81% of carers in our projects now report earning a living and we have got over 300 young carers back in to school since 2012.

 

One carer who has benefited from the livelihood opportunities offered through one of our projects is Bhola, from Baglung, Nepal. Bhola is the carer of his 28-year-old daughter who has bipolar disorder. Our partner LEADS Nepal began working with Bhola and his daughter in 2013, enabling her to access medicine for her condition for the first time. As a result, her condition has gradually improved.

 

Before the launch of our carers project in Baglung, Bhola and his family were very poor. We provided Bhola with two goats and training on how to rear the goats so that he could start to earn a steady income. The income he generated from the goats enabled him to purchase and raise chickens. We provided Bhola with further support to set up an irrigation system so that he could begin to grow vegetables and kiwi fruit too. His kiwi fruits are incredibly popular, with demand for the fruit way higher than what he can currently produce.

 

Bhola’s household is now financially secure and he is thought of as a local entrepreneur within his community. Our initial investment of just £97, the cost of the goats and training, has enabled Bhola and his family to become economically independent. 

 

To find out more about our partner who has supported Bhola visit LEADS Nepal’s Facebook page. Don’t forget to visit us next week to read our article which will look at advocacy.